Protein-arginine deiminase 2 suppresses proliferation of colon cancer cells through protein citrullination

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Expression of the gene for protein-arginine deiminase 2 (PADI2) has been shown to be downregulated in colon cancer, with such downregulation being indicative of a poor prognosis in individuals with this disease. We have now examined the expression of PADI2 in matched colon cancer and normal colon tissue specimens as well as in colon cancer cell lines. We found that isoform 1 of PADI2 is the predominant isoform in colon tissue and is downregulated during colon carcinogenesis. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that PADI2 is expressed in normal colonic epithelial cells. Overexpression of PADI2 isoform 1 suppressed the proliferation of colon cancer cells in vitro in association with increased protein citrullination. Expression of a catalytically inactive mutant (C647A) of PADI2 or of PADI2 isoform 2 did not induce such effects, indicating that the protein citrullination activity of PADI2 is required for inhibition of cell growth. The growth defect induced by PADI2 was not attributable to increased apoptosis but rather was accompanied by arrest of cell cycle progression in G1 phase. Finally, we detected citrullinated proteins in normal colon tissue by immunoblot analysis. Our data thus suggest that PADI2 suppresses the proliferation of colonic epithelial cells through catalysis of protein citrullination, and that downregulation of PADI2 expression might therefore contribute to colon carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-718
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr


  • Cell proliferation
  • PADI2
  • colorectal cancer
  • epigenomic regulation
  • protein citrullination


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