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Vet Res. 2013 Jul 22;44:61. doi: 10.1186/1297-9716-44-61.

BAG3 protects bovine papillomavirus type 1-transformed equine fibroblasts against pro-death signals.

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Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II n,132, 84084, Fisciano, Salerno, Italy.


In human cancer cells, BAG3 protein is known to sustain cell survival. Here, for the first time, we demonstrate the expression of BAG3 protein both in equine sarcoids in vivo and in EqS04b cells, a sarcoid-derived fully transformed cell line harbouring bovine papilloma virus (BPV)-1 genome. Evidence of a possible involvement of BAG3 in equine sarcoid carcinogenesis was obtained by immunohistochemistry analysis of tumour samples. We found that most tumour samples stained positive for BAG3, even though to a different grade, while normal dermal fibroblasts from healthy horses displayed very weak staining pattern for BAG3 expression. By siRNA technology, we demonstrate in EqS04b the role of BAG3 in counteracting basal as well as chemical-triggered pro-death signals. BAG3 down-modulation was indeed shown to promote cell death and cell cycle arrest in G0/G1. In addition, we found that BAG3 silencing sensitized EqS04b cells to phenethylisothiocyanate (PEITC), a promising cancer chemopreventive/chemotherapeutic agent present in edible cruciferous vegetables. Notably, such a pro-survival role of BAG3 was less marked in E. Derm cells, an equine BPV-negative fibroblast cell line taken as a normal counterpart. Altogether our findings might suggest a mutual cooperation between BAG3 and viral oncoproteins to sustain cell survival.

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