Porcine Circovirus 2 Viral Protein 3 (PCV-2 VP3) is a homolog of Apoptin, a protein that can selectively target and kill p53-null cancer cells. As many human cancers lack the p53 tumor suppressor, the discovery of p53-independent apoptotic pathways is important for the development of new cancer treatments. Exploring PCV-2 VP3's cellular localization patterns could elucidate the basis for its cancer cell specificity and apoptotic ability. The Nuclear Export Signal and Nuclear Localization Signal were isolated for use in localization experiments. In addition, PCV-2 VP3's apoptotic ability was assessed in a lung carcinoma cell line. This study demonstrates for the first time that PCV-2 VP3, like Apoptin, induces apoptosis in cancer cells via a p53-independent pathway mediated by caspase-3/7.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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Chemistry and Biochemistry