We have shown earlier that overexpression of the human mitochondrial ribosomal protein MRPS18-2 (S18-2) led to immortalization of primary rat embryonic fibroblasts. The derived cells expressed the embryonic stem cell markers, and cellular pathways that control cell proliferation, oxidative phosphorylation, cellular respiration, and other redox reactions were activated in the immortalized cells. Here we report that, upon overexpression of S18-2 protein, primary rat skin fibroblasts underwent cell transformation. Cells passed more than 300 population doublings, and two out of three tested clones gave rise to tumors in experimental animals. Transformed cells showed anchorage-independent growth and loss of contact inhibition; they expressed epithelial markers, such as E-cadherin and ß-catenin. Transformed cells showed increased telomerase activity, disturbance of the cell cycle, and chromosomal instability. Taken together, our data suggest that S18-2 is a newly identified oncoprotein that may be involved in cancerogenesis.
- Cell transformation
- Chromosomal instability
- Mitochondrial ribosomal protein
- Rat skin fibroblasts
ASJC Scopus subject areas