A chimeric protein PTEN-L-p53 enters U251 cells to repress proliferation and invasion

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PTEN, a well-known tumor suppressor, dephosphorylates PIP3 and inhibits AKT activity. A translational variant of PTEN has been identified and termed PTEN-Long (PTEN-L). The additional 173 amino acids (PTEN-L leader) at the N-terminal constitute a potential signal peptide. Differing from canonical PTEN, PTEN-L is secreted into the extracellular fluid and re-enters recipient cells, playing the similar roles as PTEN in vivo and in vitro. This character confers the PTEN-L a therapeutic ability via directly protein delivering instead of traditional DNA and RNA vector options. In the present study, we employed PTEN-L leader to assemble a fusion protein, PTEN-L-p53, inosculated with the transcriptional regulator TP53, which is another powerful tumor suppressor. We overexpressed PTEN-L-p53 in HEK293T cells and detected it in both the cytoplasm and nucleus. Subsequently, we found that PTEN-L-p53 was secreted outside of the cells and detected in the culture media by immunoblotting. Furthermore, we demonstrated that PTEN-L-p53 freely entered the cells and suppressed the viability of U251cells (p53R273H, a cell line with p53 R273H-mutation). PTEN-L-p53 is composed of endogenous protein/peptide bearing low immunogenicity, and only the junction region between PTEN-L leader and p53 can act as a new immune epitope. Accordingly, this fusion protein can potentially be used as a therapeutic option for TP53-abnormality cancers.

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