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Open Access Research article

Differential detection of alternatively spliced variants of Ciz1 in normal and cancer cells using a custom exon-junction microarray

Faisal A Rahman12, Naveed Aziz1 and Dawn Coverley1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biology, University of York, UK

2 Parkwood Hospital, Blackpool, UK

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BMC Cancer 2010, 10:482  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-482

Published: 10 September 2010



Ciz1 promotes initiation of mammalian DNA replication and is present within nuclear matrix associated DNA replication factories. Depletion of Ciz1 from normal and cancer cells restrains entry to S phase and inhibits cell proliferation. Several alternative splicing events with putative functional consequences have been identified and reported, but many more variants are predicted to exist based on publicly available mRNAs and expressed sequence tags.


Here we report the development and validation of a custom exon and exon-junction microarray focused on the human CIZ1 gene, capable of reproducible detection of differential splice-variant expression.


Using a pair of paediatric cancer cell lines and a pool of eight normal lines as reference, the array identified expected and novel CIZ1 splicing events. One novel variant (delta 8-12) that encodes a predicted protein lacking key functional sites, was validated by quantitative RT-PCR and found to be over-represented in a range of other cancer cell lines, and over half of a panel of primary lung tumours.


Expression of CIZ1 delta 8-12 appears to be restricted to cancer cells, and may therefore be a useful novel biomarker