Gene Summary

Gene:PIGS; phosphatidylinositol glycan anchor biosynthesis class S
Summary:This gene encodes a protein that is involved in GPI-anchor biosynthesis. The glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor is a glycolipid found on many blood cells and serves to anchor proteins to the cell surface. This gene encodes an essential component of the multisubunit enzyme, GPI transamidase. GPI transamidase mediates GPI anchoring in the endoplasmic reticulum, by catalyzing the transfer of fully assembled GPI units to proteins. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:GPI transamidase component PIG-S
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (8)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • alpha-Glucosidases
  • Signal Transduction
  • Liver Cancer
  • Mutation
  • Cell Line
  • Phenotype
  • Base Sequence
  • Messenger RNA
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Swine
  • Melanoma
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Genotype
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Species Specificity
  • Swine Diseases
  • Sequence Homology
  • DNA
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Sus scrofa
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cricetinae
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Cattle
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Transcription Factors
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Chromosome 17
  • Cultured Cells
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: PIGS (cancer-related)

Abozeid SM, Hathout RM, Abou-Aisha K
Silencing of the metastasis-linked gene, AEG-1, using siRNA-loaded cholamine surface-modified gelatin nanoparticles in the breast carcinoma cell line MCF-7.
Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2016; 145:607-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cholamine surface-modified gelatin nanoparticles prepared by the double desolvation method using acetone as a dehydrating agent were selected and potentially evaluated as non viral vectors of siRNA targeting a metastatic gene AEG-1 in MCF-7 breast carcinoma cells. The ability of modified gelatin nanoparticle to complex and deliver siRNA for gene silencing was investigated. Hence, Particle size, surface charge (zeta potential) and morphology of siRNA/Gelatin nanoparticles (siGNPs) were characterized via dynamic light scattering (DLS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). Moreover, the nanoparticles cytotoxicity, loading efficiency and interaction with MCF-7 human breast carcinoma cells were evaluated. Cationized GNPs of mean size range of 174nm and PDI of 0.101 were produced. The loading efficiency of siGNPs at a Nitrogen/Phosphate (N/P) ratio (w/w) of 200:1 was approximately 96%. Cellular uptake was evaluated after FITC conjugation where the particles produced high transfection efficiency. Finally, ELISA analysis of AEG-1/MTDH expression demonstrated the gene silencing effect of siGNPs, as more than 75% MTDH protein were inhibited. Our data indicate that cholamine modified GNPs pose a promising non-viral siRNA carrier for altering gene expression in MCF-7 breast cancer cells with many advantages such as relatively high gene transfection efficiency and efficient silencing ability.

Mazumder TH, Uddin A, Chakraborty S
Transcription factor gene GATA2: Association of leukemia and nonsynonymous to the synonymous substitution rate across five mammals.
Genomics. 2016; 107(4):155-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
GATA2 gene encodes a member of the GATA family of zinc-finger transcription factors that play a pivotal role during the transition of primitive blood forming cells into white blood cells. Mutation in GATA2 results in the loss of function or even gain of function, including abnormal proliferation of white blood cells that may predispose to acute myeloid leukemia. Our results showed that the codon usage in GATA2 has been influenced by GC mutation bias where nature has highly favored fourteen most over represented codons but disfavored the ATA codon across five mammals. Purifying natural selection has affected GATA2 gene in human and other mammals to maintain its protein function during the period of evolution. Our findings report an insight into the codon usage patterns in gaining the clues for codon optimization to alter the translational efficiency as well as for the functional conservation of gene expression and the significance of nucleotide composition in GATA2 gene within mammals.

Li G, Gao K, Chi Y, et al.
Upregulation of connexin43 contributes to PX-12-induced oxidative cell death.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(6):7535-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
Thioredoxin (Trx) is a small redox protein that underlies aggressive tumor growth and resistance to chemotherapy. Inhibition of Trx with the chemical inhibitor PX-12 suppresses tumor growth and induces cell apoptosis. Currently, the mechanism underlying the therapeutic actions of PX-12 and the molecules influencing cell susceptibility to PX-12 are incompletely understood. Given that connexin43 (Cx43), a tumor suppressor, regulates tumor cell susceptibility to chemotherapy, we examined the possible involvement of Cx43 in PX-12-induced cell death. Exposure of cells to PX-12 led to a loss of cell viability, which was associated with the activation of oxidative sensitive c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Inhibition of JNK or supplement of cells with anti-oxidants prevented the cell-killing action of PX-12. The forced expression of Cx43 in normal and tumor cells increased cell sensitivity to PX-12-induced JNK activation and cell death. In contrast, the downregulation of Cx43 with siRNA or the suppression of gap junctions with chemical inhibitors attenuated JNK activation and enhanced cell resistance to PX-12. Further analysis revealed that PX-12 at low concentrations induced a JNK-dependent elevation in the Cx43 protein, which was also preventable by supplementing the cells with anti-oxidants. Our results thus indicate that Cx43 is a determinant in the regulation of cell susceptibility to PX-12 and that the upregulation of Cx43 may be an additional mechanism by which PX-12 exerts its anti-tumor actions.

Yao X, Dong Z, Zhang Q, et al.
Epithelial ovarian cancer stem-like cells expressing α-gal epitopes increase the immunogenicity of tumor associated antigens.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:956 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: As ovarian cancer stem cells (CSCs) are responsible for tumor initiation, invasion, metastasis, and chemo-resistance, new stratagems that selectively target ovarian CSCs are critically significant. Our previous work have demonstrated that ovarian cancer spheroid cells are tumorigenic and chemo-resistant, and have the properties of ovarian CSCs. Herein, we hypothesized that expressing α-gal epitopes on ovarian spheroid cells may help eliminate CSCs and improve the outcome of therapeutic intervention for ovarian cancer patients.
METHODS: Lentivirus-mediated transfer of a pig α(1,3)galactosyltransferase [α1,3GT] enzyme gene into human ovarian cell line SKOV3 cells formed α-gal epitope-expressing cells (SKOV3-gal cells), and then these cells were maintained in a serum-free culture system to form SKOV3-gal spheroid cells. Efficacy of this cell vaccine was demonstrated in α1,3GT knockout mice (α1,3GT KO mice).
RESULTS: The antibody titers to α-gal epitopes measured by ELISA were significantly increased in α1,3GT KO mice after immunization with SKOV3-gal spheroid cells. Furthermore, compared with the non-immunized KO mice, the SKOV3 tumors grafted under renal capsules of KO mice immunized with SKOV3-gal spheroid cells grew slower and began to shrink on day 12. Western blot analysis also showed that immunized KO mice can produce effective antibody against certain tumor associated antigens (TAAs) derived from both SKOV3 cells and SKOV3 spheroid cells. The TAAs were further investigated by mass spectrometry and RNA interference (RNAi) technology. The results suggested that antibodies responding to protein c-erbB-2 may be raised in the sera of the mice after immunization with SKOV3-gal spheroid cells. Ultimately, vaccination with SKOV3-gal spheroid cells induced more CD3+CD4+T cells in the spleen of immunized mice than non-immunized KO mice.
CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that vaccination using ovarian cancer stem-like cells engineered to express α-gal epitopes may be a novel strategy for treatment of ovarian cancer.

Zauber P, Marotta S, Sabbath-Solitare M
Colorectal Cancers with the Uncommon Findings of KRAS Mutation and Microsatellite Instability.
Cytogenet Genome Res. 2015; 146(4):261-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Sporadic colorectal cancers with microsatellite instability (MSI) frequently contain a mutation of the BRAF gene. Additionally, it has been shown that BRAF mutations in colorectal cancers are mutually exclusive of KRAS mutation. We evaluated 14 cases of colorectal cancer with MSI that were BRAF wild type but demonstrated a KRAS mutation. The codon 12/13 region in exon 2 of the KRAS oncogene and the codon 600 region in exon 15 of the BRAF gene were analyzed with standard PCR methods. MSI was evaluated by using the Bethesda panel of markers. The methylation status of the mismatch repair system was ascertained using the SALSA(®) MS-MLPA(®) methylation-specific DNA detection. The mismatch repair proteins MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2 were evaluated by immunohistochemical staining. A total of 530 colorectal cancers were studied for MSI and KRAS gene mutation. Fourteen (2.6%) cancers with both MSI and a KRAS mutation were identified, and all cancers were BRAF wild type. Methylation was present in 7 (50%), 5 demonstrated methylation of MLH1, 1 showed methylation of MGMT, and 1 showed methylation of MSH2. Four patients had simultaneous cancers, some of which showed different genetic changes. Immunohistochemical staining suggested a germ line mutation for 4 of 10 cases with complete staining information. KRAS mutation may occur with MSI in colorectal cancers with wild-type BRAF. If a mutation in KRAS co-exists with MSI, then strong methylation of the MLH1 gene is unlikely. These tumors demonstrate that a small number of colorectal cancers will develop with atypical patterns of molecular genetic changes, suggesting that a specific pattern of genetic changes may not be as crucial as the overall accumulation of changes, consistent with the 'unique tumor principle'.

Janich C, Wölk C, Erdmann F, et al.
Composites of malonic acid diamides and phospholipids--Impact of lipoplex stability on transfection efficiency.
J Control Release. 2015; 220(Pt A):295-307 [PubMed] Related Publications
The use of cationic lipids as gene delivery systems is a basic method in gene therapy. Through ongoing research, lipofection is currently the leader of non-viral vectors in clinical trials. However, in order to unleash the full potential of lipofection further intensive investigations are indispensable. In this study, various lipoplex formulations were compared regarding their ability to bind DNA. To obtain information about a possible premature release of DNA at the cell surface, heparin and chondroitin dependent lipoplex destabilization experiments were carried out. Complementary investigations in cell culture were performed to quantify DNA outside the cell. Additionally, DNase I stability was investigated. In this regard a multitude of methods, namely confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), polymerase chain reaction (PCR), cell culture experiments, ethidium bromide assay, gel electrophoresis, Langmuir-isotherm experiments, infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS), Brewster angle microscopy (BAM), zeta-(ζ)-potential measurements, and dynamic light scattering (DLS), were applied. Although the complexation of DNA is a fundamental step, we show that the DNA release by biological agents (proteoglycans) and an unsuccessful cell attachment are major transfection limiting parameters.

Misra SK, Ghoshal G, Gartia MR, et al.
Trimodal Therapy: Combining Hyperthermia with Repurposed Bexarotene and Ultrasound for Treating Liver Cancer.
ACS Nano. 2015; 9(11):10695-718 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Repurposing of existing cancer drugs to overcome their physical limitations, such as insolubility, represents an attractive strategy to achieve enhanced therapeutic efficacy and broaden the range of clinical applications. Such an approach also promises to offer substantial cost savings in drug development efforts. Here we repurposed FDA-approved topical agent bexarotene (Targretin), currently in limited use for cutaneous manifestations of T-cell lymphomas, and re-engineer it for use in solid tumor applications by forming self-assembling nanobubbles. Physico-chemical characterization studies of the novel prodrug nanobubbles demonstrated their stability, enhanced target cell internalization capability, and highly controlled release profile in response to application of focused ultrasound energy. Using an in vitro model of hepatocellular carcinoma and an in vivo large animal model of liver ablation, we demonstrate the effectiveness of bexarotene prodrug nanobubbles when used in conjunction with catheter-based ultrasound, thereby highlighting the therapeutic promise of this trimodal approach.

Vinogradov AE
Accelerated pathway evolution in mouse-like rodents involves cell cycle control.
Mamm Genome. 2015; 26(11-12):609-18 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rodents include both the cancer-susceptible short-lived mouse and the two unrelated cancer-resistant long-lived mole-rats. In this work, their genomes were analyzed with the goal to reveal pathways enriched in genes, which are more similar between the mole-rats than between the mouse and the naked mole-rat. The pathways related to cell cycle control were prominent. They include external signal transduction and all cell cycle stages. There are several stem cell pathways among them. The other enriched pathways involve ubiquitin-dependent protein degradation, immunity, mRNA splicing, and apoptosis. The ubiquitin-dependent protein degradation is a core of network of enriched pathways. However, this phenomenon is not specific for the mouse and the mole-rats. The other muroid species show features similar to the mouse, whereas the non-muroid rodents and the human show features similar to the mole-rats. The higher ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous nucleotide substitutions (dN/dS) indicates the accelerated evolution of revealed pathways in the muroid rodents (except the blind mole-rat). Paradoxically, the dN/dS averaged over the whole genome is lower in the muroids, i.e., the purifying selection is generally stronger in them. In practical sense, these data suggest caveat for using muroid rodents (mouse, rat, and hamsters) as biomedical models of human conditions involving cell cycle and show the network of pathways where muroid genes are most different (compared with non-muroid) from human genes. The guinea pig is emphasized as a more suitable rodent model for biomedical research involving cell cycle.

Vinner L, Mourier T, Friis-Nielsen J, et al.
Investigation of Human Cancers for Retrovirus by Low-Stringency Target Enrichment and High-Throughput Sequencing.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:13201 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although nearly one fifth of all human cancers have an infectious aetiology, the causes for the majority of cancers remain unexplained. Despite the enormous data output from high-throughput shotgun sequencing, viral DNA in a clinical sample typically constitutes a proportion of host DNA that is too small to be detected. Sequence variation among virus genomes complicates application of sequence-specific, and highly sensitive, PCR methods. Therefore, we aimed to develop and characterize a method that permits sensitive detection of sequences despite considerable variation. We demonstrate that our low-stringency in-solution hybridization method enables detection of <100 viral copies. Furthermore, distantly related proviral sequences may be enriched by orders of magnitude, enabling discovery of hitherto unknown viral sequences by high-throughput sequencing. The sensitivity was sufficient to detect retroviral sequences in clinical samples. We used this method to conduct an investigation for novel retrovirus in samples from three cancer types. In accordance with recent studies our investigation revealed no retroviral infections in human B-cell lymphoma cells, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma or colorectal cancer biopsies. Nonetheless, our generally applicable method makes sensitive detection possible and permits sequencing of distantly related sequences from complex material.

Pickart L, Vasquez-Soltero JM, Margolina A
GHK Peptide as a Natural Modulator of Multiple Cellular Pathways in Skin Regeneration.
Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015:648108 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
GHK (glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine) is present in human plasma, saliva, and urine but declines with age. It is proposed that GHK functions as a complex with copper 2+ which accelerates wound healing and skin repair. GHK stimulates both synthesis and breakdown of collagen and glycosaminoglycans and modulates the activity of both metalloproteinases and their inhibitors. It stimulates collagen, dermatan sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and the small proteoglycan, decorin. It also restores replicative vitality to fibroblasts after radiation therapy. The molecule attracts immune and endothelial cells to the site of an injury. It accelerates wound-healing of the skin, hair follicles, gastrointestinal tract, boney tissue, and foot pads of dogs. It also induces systemic wound healing in rats, mice, and pigs. In cosmetic products, it has been found to tighten loose skin and improve elasticity, skin density, and firmness, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, reduce photodamage, and hyperpigmentation, and increase keratinocyte proliferation. GHK has been proposed as a therapeutic agent for skin inflammation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and metastatic colon cancer. It is capable of up- and downregulating at least 4,000 human genes, essentially resetting DNA to a healthier state. The present review revisits GHK's role in skin regeneration in the light of recent discoveries.

Commandeur AE, Styer AK, Teixeira JM
Epidemiological and genetic clues for molecular mechanisms involved in uterine leiomyoma development and growth.
Hum Reprod Update. 2015 Sep-Oct; 21(5):593-615 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Uterine leiomyomas (fibroids) are highly prevalent benign smooth muscle tumors of the uterus. In the USA, the lifetime risk for women developing uterine leiomyomas is estimated as up to 75%. Except for hysterectomy, most therapies or treatments often provide only partial or temporary relief and are not successful in every patient. There is a clear racial disparity in the disease; African-American women are estimated to be three times more likely to develop uterine leiomyomas and generally develop more severe symptoms. There is also familial clustering between first-degree relatives and twins, and multiple inherited syndromes in which fibroid development occurs. Leiomyomas have been described as clonal and hormonally regulated, but despite the healthcare burden imposed by the disease, the etiology of uterine leiomyomas remains largely unknown. The mechanisms involved in their growth are also essentially unknown, which has contributed to the slow progress in development of effective treatment options.
METHODS: A comprehensive PubMed search for and critical assessment of articles related to the epidemiological, biological and genetic clues for uterine leiomyoma development was performed. The individual functions of some of the best candidate genes are explained to provide more insight into their biological function and to interconnect and organize genes and pathways in one overarching figure that represents the current state of knowledge about uterine leiomyoma development and growth.
RESULTS: In this review, the widely recognized roles of estrogen and progesterone in uterine leiomyoma pathobiology on the basis of clinical and experimental data are presented. This is followed by fundamental aspects and concepts including the possible cellular origin of uterine fibroids. The central themes in the subsequent parts are cytogenetic aberrations in leiomyomas and the racial/ethnic disparities in uterine fibroid biology. Then, the attributes of various in vitro and in vivo, human syndrome, rodent xenograft, naturally mutant, and genetically modified models used to study possible molecular mechanisms of leiomyoma development and growth are described. Particular emphasis is placed on known links to fibrosis, hypertrophy, and hyperplasia and genes that are potentially important in these processes.
CONCLUSIONS: Menstrual cycle-related injury and repair and coinciding hormonal cycling appears to affect myometrial stem cells that, at a certain stage of fibroid development, often obtain cytogenetic aberrations and mutations of Mediator complex subunit 12 (MED12). Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a master regulator of proliferation, is activated in many of these tumors, possibly by mechanisms that are similar to some human fibrosis syndromes and/or by mutation of upstream tumor suppressor genes. Animal models of the disease support some of these dysregulated pathways in fibroid etiology or pathogenesis, but none are definitive. All of this suggests that there are likely several key mechanisms involved in the disease that, in addition to increasing the complexity of uterine fibroid pathobiology, offer possible approaches for patient-specific therapies. A final model that incorporates many of these reported mechanisms is presented with a discussion of their implications for leiomyoma clinical practice.

Tsukasa K, Ding Q, Yoshimitsu M, et al.
Slug contributes to gemcitabine resistance through epithelial-mesenchymal transition in CD133(+) pancreatic cancer cells.
Hum Cell. 2015; 28(4):167-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
CD133-positive pancreatic cancer is correlated with unfavorable survival despite current development of therapy. Slug acts as a master regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) which is the essential process in cancer progression. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of Slug in gemcitabine treatment for CD133-positive pancreatic cancer cells. We used a previously established pancreatic cancer cell line expressing high level of CD133 (Capan-1M9), which also expresses high level of Slug. We generated Slug knock-down subclone (shSlug M9) from this cell line, and compared expression of EMT-related genes, migration, invasion and gemcitabine resistance between two cell lines. Slug knock-down in CD133-positive pancreatic cancer cell line led to the reduction of migration and invasion ability. Furthermore, Slug knock-down sensitized CD133-positive pancreatic cancer cell line to gemcitabine. These results suggest that Slug plays an important role in not only invasion ability through EMT but also gemcitabine resistance of CD133-positive pancreatic cancer cells.

Wilkinson-Ryan I, Kim J, Kim S, et al.
Incorporation of porcine adenovirus 4 fiber protein enhances infectivity of adenovirus vector on dendritic cells: implications for immune-mediated cancer therapy.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(5):e0125851 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
One strategy in cancer immunotherapy is to capitalize on the key immunoregulatory and antigen presenting capabilities of dendritic cells (DCs). This approach is dependent on efficient delivery of tumor specific antigens to DCs, which subsequently induce an anti-tumor T-cell mediated immune response. Human adenovirus serotype 5 (HAdV5) has been used in human studies for gene delivery, but has limited infection in DCs, which lack the proper receptors. Addition of the porcine fiber knob (PK) from porcine adenovirus type 4 to HAdV5 allows the virus to deliver genetic material via binding to glycosylated surface proteins and bypasses the coxsackie-and-adenovirus receptor required by wild-type HAdV5. In this study we explored the potential therapeutic applications of an adenovirus with PK-based tropism against cancers expressing mesothelin. Infectivity and gene transfer assays were used to compare Ad5-PK to wild-type HAdV5. Mouse models were used to demonstrate peptide specificity and T-cell responses. We show that the PK modification highly augmented infection of DCs, including the CD141+ DC subset, a key subset for activation of naïve CD8+ T-cells. We also show that Ad5-PK increases DC infectivity and tumor specific antigen expression. Finally, vaccination of mice with the Ad5-PK vector resulted in enhanced T-cell-mediated interferon gamma (IFN-γ) release in response to both mesothelin peptide and a tumor line expressing mesothelin. Ad5-PK is a promising tool for cancer immunotherapy as it improves infectivity, gene transfer, protein expression, and subsequent T-cell activation in DCs compared to wild-type HAdV5 viruses.

Li S, Zhang Y, Niu L, et al.
AK000953 silencing can enhance the killing effect of danazol on uterine fibroids.
Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2015; 292(5):1075-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Our aim was to study the role of AK000953 silencing for the killing effect of danazol on uterine fibroids.
METHODS: Quantitative PCR was applied to identify differential expression of AK000953 in uterine fibroid tissue and normal uterine tissue. Then we isolated and cultured uterine fibroid cells, designed the siRNA of AK000953 to silence its expression in uterine fibroid cells, and detected the treatment effect of danazol and AK000953 siRNA on cell proliferation, cell apoptosis, and cell invasion. Finally, guinea pig model of uterine fibroids was constructed to verify the effect of AK000953 silencing on uterine fibroid treatment with danazol in vivo.
RESULTS: Quantitative PCR showed that the AK000953 gene was highly expressed in uterine fibroid tissue compared with normal uterine tissue (2.1 ± 0.15 vs. 0.8 ± 0.05, p < 0.01). After AK000953 silencing in uterine fibroid cells, we discovered that the inhibition rate in danazol-siRNA group was 56 ± 5 %, the cell apoptosis rate of danazol-siRNA group was 43 ± 2.3 %, and the invasion rate of uterine fibroid cells was 12 ± 1 %, which all showed significant differences with the control group or danazol group. Guinea pig model confirmed that the treatment of danazol and AK000953 siRNA effectively inhibited the development of fibroids in vivo.
CONCLUSION: AK000953 silencing could effectively enhance the killing effect of danazol on uterine fibroid cells.

Yamashita A, Morioka M, Yahara Y, et al.
Generation of scaffoldless hyaline cartilaginous tissue from human iPSCs.
Stem Cell Reports. 2015; 4(3):404-18 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Defects in articular cartilage ultimately result in loss of joint function. Repairing cartilage defects requires cell sources. We developed an approach to generate scaffoldless hyaline cartilage from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). We initially generated an hiPSC line that specifically expressed GFP in cartilage when teratoma was formed. We optimized the culture conditions and found BMP2, transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), and GDF5 critical for GFP expression and thus chondrogenic differentiation of the hiPSCs. The subsequent use of scaffoldless suspension culture contributed to purification, producing homogenous cartilaginous particles. Subcutaneous transplantation of the hiPSC-derived particles generated hyaline cartilage that expressed type II collagen, but not type I collagen, in immunodeficiency mice. Transplantation of the particles into joint surface defects in immunodeficiency rats and immunosuppressed mini-pigs indicated that neocartilage survived and had potential for integration into native cartilage. The immunodeficiency mice and rats suffered from neither tumors nor ectopic tissue formation. The hiPSC-derived cartilaginous particles constitute a viable cell source for regenerating cartilage defects.

Aravalli RN, Talbot NC, Steer CJ
Gene expression profiling of MYC-driven tumor signatures in porcine liver stem cells by transcriptome sequencing.
World J Gastroenterol. 2015; 21(7):2011-29 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To identify the genes induced and regulated by the MYC protein in generating tumors from liver stem cells.
METHODS: In this study, we have used an immortal porcine liver stem cell line, PICM-19, to study the role of c-MYC in hepatocarcinogenesis. PICM-19 cells were converted into cancer cells (PICM-19-CSCs) by overexpressing human MYC. To identify MYC-driven differential gene expression, transcriptome sequencing was carried out by RNA sequencing, and genes identified by this method were validated using real-time PCR. In vivo tumorigenicity studies were then conducted by injecting PICM-19-CSCs into the flanks of immunodeficient mice.
RESULTS: Our results showed that MYC-overexpressing PICM-19 stem cells formed tumors in immunodeficient mice demonstrating that a single oncogene was sufficient to convert them into cancer cells (PICM-19-CSCs). By using comparative bioinformatics analyses, we have determined that > 1000 genes were differentially expressed between PICM-19 and PICM-19-CSCs. Gene ontology analysis further showed that the MYC-induced, altered gene expression was primarily associated with various cellular processes, such as metabolism, cell adhesion, growth and proliferation, cell cycle, inflammation and tumorigenesis. Interestingly, six genes expressed by PICM-19 cells (CDO1, C22orf39, DKK2, ENPEP, GPX6, SRPX2) were completely silenced after MYC-induction in PICM-19-CSCs, suggesting that the absence of these genes may be critical for inducing tumorigenesis.
CONCLUSION: MYC-driven genes may serve as promising candidates for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma therapeutics that would not have deleterious effects on other cell types in the liver.

Li KC, Chang YH, Lin CY, et al.
Preclinical Safety Evaluation of ASCs Engineered by FLPo/Frt-Based Hybrid Baculovirus: In Vitro and Large Animal Studies.
Tissue Eng Part A. 2015; 21(9-10):1471-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
We recently developed hybrid baculovirus (BV) vectors that exploited FLPo/Frt-mediated DNA minicircle formation. Engineering of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) with the FLPo/Frt-based BV vectors enabled prolonged transgene expression and, after cell implantation into rabbits, ameliorated cartilage regeneration and bone repair. To translate the hybrid BV one step further toward clinical applications, here we assessed the biosafety profiles of the hybrid BV-engineered human ASCs (hASCs) in vitro and evaluated the immune responses elicited by the engineered porcine ASCs (pASCs) in large animals. We confirmed that the hybrid BV did not compromise the hASCs viability, immunosuppressive capacity, and surface characteristics. Neither did the hybrid BV cause chromosomal abnormality/transgene integration in vitro nor did it induce tumorigenicity in vivo. In the large animal study, pASCs were engineered with the hybrid BV expressing bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and implanted into femoral bone defects in mini pigs. The hybrid BV-engineered pASCs enabled prolonged BMP2/VEGF expression and triggered the healing of massive segmental bone defects, while only eliciting transient antibody, cytokine, and local cellular immune responses stemming from the implantation procedure itself. These data altogether demonstrated the safety of the hybrid BV vectors for ASCs engineering and bone healing in large animals, hence implicating the potential in clinical applications.

Wang J, Hu G, Lin Z, et al.
Characteristic and functional analysis of a newly established porcine small intestinal epithelial cell line.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(10):e110916 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The mucosal surface of intestine is continuously exposed to both potential pathogens and beneficial commensal microorganisms. Recent findings suggest that intestinal epithelial cells, which once considered as a simple physical barrier, are a crucial cell lineage necessary for maintaining intestinal immune homeostasis. Therefore, establishing a stable and reliable intestinal epithelial cell line for future research on the mucosal immune system is necessary. In the present study, we established a porcine intestinal epithelial cell line (ZYM-SIEC02) by introducing the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) gene into small intestinal epithelial cells derived from a neonatal, unsuckled piglet. Morphological analysis revealed a homogeneous cobblestone-like morphology of the epithelial cell sheets. Ultrastructural indicated the presence of microvilli, tight junctions, and a glandular configuration typical of the small intestine. Furthermore, ZYM-SIEC02 cells expressed epithelial cell-specific markers including cytokeratin 18, pan-cytokeratin, sucrase-isomaltase, E-cadherin and ZO-1. Immortalized ZYM-SIEC02 cells remained diploid and were not transformed. In addition, we also examined the host cell response to Salmonella and LPS and verified the enhanced expression of mRNAs encoding IL-8 and TNF-α by infection with Salmonella enterica serovars Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium). Results showed that IL-8 protein expression were upregulated following Salmonella invasion. TLR4, TLR6 and IL-6 mRNA expression were upregulated following stimulation with LPS, ZYM-SIEC02 cells were hyporeponsive to LPS with respect to IL-8 mRNA expression and secretion. TNFα mRNA levels were significantly decreased after LPS stimulation and TNF-α secretion were not detected challenged with S. Typhimurium neither nor LPS. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that ZYM-SIEC02 cells retained the morphological and functional characteristics typical of primary swine intestinal epithelial cells and thus provide a relevant in vitro model system for future studies on porcine small intestinal pathogen-host cell interactions.

Keane M, Craig T, Alföldi J, et al.
The Naked Mole Rat Genome Resource: facilitating analyses of cancer and longevity-related adaptations.
Bioinformatics. 2014; 30(24):3558-60 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MOTIVATION: The naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber) is an exceptionally long-lived and cancer-resistant rodent native to East Africa. Although its genome was previously sequenced, here we report a new assembly sequenced by us with substantially higher N50 values for scaffolds and contigs.
RESULTS: We analyzed the annotation of this new improved assembly and identified candidate genomic adaptations which may have contributed to the evolution of the naked mole rat's extraordinary traits, including in regions of p53, and the hyaluronan receptors CD44 and HMMR (RHAMM). Furthermore, we developed a freely available web portal, the Naked Mole Rat Genome Resource (http://www.naked-mole-rat.org), featuring the data and results of our analysis, to assist researchers interested in the genome and genes of the naked mole rat, and also to facilitate further studies on this fascinating species.

Sieren JC, Meyerholz DK, Wang XJ, et al.
Development and translational imaging of a TP53 porcine tumorigenesis model.
J Clin Invest. 2014; 124(9):4052-66 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer is the second deadliest disease in the United States, necessitating improvements in tumor diagnosis and treatment. Current model systems of cancer are informative, but translating promising imaging approaches and therapies to clinical practice has been challenging. In particular, the lack of a large-animal model that accurately mimics human cancer has been a major barrier to the development of effective diagnostic tools along with surgical and therapeutic interventions. Here, we developed a genetically modified porcine model of cancer in which animals express a mutation in TP53 (which encodes p53) that is orthologous to one commonly found in humans (R175H in people, R167H in pigs). TP53(R167H/R167H) mutant pigs primarily developed lymphomas and osteogenic tumors, recapitulating the tumor types observed in mice and humans expressing orthologous TP53 mutant alleles. CT and MRI imaging data effectively detected developing tumors, which were validated by histopathological evaluation after necropsy. Molecular genetic analyses confirmed that these animals expressed the R167H mutant p53, and evaluation of tumors revealed characteristic chromosomal instability. Together, these results demonstrated that TP53(R167H/R167H) pigs represent a large-animal tumor model that replicates the human condition. Our data further suggest that this model will be uniquely suited for developing clinically relevant, noninvasive imaging approaches to facilitate earlier detection, diagnosis, and treatment of human cancers.

Li B, Qiu B, Lee DS, et al.
Fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase opposes renal carcinoma progression.
Nature. 2014; 513(7517):251-5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), the most common form of kidney cancer, is characterized by elevated glycogen levels and fat deposition. These consistent metabolic alterations are associated with normoxic stabilization of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) secondary to von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) mutations that occur in over 90% of ccRCC tumours. However, kidney-specific VHL deletion in mice fails to elicit ccRCC-specific metabolic phenotypes and tumour formation, suggesting that additional mechanisms are essential. Recent large-scale sequencing analyses revealed the loss of several chromatin remodelling enzymes in a subset of ccRCC (these included polybromo-1, SET domain containing 2 and BRCA1-associated protein-1, among others), indicating that epigenetic perturbations are probably important contributors to the natural history of this disease. Here we used an integrative approach comprising pan-metabolomic profiling and metabolic gene set analysis and determined that the gluconeogenic enzyme fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase 1 (FBP1) is uniformly depleted in over six hundred ccRCC tumours examined. Notably, the human FBP1 locus resides on chromosome 9q22, the loss of which is associated with poor prognosis for ccRCC patients. Our data further indicate that FBP1 inhibits ccRCC progression through two distinct mechanisms. First, FBP1 antagonizes glycolytic flux in renal tubular epithelial cells, the presumptive ccRCC cell of origin, thereby inhibiting a potential Warburg effect. Second, in pVHL (the protein encoded by the VHL gene)-deficient ccRCC cells, FBP1 restrains cell proliferation, glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway in a catalytic-activity-independent manner, by inhibiting nuclear HIF function via direct interaction with the HIF inhibitory domain. This unique dual function of the FBP1 protein explains its ubiquitous loss in ccRCC, distinguishing FBP1 from previously identified tumour suppressors that are not consistently mutated in all tumours.

Musilova P, Drbalova J, Kubickova S, et al.
Illegitimate recombination between T cell receptor genes in humans and pigs (Sus scrofa domestica).
Chromosome Res. 2014; 22(4):483-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
T cell receptor (TCR) genes (TRA/TRD, TRB and TRG) reside in three regions on human chromosomes (14q11.2, 7q34 and 7p14, respectively) and pig chromosomes (7q15.3-q21, 18q11.3-q12 and 9q21-22, respectively). During the maturation of T cells, TCR genes are rearranged by site-specific recombination. Occasionally, interlocus recombination of different TCR genes takes place, resulting in chromosome rearrangements. It has been suggested that the absolute number of these "innocent" trans-rearrangements correlates with the risk of lymphoma. The aims of this work were to assess the frequencies of rearrangements with breakpoints in TCR genes in domestic pig lymphocytes and to compare these with the frequencies of corresponding rearrangements in human lymphocytes by using fluorescence in situ hybridization with chromosome painting probes. We show that frequencies of trans-rearrangements involving TRA/TRD locus in pigs are significantly higher than the frequency of translocations with breakpoints in TRB and TRG genes in pigs and the frequencies of corresponding trans-rearrangements involving TRA/TRD locus in humans. Complex structure of the pig TRA/TRD locus with high number of potential V(D)J rearrangements compared to the human locus may account for the observed differences. Furthermore, we demonstrated that trans-rearrangements involving pig TRA/TRD locus occur at lower frequencies in γδ T cells than in αβ T lymphocytes. The decrease of the frequencies in γδ T cells is probably caused by the absence of TRA recombination during maturation of this T cell lineage. High numbers of innocent trans-rearrangements in pigs may indicate a higher risk of T-cell lymphoma than in humans.

Wang XQ, Terry PD, Cheng L, et al.
Interactions between pork consumption, CagA status and IL-1B-31 genotypes in gastric cancer.
World J Gastroenterol. 2014; 20(25):8151-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To explore potential interactions among Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), CagA status, interleukin (IL)-1B-31 genotypes, and non-cardiac gastric cancer (GC) risk.
METHODS: A case-control study of non-cardia GC was performed at 3 hospitals located in Xi'an, China, between September 2008 and July 2010. We included 171 patients with histologically diagnosed primary non-cardia GC and 367 population based controls (matched by sex, age and city of residence). A standardized questionnaire was used to obtain information regarding potential risk factors, including pork consumption. H. pylori CagA status was assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and IL-1B-31 genotypes were determined by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Multivariate unconditional logistic regression was used to explore potential interactions among the factors.
RESULTS: The CagA appeared to confer an increased risk of GC (OR = 1.81, 95%CI: 1.25-2.61). The main associations with IL-1B-31C allele here were 0.98 (95%CI: 0.59-1.63) for CC vs TT and 0.99 (95%CI: 0.64-1.51) for C Carriers vs TT. However, no associations were observed for CagA or IL-1B-31 genotype status among subjects who reported low pork consumption (P for interaction = 0.11). In contrast, high pork consumption and IL-1B-31C genotypes appeared to synergistically increase GC risk (P for interaction = 0.048) after adjusting for confounding factors, particularly among subjects with CagA (OR = 3.07, 95%CI: 1.17-10.79). We did not observe effect modification of pork consumption by H. pylori CagA status, or between H. pylori CagA status and IL-1B-31 genotypes after adjustment for pork consumption and other factors.
CONCLUSION: These interaction relationships among CagA, IL-1B-31 and pork consumption may have implications for development of the preventive strategies for the early detection of non-cardiac GC.

Kim A, Im M, Yim NH, et al.
A novel herbal medicine, KIOM-C, induces autophagic and apoptotic cell death mediated by activation of JNK and reactive oxygen species in HT1080 human fibrosarcoma cells.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e98703 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
KIOM-C was recently demonstrated to have anti-metastatic activity in highly malignant cancer cells via suppression of NF-κB-mediated MMP-9 activity. In addition, it was reported to be effective for clearance of the influenza virus by increasing production of anti-viral cytokines, such as TNF-α and IFN-γ, and efficacious in the treatment of pigs suffering from porcine circovirus-associated disease (PCVAD). In this study, we investigated whether KIOM-C induces cancer cell death and elucidated the underlying anti-cancer mechanisms. In addition, we examined whether KIOM-C oral administration suppresses in vivo tumor growth of HT1080 cells in athymic nude mice. We initially found that KIOM-C at concentrations of 500 and 1000 µg/ml caused dose- and time-dependent cell death in cancer cells, but not normal hepatocytes, to approximately 50% of control levels. At the early stage of KIOM-C treatment (12 h), cells were arrested in G1 phase, which was accompanied by up-regulation of p21 and p27, down-regulation of cyclin D1, and subsequent increases in apoptotic and autophagic cells. Following KIOM-C treatment, the extent of caspase-3 activation, PARP cleavage, Beclin-1 expression, and LC3-II conversion was remarkably up-regulated, but p62 expression was down-regulated. Phosphorylation of AMPK, ULK, JNK, c-jun, and p53 was increased significantly in response to KIOM-C treatment. The levels of intracellular ROS and CHOP expression were also increased. In particular, the JNK-specific inhibitor SP600125 blocked KIOM-C-induced ROS generation and CHOP expression almost completely, which consequently almost completely rescued cell death, indicating that JNK activation plays a critical role in KIOM-C-induced cell death. Furthermore, daily oral administration of 85 and 170 mg/kg KIOM-C efficiently suppressed the tumorigenic growth of HT1080 cells, without systemic toxicity. These results collectively suggest that KIOM-C efficiently induces cancer cell death by both autophagy and apoptosis via activation of JNK signaling pathways, and KIOM-C represents a safe and potent herbal therapy for treating malignancies.

Kim J, Ahn H, Woo HM, et al.
Generation of liver-specific TGF-α and c-Myc-overexpressing fibroblasts for future creation of a liver cancer porcine model.
Mol Med Rep. 2014; 10(1):329-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
Liver cancer is one of the most serious life-threatening diseases in the world. Although the rodent model of hepatocellar carcinoma (HCC) is commonly used, it is limited when considering preclinical applications, including transarterial chemoembolization. The pig is a more appropriate model for applying preclinical procedures as it has similar anatomical and physiological characteristics to humans. In the current study, transgenic fibroblasts were generated that overexpressed two proto-oncogenes specifically in hepatocytes. Porcine TGF-α and c-myc genes were isolated and these were linked with the porcine albumin promoter, which has exhibited selective activity in liver cells. Targeting vectors were introduced into the porcine fibroblasts using a liposome-mediated delivery system and the transgenic cell line was screened with 3 weeks of G-418 treatment. Selected vector‑positive colonies were further confirmed with polymerase chain reaction-based genotyping. Thus, the transgenic cell lines created in the current study should induce liver cancer in pig models following somatic cell nuclear transfer.

Lai CW, Chen HL, Lin KY, et al.
FTSJ2, a heat shock-inducible mitochondrial protein, suppresses cell invasion and migration.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e90818 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ribosomal RNA large subunit methyltransferase J (RrmJ), an Escherichia coli heat shock protein, is responsible for 2'-O-ribose methylation in 23S rRNA. In mammals, three close homologs of RrmJ have been identified and have been designated as FTSJ1, FTSJ2 and FTSJ3; however, little is known about these genes. In this study, we characterized the mammalian FTSJ2, which was the most related protein to RrmJ in a phylogenetic analysis that had similar amino acid sequence features and tertiary protein structures of RrmJ. FTSJ2 was first identified in this study as a nucleus encoded mitochondrial protein that preserves the heat shock protein character in mammals in which the mRNA expressions was increased in porcine lung tissues and A549 cells after heat shock treatment. In addition, a recent study in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) suggested that the FTSJ2 gene is located in a novel oncogenic locus. However, our results demonstrate that the expression of FTSJ2 mRNA was decreased in the more invasive subline (CL1-5) of the lung adenocarcinoma cells (CL1) compared with the less invasive subline (CL1-0), and overexpression of FTSJ2 resulted in the inhibition of cell invasion and migration in the rhabdomyosarcoma cell (TE671). In conclusion, our findings indicate that mammalian FTSJ2 is a mitochondrial ortholog of E. coli RrmJ and conserves the heat shock protein properties. Moreover, FTSJ2 possesses suppressive effects on the invasion and migration of cancer cells.

Wu J, Liu S, Yu J, et al.
Vertically integrated translational studies of PDX1 as a therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer via a novel bifunctional RNAi platform.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2014; 21(2):48-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
RNA interference (RNAi) represents a powerful, new tool for scientific investigation as well as a promising new form of targeted gene therapy, with applications currently in clinical trials. Bifunctional short hairpin RNA (shRNA) are synthetic RNAi molecules, engineered to utilize multiple endogenous RNAi pathways to specifically silence target genes. Pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 (PDX1) is a key regulator of pancreatic development, β-cell differentiation, normal β-cell function and pancreatic cancer. Our aim is to review the process of identifying PDX1 as a specific, potential RNAi target in pancreatic cancer, as well as the underlying mechanisms and various forms of RNAi, with subsequent testing and development of PDX1-targeted bifunctional shRNA therapy.

Zhan Y, Wang L, Liu J, et al.
Choline plasmalogens isolated from swine liver inhibit hepatoma cell proliferation associated with caveolin-1/Akt signaling.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e77387 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Plasmalogens play multiple roles in the structures of biological membranes, cell membrane lipid homeostasis and human diseases. We report the isolation and identification of choline plasmalogens (ChoPlas) from swine liver by high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)/MS. The growth and viability of hepatoma cells (CBRH7919, HepG2 and SMMC7721) was determined following ChoPlas treatment comparing with that of human normal immortal cell lines (HL7702). Result indicated that ChoPlas inhibited hepatoma cell proliferation with an optimal concentration and time of 25 μmol/L and 24 h. To better understand the mechanism of the ChoPlas-induced inhibition of hepatoma cell proliferation, Caveolin-1 and PI3K/Akt pathway signals, including total Akt, phospho-Akt(pAkt) and Bcl-2 expression in CBRH7919 cells, were determined by western blot. ChoPlas treatment increased Caveolin-1 expression and reduced the expression of phospho-Akt (pAkt) and Bcl-2, downstream targets of the PI3K/Akt pathway. Further cell cycle analysis showed that ChoPlas treatment induced G1 and G1/S phase transition cell cycle arrest. The expression of essential cell cycle regulatory proteins involved in the G1 and G1/S phase transitions, cyclin D, CDK4, cyclin E and CDK2, were also analyzed by western blot. ChoPlas reduced CDK4, cyclin E and CDK2 expression. Taken together, the results indicate that swine liver-derived natural ChoPlas inhibits hepatoma cell proliferation associated with Caveolin-1 and PI3K/Akt signals.

Wang C, Lv X, He C, et al.
The G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor agonist G-1 suppresses proliferation of ovarian cancer cells by blocking tubulin polymerization.
Cell Death Dis. 2013; 4:e869 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1 (GPER) has recently been reported to mediate the non-genomic action of estrogen in different types of cells and tissues. G-1 (1-[4-(6-bromobenzo[1,3] dioxol-5yl)-3a,4,5,9b-tetrahydro-3H-cyclopenta[c]quinolin-8-yl]-ethanone) was developed as a potent and selective agonist for GPER. G-1 has been shown to induce the expression of genes and activate pathways that facilitate cancer cell proliferation by activating GPER. Here we demonstrate that G-1 has an anticancer potential with a mechanism similar to vinca alkaloids, the commonly used chemotherapy drugs. We found that G-1 blocks tubulin polymerization and thereby interrupts microtubule assembly in ovarian cancer cells leading to the arrest of cell cycle in the prophase of mitosis and the suppression of ovarian cancer cell proliferation. G-1 treatment also induces apoptosis of ovarian cancer cells. The ability of G-1 to target microtubules to suppress ovarian cancer cell proliferation makes it a promising candidate drug for treatment of ovarian cancer.

Balasubramaniam VR, Hong Wai T, Ario Tejo B, et al.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus nucleoprotein interacts with TREX complex adaptor protein Aly/REF.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(9):e72429 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We constructed a novel chicken (Gallus gallus) lung cDNA library fused inside yeast acting domain vector (pGADT7). Using yeast two-hybrid screening with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) nucleoprotein (NP) from the strain (A/chicken/Malaysia/5858/2004(H5N1)) as bait, and the Gallus gallus lung cDNA library as prey, a novel interaction between the Gallus gallus cellular RNA export adaptor protein Aly/REF and the viral NP was identified. This interaction was confirmed and validated with mammalian two hybrid studies and co-immunoprecipitation assay. Cellular localization studies using confocal microscopy showed that NP and Aly/REF co-localize primarily in the nucleus. Further investigations by mammalian two hybrid studies into the binding of NP of other subtypes of influenza virus such as the swine A/New Jersey/1976/H1N1 and pandemic A/Malaysia/854/2009(H1N1) to human Aly/REF, also showed that the NP of these viruses interacts with human Aly/REF. Our findings are also supported by docking studies which showed tight and favorable binding between H5N1 NP and human Aly/REF, using crystal structures from Protein Data Bank. siRNA knockdown of Aly/REF had little effect on the export of HPAI NP and other viral RNA as it showed no significant reduction in virus titer. However, UAP56, another component of the TREX complex, which recruits Aly/REF to mRNA was found to interact even better with H5N1 NP through molecular docking studies. Both these proteins also co-localizes in the nucleus at early infection similar to Aly/REF. Intriguingly, knockdown of UAP56 in A549 infected cells shows significant reduction in viral titer (close to 10 fold reduction). Conclusively, our study have opened new avenues for research of other cellular RNA export adaptors crucial in aiding viral RNA export such as the SRSF3, 9G8 and ASF/SF2 that may play role in influenza virus RNA nucleocytoplasmic transport.

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