CIZ1-F, an alternatively spliced variant of the DNA replication protein CIZ1 with distinct expression and localisation, is overrepresented in early stage common solid tumours

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CIZ1 promotes cyclin-dependent DNA replication and resides in sub-nuclear foci that are part of the protein nuclear matrix (NM), and in RNA assemblies that are enriched at the inactive X chromosome (Xi) in female cells. It is subjected to alternative splicing, with specific variants implicated in adult and paediatric cancers. CIZ1-F is characterized by a frame shift that results from splicing exons 8-12 leading to inclusion of a short alternative reading frame (ARF), excluding the previously characterized C-terminal NM anchor domain. Here, we apply a set of novel variant-selective molecular tools targeted to the ARF to profile the expression of CIZ1-F at both transcript and protein levels, with focus on its relationship with the RNA-dependent and -independent fractions of the NM. Unlike full-length CIZ1, CIZ1-F does not accumulate at Xi, though like full-length CIZ1 it does resist extraction with DNase. Notably, CIZ1-F is sensitive to RNase identifying it as part of the RNA-fraction of the NM. In quiescent cells CIZ1-F transcript expression is suppressed and CIZ1-F protein is excluded from the nucleus, with re-expression not observed until the second cell cycle after exit from quiescence. Importantly, CIZ1-F is over-expressed in common solid tumours including colon and breast, pronounced in early stage but not highly-proliferative late stage tumours. Moreover, expression was significantly higher in hormone receptor negative breast tumours than receptor positive tumours. Together these data show that CIZ1-F is expressed in proliferating cells in an unusual cell cycle-dependent manner, and suggest that it may have potential as a tumour biomarker.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalCell cycle
Early online date6 Oct 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Oct 2018

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