Open Access Open Badges Research article

Junction region of EWS-FLI1 fusion protein has a dominant negative effect in Ewing’s Sarcoma in vitro

Babu Jully, Ramshankar Vijayalakshmi, Gopisetty Gopal, Kesavan Sabitha and Thangarajan Rajkumar*

Author affiliations

Department of Molecular Oncology, Cancer Institute (WIA), 38, Sardar Patel Road, Chennai, 600036, India

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Cancer 2012, 12:513  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-513

Published: 12 November 2012



Ewing’s sarcoma is a malignancy characterized by a specific 11:22 chromosomal translocation which generates a novel EWS-FLI1 fusion protein functioning as an aberrant transcription factor. In the present study, we have further characterized the junction region of the EWS-FLI1 fusion protein.


In-silico model of EWS-FLI1 fusion protein was analysed for ligand binding sites, and a putative region (amino acid (aa) 251–343 of the type 1 fusion protein) in the vicinity of the fusion junction was cloned and expressed using bacterial expression. The recombinant protein was characterized by Circular Dichroism (CD). We then expressed aa 251–280 ectopically in Ewing’s sarcoma cell-line and its effect on cell proliferation, tumorigenicity and expression of EWS-FLI1 target genes were analysed.


Our modelling analysis indicated that Junction region (aa 251–343) encompasses potential ligand biding sites in the EWS-FLI1 protein and when expressed in bacteria was present as soluble form. Ectopically expressing this region in Ewing’s sarcoma cells inhibited tumorigenicity, and EWS-FLI1 target genes indicating a dominant negative biological effect.


Junction region can be exploited further as target for drug development in future to specifically target EWS-FLI1 in Ewing’s Sarcoma.