The gene Par-4 (Prostate Apoptosis Response 4) was originally identified in prostate cancer cells undergoing apoptosis and its product Par-4 showed cancer specific pro-apoptotic activity. Particularly, the SAC domain of Par-4 (SAC-Par-4) selectively kills cancer cells leaving normal cells unaffected. The therapeutic significance of bioactive SAC-Par-4 is enormous in cancer biology; however, its large scale production is still a matter of concern. Here we report the production of SAC-Par-4-GFP fusion protein coupled to translational enhancer sequence (5′ AMV) and apoplast signal peptide (aTP) in transgenic Nicotiana tabacum cv. Samsun NN plants under the control of a unique recombinant promoter M24. Transgene integration was confirmed by genomic DNA PCR, Southern and Northern blotting, Real-time PCR, and Nuclear run-on assays. Results of Western blot analysis and ELISA confirmed expression of recombinant SAC-Par-4-GFP protein and it was as high as 0.15% of total soluble protein. In addition, we found that targeting of plant recombinant SAC-Par-4-GFP to the apoplast and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) was essential for the stability of plant recombinant protein in comparison to the bacterial derived SAC-Par-4. Deglycosylation analysis demonstrated that ER-targeted SAC-Par-4-GFP-SEKDEL undergoes O-linked glycosylation unlike apoplast-targeted SAC-Par-4-GFP. Furthermore, various in vitro studies like mammalian cells proliferation assay (MTT), apoptosis induction assays, and NF-κB suppression suggested the cytotoxic and apoptotic properties of plant-derived SAC-Par-4-GFP against multiple prostate cancer cell lines. Additionally, pre-treatment of MAT-LyLu prostate cancer cells with purified SAC-Par-4-GFP significantly delayed the onset of tumor in a syngeneic rat prostate cancer model. Taken altogether, we proclaim that plant made SAC-Par-4 may become a useful alternate therapy for effectively alleviating cancer in the new era.

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Published in Frontiers of Plant Science, v. 6, article 822, p. 1-17.

© 2015 Sarkar, Jain, Rai, Sahoo, Raha, Suklabaidya, Senapati, Rangnekar, Maiti and Dey.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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This work was supported by the KY state KTRDC grant to IBM and ILS/Core fund to ND. This study was also supported in part by NIH R01 CA187273, and R21 CA179283 to VMR. SS and SJ are thankful to University Grant Commission, New Delhi, India for their Ph.D. fellowship.

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