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Cell Death Dis. 2012 Apr 12;3:e296. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2012.34.

Human Gyrovirus Apoptin shows a similar subcellular distribution pattern and apoptosis induction as the chicken anaemia virus derived VP3/Apoptin.

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  • 1Head and Neck Oncology Group, Department of Oral Pathology, King's College London Dental Institute, Guy's Hospital Campus, London SE1 9RT, UK.


The chicken anaemia virus-derived protein Apoptin/VP3 (CAV-Apoptin) has the important ability to induce tumour-selective apoptosis in a variety of human cancer cells. Recently the first human Gyrovirus (HGyV) was isolated from a human skin swab. It shows significant structural and organisational resemblance to CAV and encodes a homologue of CAV-Apoptin/VP3. Using overlapping primers we constructed a synthetic human Gyrovirus Apoptin (HGyV-Apoptin) fused to green fluorescent protein in order to compare its apoptotic function in various human cancer cell lines to CAV-Apoptin. HGyV-Apoptin displayed a similar subcellular expression pattern as observed for CAV-Apoptin, marked by translocation to the nucleus of cancer cells, although it is predominantly located in the cytosol of normal human cells. Furthermore, expression of either HGyV-Apoptin or CAV-Apoptin in several cancer cell lines triggered apoptosis at comparable levels. These findings indicate a potential anti-cancer role for HGyV-Apoptin.

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