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Mol Carcinog. 2002 Nov;35(3):110-26.

Induction of marked apoptosis in mammalian cancer cell lines by antisense DNA treatment to abolish expression of DENN (differentially expressed in normal and neoplastic cells).

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Human Genome Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Kent Ridge, Singapore.


We previously reported the isolation of the novel human DENN gene, which is differentially expressed in normal and neoplastic cells. DENN is identical to MADD (mitogen-activated protein kinase-activating death domain), which interacts with tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 through their death domains. DENN is also homologous to Rab3 GEP, a rat Rab3 GDP/GTP exchange protein. Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that DENN expression in cancer cell lines was 26-50 times that in normal cells. The Jurkat human leukemia, PLC/PRF/5 human hepatoma, and NS-1 mouse myeloma cell lines as well as the MRC-5 human fetal lung and Vero monkey kidney cell lines were treated successfully with four separate DENN-targeted antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) to abrogate DENN expression. Quantitative assessment of cell viability and apoptosis by flow cytometry via fluorescein diacetate and propidium iodide membrane-integrity tests, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine 5-triphosphate-biotin nick end-labeling, and annexin V assays showed that antisense silencing of DENN resulted in markedly more pronounced cell death in cancer cells compared with nonmalignant cells. Antisense-treated cell lines exhibited extensive loss of DNA content, forming distinct sub-G(1) peaks, while cell proliferation diminished significantly. Ultrastructural features of programmed cell death in cells subjected to antisense ODNs were authenticated by electron microscopy. In contrast, transfection of cell lines with a plasmid construct to achieve DENN overexpression augmented cellular proliferation and could reverse the apoptotic effect of antisense and staurosporine treatment. Our findings suggest that DENN is intimately involved in anti-apoptotic and cell-survival processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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