The cancer/testis antigen prostate-associated gene 4 (PAGE4) is a highly intrinsically disordered protein

Yu Zeng, Yanan He, Fan Yang, Steven M. Mooney, Robert H. Getzenberg, John Orban, Prakash Kulkarni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The cancer/testis antigens (CTAs) are an important group of heterogeneous proteins that are predominantly expressedinthe testis in the normal human adult but are aberrantly expressed in several types of cancers. Prostate-associated gene4(PAGE4) isa member of the CT-X family of CTAs that in addition to testis, is highly expressed in the fetal prostate, and may also play an important role both in benign and malignant prostate diseases. However, the function of this gene remains poorly understood. Here, we show that PAGE4 is a highly (100%) intrinsically disordered protein (IDP). The primary protein sequence conforms to the features of a typical IDP sequence and the secondary structure prediction algorithm metaPrDOS strongly supported this prediction. Furthermore, SDS-gel electrophoresis and analytical size exclusion chromatography of the recombinant protein revealed an anomalous behavior characteristic of IDPs. UV circular dichroism (CD) and NMR spectroscopy confirmed that PAGE4 is indeed a highly disordered protein. In further bioinformatic analysis, the Predict NLS algorithm uncovered a potential nuclear localization signal, whereas the algorithm DBS-Pred returned a 99.1% probability that PAGE4 is a DNA-binding protein. Consistent with this prediction, biochemical experiments showed that PAGE4 preferentially binds a GC-rich sequence. Silencing PAGE4 expression induced cell death via apoptosis and in mice carrying PCa xenografts, siRNA-mediated knockdown of the PAGE4 mRNA attenuated tumor growth in vivo. Furthermore, overexpressing PAGE4 protected cells from stress-induced death. To our knowledge, PAGE4 is the first example of a CTA that is an IDP with an anti-apoptotic function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13985-13994
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 22 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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