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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences

First Advisor

William K. Chan

First Committee Member

Mamoun M. Alhamadsheh

Second Committee Member

Jesika S. Faridi

Third Committee Member

John C. Livesey

Fourth Committee Member

Lisa A. Wrischnik


A novel aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT)-interacting peptide (Ainpl) was characterized from human liver cDNA library using phage display. Ainpl suppresses hypoxia inducible factor-1a (HIF-1α) signaling pathway through an ARNTdependent manner. HIF-1α is known to be overexpressed in more than 90% of solid tumors, and the inhibition of HIF-1α is proved as an effective approach to suppress tumor growth. ARNT, as the obligatory heterodimeric partner of HIF-1α for downstream gene activation, was used as a bait to screen for Ainpl. Ainpl specifically interacts with the helix-loop-helix (HLH) subdomain of ARNT, but not with HIF-1α. GFP-Ainpl is localized in both cytoplasm and nucleus, and suppresses HIF-1α signaling by two mechanisms: (1) cytoplasmic GFP-Ainp 1 retains ARNT in the cell cytoplasm and (2) nuclear GFP-Ainpl inhibits HIF-1α/ARNT heterodimerization. The suppression of Ainpl on HIF-1α signaling was reversed by introducing ARNT into the cells using transient transfection. We further utilized HIV TAT protein transduction domain to deliver 6His-TAT-Ainpl into three different cancer cell lines (Hep3B, HeLa, MCF-7), and found that 6His-TAT-Ainpl co-localizes with ARNT in the cell nucleus. 6His-TATAinpl can be detected inside the cells after 30 min of transduction, and can reach the maximum level at 2 h. 6His-TAT-Ainp 1 remained detectable in the cells up to 96 h and had a half life of 24 h after transduction. In addition, 6His-TAT-Ainp 1 suppresses HIF-1α downstream genes at both message and protein levels in a dose-dependent manner. Taken together, molecules that target the HIF-1α and ARNT interface can be developed as viable drugs to suppress HIF-1α signaling.





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