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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Oct 22;277(2):476-86.

Differential gene expression in apoptosis: identification of ribosomal protein S29 as an apoptotic inducer.

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Department of Biochemistry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi, 110029, India.


To identify genes that are specifically involved in apoptosis, poly(A)(+) RNAs were isolated from untreated control rat thymocytes and from adriamycin-induced apoptotic thymocytes. Directionally cloned cDNA libraries were then constructed in UNIZAP-XR vectors followed by biotin-based subtractive hybridization. Three clones were confirmed to be differentially expressed by dot blotting. Sequence analysis revealed homology to two genes previously identified, whereas one clone was novel and did not have homology to any known sequence. One clone was identical to the ribosomal protein S29, and the other was homologous to L8 ribosomal protein. Northern blot analysis revealed a marked increase in the expression of mRNA encoding ribosomal protein S29 in the apoptotic thymocytes compared to the controls. Transfection studies revealed that enhanced S29 expression resulted in increased apoptosis in rat thymocytes and HeLa cells as assessed by various morphological and biochemical characteristics, including cell shrinkage, chromatin condensation, membrane blebbing, formation of apoptotic bodies, TUNEL, FACS, and internucleosomal DNA fragmentation. This was accompanied by upregulation of p53, Caspase 3, and bax, whereas bcl-2 was downregulated as revealed by Western blotting. The current findings provide the first hint of a role for ribosomal protein S29 in the apoptotic process.

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