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The G-quadruplex augments translation in the 5′ untranslated region of transforming growth factor β2
P. Agarwala, S. Pandey, , S. Maiti
Published in
PMID: 23387555
Volume: 52
Issue: 9
Pages: 1528 - 1538
Transforming growth factor β2 (TGFβ2) is a versatile cytokine with a prominent role in cell migration, invasion, cellular development, and immunomodulation. TGFβ2 promotes the malignancy of tumors by inducing epithelial-mesenchymal transition, angiogenesis, and immunosuppression. As it is well-documented that nucleic acid secondary structure can regulate gene expression, we assessed whether any secondary motif regulates its expression at the post-transcriptional level. Bioinformatics analysis predicts an existence of a 23-nucleotide putative G-quadruplex sequence (PG4) in the 5′ untranslated region (UTR) of TGFβ2 mRNA. The ability of this stretch of sequence to form a highly stable, intramolecular parallel quadruplex was demonstrated using ultraviolet and circular dichroism spectroscopy. Footprinting studies further validated its existence in the presence of a neighboring nucleotide sequence. Following structural characterization, we evaluated the biological relevance of this secondary motif using a dual luciferase assay. Although PG4 inhibits the expression of the reporter gene, its presence in the context of the entire 5′ UTR sequence interestingly enhances gene expression. Mutation or removal of the G-quadruplex sequence from the 5′ UTR of the gene diminished the level of expression of this gene at the translational level. Thus, here we highlight an activating role of the G-quadruplex in modulating gene expression of TGFβ2 at the translational level and its potential to be used as a target for the development of therapeutics against cancer. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
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