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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Differential expression of THOC1 and ALY mRNP biogenesis/export factors in human cancers

María S Domínguez-Sánchez1, Carmen Sáez2, Miguel A Japón2, Andrés Aguilera1 and Rosa Luna1*

Author Affiliations

1 Centro Andaluz de Biología Molecular y Medicina Regenerativa CABIMER, Universidad de Sevilla-CSIC, Av. Américo Vespucio s/n, 41092 Sevilla, Spain

2 Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla (IBIS) and Department of Pathology, Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío/Universidad de Sevilla/CSIC, Av. Manuel Siurot s/n, 41013 Sevilla, Spain

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BMC Cancer 2011, 11:77  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-77

Published: 17 February 2011

Abstract

Background

One key step in gene expression is the biogenesis of mRNA ribonucleoparticle complexes (mRNPs). Formation of the mRNP requires the participation of a number of conserved factors such as the THO complex. THO interacts physically and functionally with the Sub2/UAP56 RNA-dependent ATPase, and the Yra1/REF1/ALY RNA-binding protein linking transcription, mRNA export and genome integrity. Given the link between genome instability and cancer, we have performed a comparative analysis of the expression patterns of THOC1, a THO complex subunit, and ALY in tumor samples.

Methods

The mRNA levels were measured by quantitative real-time PCR and hybridization of a tumor tissue cDNA array; and the protein levels and distribution by immunostaining of a custom tissue array containing a set of paraffin-embedded samples of different tumor and normal tissues followed by statistical analysis.

Results

We show that the expression of two mRNP factors, THOC1 and ALY are altered in several tumor tissues. THOC1 mRNA and protein levels are up-regulated in ovarian and lung tumors and down-regulated in those of testis and skin, whereas ALY is altered in a wide variety of tumors. In contrast to THOC1, ALY protein is highly detected in normal proliferative cells, but poorly in high-grade cancers.

Conclusions

These results suggest a differential connection between tumorogenesis and the expression levels of human THO and ALY. This study opens the possibility of defining mRNP biogenesis factors as putative players in cell proliferation that could contribute to tumor development.