The human Y-encoded testis-specific protein interacts functionally with eukaryotic translation elongation factor eEF1A, a putative oncoprotein

Tatsuo Kido, Yun-Fai Chris Lau
International Journal of Cancer. Journal International du Cancer 2008 October 1, 123 (7): 1573-85
Testis-specific protein Y-encoded (TSPY) is the putative gene for the gonadoblastoma locus on the Y chromosome. TSPY is expressed in normal germ cells of fetal and adult testis and ectopically in tumor germ cells, including gonadoblastoma in intersex patients, testicular germ cell tumors, prostate cancer and other somatic cancers. It is a member of the TSPY/SET/NAP1 superfamily and harbors a highly conserved domain, termed SET/NAP domain. To explore its possible role(s) in tumorigenesis, we had performed a yeast two-hybrid screen of a fetal gonadal cDNA library and identified the translation elongation factor eEF1A as a binding partner for TSPY at the SET/NAP domain. TSPY and eEF1A were highly expressed and colocalized in tumor germ cells of human seminoma specimens, suggesting their possible interaction in germ cell tumors. They were colocalized in the cytoplasm and could be co-immunoprecipitated from transfected COS7 cells. Significantly, both eEF1A1 and eEF1A2 have postulated to be involved in various types of human cancer, including breast and prostate cancers. TSPY enhanced protein synthesis of a reporter gene, which was augmented by an overexpression of eEF1A. TSPY also increased the nuclear redistribution of eEF1A, resulting in a parallel increase in reporter gene transcripts. Our results suggest that TSPY could exert its oncogenic function(s) by interacting with eEF1As and stimulating gene expression via its enhancements in protein synthesis and gene transcription.

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