Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 3155–3161 | Cite as

The effect of bovine rotavirus and its nonstructural protein 4 on ER stress-mediated apoptosis in HeLa and HT-29 cells

  • Zahra Goodarzi
  • Hoorieh Soleimanjahi
  • Ehsan Arefian
  • Esmaeil Saberfar
Original Article


Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) plays important roles in multiple cellular processes as well as cell survival and apoptosis. Perturbation of ER functions leads to ER stress and unfolded protein response (UPR). The primary goal of this response is cell survival, but severe ER stress can trigger apoptosis signaling. In tumor cells, chronically activated UPR response provides tumor growth. So, apoptosis induced by the ER stress has been the target for anti-cancer therapy. In this in vitro study, we examined the apoptotic effect associated with ER stress of bovine rotavirus and its nonstructural protein 4 (NSP4) alone in two cancer cell lines. The plasmid pcDNA3.1 encoding NSP4 protein of bovine rotavirus transfected with lipofectamine 2000 into the HeLa and HT-29 cells for protein production. MTT, flow cytometry, and Western blot were used to evaluate the cell viability, apoptosis, and expression level of C/EBP-homologous protein (CHOP) and activated caspase-4. In parallel, the apoptotic effect of the bovine rotavirus associated with ER stress in the infected cells was examined too. The cytotoxic and apoptotic effect of NSP4 protein on the cells were statistically significant compared to the control groups. However, Western blot showed that the expression of the NSP4 protein by recombinant plasmid did not lead to high expression of CHOP and activation of caspase-4. Interestingly, rotavirus not only induced significant apoptosis but also caused an increase in CHOP expression and caspase-4 activation in the infected cells compared to control. As a result, NSP4 protein and bovine rotavirus can be considered a potential novel bio-therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment.


Apoptosis CHOP Caspase-4 Endoplasmic reticulum ER stress Rotavirus 



This study was supported partly by a grant from the Research Deputy of Tarbiat Modares University and partially was supported by a grant (89002201) which was sponsored by the Iran National Science Foundation (INSF). We gratefully acknowledge their supports and thank Dr. Saeed Soleyman-Jahi for editing the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zahra Goodarzi
    • 1
  • Hoorieh Soleimanjahi
    • 1
  • Ehsan Arefian
    • 2
  • Esmaeil Saberfar
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Virology, Faculty of Medical SciencesTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology, School of Biology, College of ScienceUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  3. 3.Research and Development DepartmentBayerpaul GroupTehranIran

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