Molecular cloning and characterization of PTEN in the orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides)

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PTEN is a key tumor suppressor gene that can play a regulatory role in the cellular proliferation, survival and apoptosis. In this study, the full-length PTEN (EcPTEN) was obtained, containing a 5′UTR of 745 bp, an ORF of 1269 bp and a 3′UTR of 106 bp. The EcPTEN gene encoded a polypeptide of 422 amino acids with an estimated molecular mass of 49.14 KDa and a predicted isoelectric point (pI) of 6.34. The deduced amino acid sequence analysis showed that EcPTEN comprised the conserved residues and the characteristic domains known to the critical functionality of PTEN. qRT-PCR analysis revealed that EcPTEN mRNA was broadly expressed in all the examined tissues, while the highest expression level was observed in liver, followed by the expression in blood, kidney, spleen, heart, gill, muscle and intestine. The groupers challenged with Vibrio alginolyticus showed a sharp increase of EcPTEN mRNA expression in immune tissues. In addition, western blotting analysis confirmed that the up-regulation of EcPTEN protein expression was steadily induced in liver. Subcellular localization analysis indicated that EcPTEN was localized in both nucleus and cytoplasm. Overexpression of EcPTEN can activate the apoptotic cascade and abrogate NF-kB, AP-1, Stat3 and Myc promoter activity in Hela cells. These results indicated that EcPTEN harboring highly-conserved domains with a close sequence similarity to those of PTP superfamily may disrupt the mammalian signalings and play a regulatory role in the apoptotic process.

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