Isoform-specific expression of 14-3-3 proteins in human lung cancer tissues.


14-3-3 Proteins play important roles in a wide range of vital regulatory processes, including signal transduction, apoptosis, cell cycle progression and DNA replication. In mammalian cells, 7 14-3-3 isoforms (beta, gamma, epsilon, eta, sigma, theta and zeta) have been identified and each of these seems to have distinct tissue localizations and isoform-specific functions. Previous studies have shown that 14-3-3 protein levels are higher in human lung cancers as compared to normal tissues. It is unclear, however, which of the 14-3-3 isoform(s) are overexpressed in these cancers. In our study, the levels of all seven 14-3-3 isoforms were examined by RT-PCR and Western blotting. We show that the message for only two isoforms, 14-3-3epsilon and zeta, could be detected in normal tissues. In lung cancer biopsies, however, four isoforms, 14-3-3beta, gamma, sigma, and theta;, in addition to 14-3-3epsilon and zeta, were present in abundance. The expression frequency of 14-3-3beta, gamma, sigma and theta; isoforms was 11, 10, 13 and 8 of the 14 biopsies examined, respectively. The data from immunohistochemical staining and Western blotting were consistent with the RT-PCR results. Given the prevalence of elevated 14-3-3 expression in human lung cancers we propose that these proteins may be involved in lung cancer tumorigenesis and that specific 14-3-3 proteins may be useful as markers for lung cancer diagnosis and targets for therapy.


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  • Liu X
  • Martinez JD
  • Qi W
  • Qiao D
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Appears In
Int J Cancer, 2005, 113 (3)