Research Papers:

Alternative splicing of synuclein gamma in endometrial cancer: identification of a novel isoform

Kathrin Schaal _, Marc Hirschfeld, Peter Bronsert, Hannah Füllgraf, Markus Jäger, Bettina Herde, Claudia Nöthling, Sebastian Mayer, Thalia Erbes and Elmar Stickeler

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:22553-22563. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.4155

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Kathrin Schaal1,2, Marc Hirschfeld1,3,4, Peter Bronsert3,4,5,6, Hannah Füllgraf5,6, Markus Jäger1, Bettina Herde5, Claudia Nöthling1, Sebastian Mayer1, Thalia Erbes1, Elmar Stickeler1,3,4,6

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Medical Center, Freiburg, Germany

2Department of Urology, University Medical Center, Freiburg, Germany

3German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Freiburg, Germany

4German Cancer Research Center (DKZF), Heidelberg, Germany

5Institute of Surgical Pathology, University Medical Center, Freiburg, Germany

6Comprehensive Cancer Center, University Medical Center, Freiburg, Germany

Correspondence to:

Elmar Stickeler, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: synuclein gamma, SNCG, alternative splicing, endometrial cancer, biomarker

Received: February 10, 2015     Accepted: May 23, 2015     Published: June 05, 2015


Synuclein gamma (SNCG) is under consideration as a potential biomarker in cancer biology. Up to date four different SNCG variants are described. Due to growing evidence suggesting correlations between aberrant alternative splicing processes and cancer progression, we investigated the effects of peritumoural conditions on expression pattern of SNCG in endometrial cancer (EC) in vitro. Compared to breast cancer cell lines, mRNA expression levels of all known SNCG isoforms 1–4 are significantly reduced in EC cell lines. We identified a novel alternatively spliced variant of isoform 2 (isoform 2 short) which is found highly expressed in EC cell lines. Hypoxia and acidosis trigger an up-regulation of isoform 2 short. EC cell lines are characterized by low SNCG protein levels under control conditions, but exhibit a significant increase triggered by hypoxia and acidosis. In addition we analysed the potential association between SNCG protein expression and clinico-pathological parameters in human EC samples. Our findings indicate a grade-dependent induction of SNCG protein expression in endometrial cancer.

We identified for the first time a novel isoform of SNCG that is found specifically expressed in EC. Our results also strongly indicate the existence of a corresponding protein of isoform 2 short that potentially plays a critical role in EC cancer progression.

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