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Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0716-9760


MENG, Minjun et al. Knockdown of PAICS inhibits malignant proliferation of human breast cancer cell lines. Biol. Res. [online]. 2018, vol.51, 24.  Epub Aug 29, 2018. ISSN 0716-9760.


Phosphoribosylaminoimidazole carboxylase, phosphoribosylaminoimidazole succinocarboxamide synthetase (PAICS), an enzyme required for de novo purine biosynthesis, is associated with and involved in tumorigenesis. This study aimed to evaluate the role of PAICS in human breast cancer, which remains the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related death among women in less developed countries.


Lentivirus-based short hairpin RNA targeting PAICS specifically depleted its endogenous expression in ZR-75-30 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Depletion of PAICS led to a significant decrease in cell viability and proliferation. To ascertain the mechanisms through which PAICS modulates cell proliferation, flow cytometry was performed, and it was confirmed that G1-S transition was blocked in ZR-75-30 cells through PAICS knockdown. This might have occurred partly through the suppression of Cyclin E and the upregulation of Cyclin D1, P21, and CDK4. Moreover, PAICS knockdown obviously promoted cell apoptosis in ZR-75-30 cells through the activation of PARP and caspase 3 and downregulation of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl expression in ZR-75-30 cells.


These findings demonstrate that PAICS plays an essential role in breast cancer proliferation in vitro, which provides a new opportunity for discovering and identifying novel effective treatment strategies.

Keywords : Breast cancer; PAICS; Proliferation; Cell cycle; Cell apoptosis.

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