Nuclear BAG-1 expression inhibits apoptosis in colorectal adenoma-derived epithelial cells

Apoptosis. 2005 Mar;10(2):301-11. doi: 10.1007/s10495-005-0804-8.


BAG-1 is an anti-apoptotic protein that is frequently deregulated in a variety of malignancies including colorectal cancer. There are three isoforms: BAG-1L is located in the nucleus, BAG-1M and BAG-1S are located both in the nucleus and the cytoplasm. In colon cancer, the expression of nuclear BAG-1 is associated with poorer prognosis and is potentially a useful predictive factor for distant metastasis. However, the function of BAG-1 in colonic epithelial cells has not been studied. Having previously shown a predominant nuclear localisation of BAG-1 in adenoma-derived cell lines, we wanted to determine the function of nuclear BAG-1 in these non-tumourigenic cells, to identify whether nuclear BAG-1 was implicated in tumour progression in the colon. In the current report we established that nuclear BAG-1 inhibits apoptosis in a colorectal adenoma-derived cell line. We demonstrate that apoptosis induced by gamma-radiation or the vitamin D analogue EB1089 in the non-tumourigenic human colorectal adenoma-derived S/RG/C2 cell line, was preceded by a decrease in nuclear and an increase in cytoplasmic BAG-1 expression. This change in subcellular localisation of BAG-1 was due to the redistribution of the BAG-1M isoform. In addition, we have shown that the maintenance of high nuclear BAG-1 through enforced expression of the nuclear localised BAG-1L isoform enhanced cellular survival after gamma-radiation or exposure to EB1089. Furthermore the expression of cytoplasmic BAG-1S isoform fused with a nuclear localisation signal protected against gamma-radiation induced apoptosis. This demonstrates that nuclear localisation of the BAG-1 protein confers a survival advantage in colorectal adenoma-derived cells and that nuclear BAG-1 could potentially be an important survival factor in colorectal carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Blotting, Western
  • Calcitriol / analogs & derivatives
  • Calcitriol / pharmacology
  • Carrier Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Gamma Rays
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Humans
  • Luciferases / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Prognosis
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transfection
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives


  • BCL2-associated athanogene 1 protein
  • Carrier Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Transcription Factors
  • Vitamin D
  • Luciferases
  • Calcitriol
  • seocalcitol