An N-terminal 78 amino acid truncation of REIC/Dkk-3 effectively induces apoptosis

Fernando Abarzua, Yuji Kashiwakura, Munenori Takaoka, Masami Watanabe, Kazuhiko Ochiai, Masakiyo Sakaguchi, Takao Iwawaki, Ryuta Tanimoto, Yasutomo Nasu, Nam ho Huh, Hiromi Kumon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Overexpression of REIC/Dkk-3 (a tumor suppressor gene) induces cancer cell apoptosis through endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Therefore, the identification of the portion of REIC/Dkk-3 that causes ER stress may be essential for the development of cancer treatment based on REIC/Dkk-3. Here, we made several truncated forms of REIC/Dkk-3 and investigated their therapeutic potentials against prostate cancer. Among three truncated forms, a variant comprising the N-terminal 78 amino acid region of REIC/Dkk-3 (1-78REIC/Dkk-3) most strongly induced ER stress and apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells (PC3). For in vivo gene expression, we coupled a biodegradable polymer with naked DNA, which attained robust trans-gene expression in PC3-derived subcutaneous tumor. In therapeutic experiments, we demonstrated that multiple direct injections of polymer-conjugated 1-78REIC/Dkk-3 plasmid provoke ER stress and significantly reduced the subcutaneous tumor volume compared with the control group. We suggest this non-viral strategy may be an effective alternative to viral gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-618
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 31 2008


  • Cationic biodegradable polymer
  • ER stress
  • Gene therapy
  • REIC/Dkk-3
  • Truncation form

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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