Gene Summary

Gene:DEC1; deleted in esophageal cancer 1
Aliases: CTS9
Summary:The function of this gene is not known. This gene is located in a region commonly deleted in esophageal squamous cell carcinomas. Gene expression is reduced or absent in these carcinomas and thus this is a candidate tumor suppressor gene for esophageal squamous cell carcinomas. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
DEC1 is implicated in:
- negative regulation of cell proliferation
Data from Gene Ontology via CGAP

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: DEC1 (cancer-related)

Cao S, Zheng J, Liu X, et al.
FXR1 promotes the malignant biological behavior of glioma cells via stabilizing MIR17HG.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 38(1):37 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Accumulating evidence has highlighted the potential role of RNA binding proteins (RBPs) in the biological behaviors of glioblastoma cells. Herein, the expression and function of RNA binding proteins FXR1 were investigated in human glioma cells.
METHODS: Quantitative real-time PCR were conducted to evaluate the expression of MIR17HG and miR-346, miRNA-425-5p in glioma tissues and cells. Western blot were used to explore the expression of FXR1, TAL1 and DEC1 in glioma tissues and cells. Stable knockdown of FXR1 and MIR17HG in glioma cells were established to explore the function of FXR1, MIR17HG in glioma cells. Further, RIP and RNA pull-down assays were used to investigate the correlation between FXR1 and MIR17HG. Cell Counting Kit-8, transwell assays, and flow cytometry were used to investigate the function of FXR1 and MIR17HG in malignant biological behaviors of glioma cells. ChIP assays were employed to ascertain the correlations between TAL1 and MIR17HG.
RESULTS: FXR1and MIR17HG were upregulated in glioma tissues and cell lines. Downregulation of FXR1 or MIR17HG resulted in inhibition of glioma cells progression. We also found that FXR1 regulates the biological behavior of glioma cells via stabilizing MIR17HG. In addition, downregulated MIR17HG increased miR-346/miR-425-5p expression and MIR17HG acted as ceRNA to sponge miR-346/miR-425-5p. TAL1 was a direct target of miR-346/miR-425-5p, and played oncogenic role in glioma cells. More importantly, TAL1 activated MIR17HG promoter and upregulated its expression, forming a feedback loop. Remarkably, FXR1 knockdown combined with inhibition of MIR17HG resulted in the smallest tumor volumes and the longest survivals of nude mice in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: FXR1/MIR17HG/miR-346(miR-425-5p)/TAL1/DEC1 axis plays a novel role in regulating the malignant behavior of glioma cells, which may be a new potential therapeutic strategy for glioma therapy.

Liu Q, Wu Y, Seino H, et al.
Correlation between DEC1/DEC2 and epithelial‑mesenchymal transition in human prostate cancer PC‑3 cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2018; 18(4):3859-3865 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Differentiated embryonic chondrocyte (DEC) genes have been reported to be involved in the regulation of mammalian circadian rhythms, differentiation, apoptosis, the response to hypoxia and epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT). Activation of transforming growth factor (TGF)‑β signaling is known to promote EMT for the development of metastatic castration‑resistant prostate cancer (PCa). However, the role of DEC genes in the TGF‑β‑induced EMT of PCa remains unclear. In the present study it was demonstrated that TGF‑β increased the transcriptional/translational levels of DEC1 but decreased those of DEC2 in PC‑3 cells. Moreover, TGF‑β evoked the phosphorylation of Smad2, followed by the activation of mesenchymal markers, such as N‑cadherin and vimentin, in addition to the suppression of epithelial markers, such as E‑cadherin. The knockdown of DEC1 restrained TGF‑β‑induced cell morphology changes as well as cell motility, which was compatible with the upregulation of E‑cadherin and downregulation of pSmad2, N‑cadherin, and vimentin. However, DEC2 knockdown endorsed PC‑3 cells with a more metastatic phenotype. EMT‑related markers in DEC2 siRNA‑transfected cells exhibited a reverse expression pattern when compared with that in DEC1 siRNA‑transfected cells. Taken together, these results provide evidence that DEC1 and DEC2 have opposite effects on TGF‑β‑induced EMT in human prostate cancer PC‑3 cells.

Zheng Q, Wang C, Wang L, et al.
Interaction with SP1, but not binding to the E-box motifs, is responsible for BHLHE40/DEC1-induced transcriptional suppression of CLDN1 and cell invasion in MCF-7 cells.
Mol Carcinog. 2018; 57(9):1116-1129 [PubMed] Related Publications
Basic helix-loop-helix family member e40 (BHLHE40) is located in 3p26.1 and acts as a transcriptional repressor of the circadian rhythm by suppressing the expression of the clock genes and clock-controlled genes. Recent research indicated that BHLHE40 may be involved in regulating tumor cell progression. However the mechanism by which BHLHE40 regulates the invasion and metastasis of tumor cells is unclear. Our in vitro assays showed that BHLHE40 promoted tumor cell invasion while BHLHE40 silencing by siRNA suppressed tumor cell invasion of MCF-7 cells. BHLHE40 suppressed the mRNA and protein expression of CLDN1 CLDN4 and CDH1 and promoted the expression of SNAI1 and SNAI2. Reporter assays demonstrated that BHLHE40 suppressed CLDN1 transcription but not through direct binding to the E-box motifs in the CLDN1 promoter. Further studies demonstrated BHLHE40 suppressed CLDN1 transcription by preventing the interaction between SP1 and a specific motif within the promoter region of CLDN1. BHLHE40 could not further suppress CLDN1 transactivation after SP1 siRNA transfection that is, BHLHE40-induced suppression of CLDN1 relied on SP1. Furthermore our data indicated that SP1 was a major regulator of CLDN1 transcription by binding to a specific motif that was located at -233 to -61 bp upstream of the transcription start site. Immunoprecipitation and co-localization data revealed an interaction between BHLHE40 and SP1. By constructing deletion mutants we found that the BHLH and Orange regions are both essential for the BHLHE40-SP1 interaction. BHLHE40 probably acts as an inhibitory nuclear cofactor or perhaps recruits other inhibitory cofactors to inhibit the SP1-mediated CLDN1 transactivation. These results suggest that BHLHE40 facilitates cell invasion and may be used as a novel target for breast cancer prevention and treatment.

Jia Y, Hu R, Li P, et al.
DEC1 is required for anti-apoptotic activity of gastric cancer cells under hypoxia by promoting Survivin expression.
Gastric Cancer. 2018; 21(4):632-642 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Human differentiated embryonic chondrocyte-expressed gene 1 (DEC1), which has been reported to be overexpressed in several types of cancer, is associated with tumorigenesis through participation in several biological processes. However, the complex mechanisms underlying DEC1 during carcinogenesis are controversial, and its roles in the development and malignancy of gastric cancer (GC) remain unclear.
METHODS: We measured DEC1 expression in human GC cell lines. DEC1 levels in GC cells were downregulated by shRNA lentivirus infection. We also evaluated the effect of DEC1 downregulation on xenograft growth in vivo. The viability and apoptosis of the cells were assayed using the CCK8 assay and flow cytometry. The levels of DEC1, Survivin, and Bcl-2 were evaluated by Western blotting. Luciferase reporter was used to verify the downstream target of DEC1. The association of DEC1 and Survivin expression with prognosis was investigated by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: Downregulation of DEC1 inhibits GC cell proliferation in vitro and tumorigenicity in vivo. We observed that hypoxia-induced expression of DEC1 protects GC cells from apoptosis via transcriptional upregulation of Survivin. Furthermore, positive correlations between DEC1 with Survivin expression were observed in tissue sections from GC patients. Notably, GC patients with high expression levels of DEC1 and Survivin showed poor prognosis.
CONCLUSIONS: DEC1 acts as an anti-apoptotic regulator in GC cells under hypoxia by promoting Survivin expression. Our study demonstrates the critical role of the DEC1 in oncogenesis and highlights a novel role for DEC1 in the regulation of cell apoptosis in GC.

Delestré L, Cui H, Esposito M, et al.
Senescence is a Spi1-induced anti-proliferative mechanism in primary hematopoietic cells.
Haematologica. 2017; 102(11):1850-1860 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Transcriptional deregulation caused by epigenetic or genetic alterations is a major cause of leukemic transformation. The Spi1/PU.1 transcription factor is a key regulator of many steps of hematopoiesis, and limits self-renewal of hematopoietic stem cells. The deregulation of its expression or activity contributes to leukemia, in which Spi1 can be either an oncogene or a tumor suppressor. Herein we explored whether cellular senescence, an anti-tumoral pathway that restrains cell proliferation, is a mechanism by which Spi1 limits hematopoietic cell expansion, and thus prevents the development of leukemia. We show that Spi1 overexpression triggers cellular senescence both in primary fibroblasts and hematopoietic cells. Erythroid and myeloid lineages are both prone to Spi1-induced senescence. In hematopoietic cells, Spi1-induced senescence requires its DNA-binding activity and a functional p38MAPK14 pathway but is independent of a DNA-damage response. In contrast, in fibroblasts, Spi1-induced senescence is triggered by a DNA-damage response. Importantly, using our well-established Spi1 transgenic leukemia mouse model, we demonstrate that Spi1 overexpression also induces senescence in erythroid progenitors of the bone marrow

Murakami K, Wu Y, Imaizumi T, et al.
DEC1 promotes hypoxia-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Biomed Res. 2017; 38(4):221-227 [PubMed] Related Publications
Differentiated embryonic chondrocyte (DEC) 1 has been reported to be involved in cell differentiation, hypoxia response, and cancer progression. Recent studies have demonstrated that hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in carcinoma cells to facilitate cell invasiveness and metastasis. However, it remains unclear whether DEC1 participates in hypoxia-mediated EMT processes. In the present study, we reported that hypoxia induced DEC1 expression in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) HepG2 cells, and DEC1 negatively regulated expression of HIF-1α and E-cadherin in transcriptional/translational levels. Cell morphological changes were evaluated with hematoxylin and eosin (H-E) staining. Exposure to hypoxia caused spindle-like shape in some of the HepG2 cells, and DEC1 overexpression furthered these changes. In conclusions, DEC1 is involved in hypoxia-induced EMT processes via negatively regulating E-cadherin expression in HepG2 cells.

Sato H, Wu Y, Kato Y, et al.
DEC2 expression antagonizes cisplatin‑induced apoptosis in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Mol Med Rep. 2017; 16(1):43-48 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Differentiated embryonic chondrocyte expressed gene 1 (DEC1) and differentiated embryonic chondrocyte expressed gene 2 (DEC2) belong to the Hairy/Enhancer of Split subfamily of basic helix‑loop‑helix factors. Previous studies have demonstrated that DEC proteins are involved in the regulation of circadian rhythms, response to hypoxia, and tumorigenesis. However, the roles of DEC1 and DEC2 in apoptosis of esophageal carcinoma remain unclear. In the present study, alterations in expression of apoptosis‑related markers in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma TE‑11 cells treated with cisplatin were examined by western blot, while overall cell viability and apoptosis were analyzed by MTS assay and hematoxylin and eosin staining, respectively. Following cisplatin treatment, expression of DEC2 was downregulated, whereas expression of DEC1 was upregulated. DEC2 overexpression during cisplatin treatment markedly inhibited expression of the pro‑apoptotic factor Bim and slightly increased the anti‑apoptotic factor Bcl‑xL. However, overexpression of DEC1 during cisplatin treatment failed to affect expression of these markers. Additionally, overexpression of DEC2 improved cell viability and decreased cell apoptosis induced by cisplatin. These results suggested that DEC2 exhibits anti‑apoptotic effects in TE‑11 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cells. Inhibiting DEC2 may therefore have therapeutic potential for the treatment of esophageal cancer, in combination with cisplatin.

Li XM, Lin W, Wang J, et al.
Dec1 expression predicts prognosis and the response to temozolomide chemotherapy in patients with glioma.
Mol Med Rep. 2016; 14(6):5626-5636 [PubMed] Related Publications
Differentiated embryo chondrocyte expressed gene 1 (Dec1), a crucial cell differentiation mediator and apoptosis inhibitor, is abundantly expressed in various types of human cancer and is associated with malignant tumor progression. As poor differentiation and low apoptosis are closely associated with poor survival rates and a poor response to radio/chemotherapy in patients with cancer, the prognostic value of Dec1 expression was examined in the present study and its correlation with response to temozolomide (TMZ) chemotherapy was analyzed in patients with glioma. Dec1 expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry in 157 samples of newly diagnosed glioma and 63 recurrent glioblastoma cases that relapsed during TMZ chemotherapy. Correlations with clinical variables, prognosis and the response to TMZ chemotherapy were analyzed in the newly diagnosed gliomas. Dec1 expression was also compared with the apoptosis index determined by TdT‑mediated dUTP nick ending‑labeling assay in recurrent glioblastomas. The antiglioma effect of TMZ in nude mice xenografts with Dec1 expression was examined in vivo. High expression of Dec1, which was significantly associated with high pathological tumor grade and poor response to TMZ chemotherapy, was demonstrated to be an unfavorable independent prognostic factor and predicted poor survival in patients with newly diagnosed glioma. In patients with recurrent glioblastoma, there was a negative correlation between Dec1 expression and the apoptotic index. In nude mice treated with TMZ, Dec1 overexpression potentiated proliferation, but attenuated TMZ‑induced apoptosis. In conclusion, Dec1 is a prognostic factor for the clinical outcome and a predictive factor for the response to TMZ chemotherapy in patients with glioma.

Liu Q, Wu Y, Yoshizawa T, et al.
Basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor DEC2 functions as an anti-apoptotic factor during paclitaxel-induced apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells.
Int J Mol Med. 2016; 38(6):1727-1733 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The functions of basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor-differentiated embryonic chondrocyte (DEC)1 (BHLHE40) and 2 (BHLHE41) are involved in various fields such as circadian rhythms, immune responses, cell proliferation, hypoxia reaction as well as malignant tumors. Previous findings showed that DEC served as apoptosis regulators of various cancer cell lines. However, little is known regarding the expression of DEC1 and DEC2 in prostate cancer cells. The present study aimed to examine the roles of DEC1 and DEC2 in human prostate cancer DU145 and PC-3 cells that were treated with paclitaxel. The expression of DEC1 and DEC2 was decreased in DU145 cells but was increased in PC-3 cells when treated with paclitaxel. DU145 cells were more sensitive to paclitaxel than PC-3 cells since the amount of cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) reached its peak at 50 µM of paclitaxel in DU145 cells but at 100 µM in PC-3 cells. In addition, the amount of cleaved PARP was decreased by DEC1 siRNA, while it was increased by DEC2 siRNA in the presence of paclitaxel. Although DEC2 overexpression slightly inhibited cleaved PARP in the two cell lines, the effects of DEC1 overexpression on apoptosis remain to be determined. In conclusion, DEC1, at least partly, exerted a pro-apoptotic effect, whereas DEC2 exerted an anti-apoptotic effect in paclitaxel-induced apoptosis of human prostate cancer cells.

Long Y, Tsai WB, Chang JT, et al.
Cisplatin-induced synthetic lethality to arginine-starvation therapy by transcriptional suppression of ASS1 is regulated by DEC1, HIF-1α, and c-Myc transcription network and is independent of ASS1 promoter DNA methylation.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(50):82658-82670 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Many human tumors require extracellular arginine (Arg) for growth because the key enzyme for de novo biosynthesis of Arg, argininosuccinate synthetase 1 (ASS1), is silenced. These tumors are sensitive to Arg-starvation therapy using pegylated arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG20) which digests extracellular Arg. Many previous studies reported that ASS1 silencing is due to epigenetic inactivation of ASS1 expression by DNA methylation, and that the demethylation agent 5-aza-deoxycytidine (Aza-dC) can induce ASS1 expression. Moreover, it was reported that cisplatin suppresses ASS1 expression through ASS1 promoter methylation, leading to synthetic lethality to ADI-PEG20 treatment. We report here that cisplatin supppresses ASS1 expression is due to upregulation of HIF-1α and downregulation of c-Myc, which function as negative and positive regulators of ASS1 expression, respectively, by reciprocal bindings to the ASS1 promoter. In contrast, we found that Aza-dC induces ASS1 expression by downregulation of HIF-1α but upregulation of c-Myc. We further demonstrated that the clock protein DEC1 is the master regulator of HIF-1α and c-Myc that regulate ASS1. cDDP upregulates DEC1, whereas Aza-dC suppresses its expression. Using two proteasomal inhibitors bortezomib and carfilzomib which induce HIF-1α accumulation, we further demonstrated that HIF-1α is involved in ASS1 silencing for the maintenance of Arg auxotrophy for targeted Arg-starvation therapy.

Zhao Q, Zheng G, Yang K, et al.
The clock gene PER1 plays an important role in regulating the clock gene network in human oral squamous cell carcinoma cells.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(43):70290-70302 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The various clock genes in normal cells, through their interaction, establish a number of positive and negative feedback loops that compose a network structure. These genes play an important role in regulating normal physiological activities. The expression of clock gene PER1 is decreased in many types of cancer. PER1 is highly correlated with the initiation and progression of cancer by regulating numerous downstream genes. However, it is still unclear whether the lower expression of PER1 in cancer can influence the expression of other clock genes in the clock gene network. In this study, we used short hairpin RNA interference to knock down PER1 effectively in SCC15 human oral squamous cell carcinoma cells. These cancer cells later were subcutaneously injected into the back of nude mice. We discovered that after PER1 knockdown, apoptosis was decreased and cell proliferation and in vivo tumor formation were enhanced. Quantitative real-time PCR result indicated that in vitro and in vivo cancer cells after PER1 knockdown, PER2, DEC1, DEC2, CRY1, CRY2 and NPAS2 were significantly down-regulated at the mRNA level, while PER3, TIM, RORα and REV-ERBα were significantly up-regulated. It prompts that the role of PER1 in carcinogenesis is exerted not only by regulating downstream genes, but also through the synergistic dysregulation of many other clock genes in the clock gene network.

Wu Y, Liu Q, Yan X, et al.
Podoplanin-mediated TGF-β-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition and its correlation with bHLH transcription factor DEC in TE-11 cells.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(6):2310-20 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Podoplanin is reported involved in the collective cell invasion, another tumor invasion style which is distinct from the single cell invasion, so-called epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In this study, we investigated the correlation between podoplanin and EMT-related markers in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), and evaluated its linkage with the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor differentiated embryonic chondrocyte (DEC) 1 and DEC2. Three ESCC cell lines and human squamous cell carcinoma A431 cells were subjected to western blot analyses for podoplanin and EMT markers, as well as the expression of DEC1 and DEC2. By RT-qPCR and western blotting, we found that TGF-β increased the expression of podoplanin and mensenchymal markers (e.g., N-cadherin and vimentin), while decreased the expression of epithelial markers (e.g., Claudin-4 and E-cadherin), accompanied by Smad2 phosphorylation and slug activation. Moreover, TGF-β has different effects on the expression of DEC1 and DEC2, that is, it upregulates DEC1, but downregulates DEC2. Capability of cell proliferation, invasion and migration were further analyzed using CCK-8 assay, Matrigel-invasion assay, and the wound-healing assay, respectively. The proliferation, invasion and migration ability were significantly lost in podoplanin-knockdown cells when compared with the scrambled siRNA group. In addition to these changes, the expression of Claudin-4, but not that of Claudin-1 or E-cadherin, was induced by the siRNA against podoplanin. On the contrary, overexpression of DEC1 and DEC2 exhibits opposite effects on podoplanin, but only slight effect on Claudin-4 was detected. These data indicated that podoplanin is significantly associated with EMT of TE-11 cells, and may be directly or indirectly regulated by bHLH transcription factors DEC1 and DEC2.

Xiong J, Yang H, Luo W, et al.
The anti-metastatic effect of 8-MOP on hepatocellular carcinoma is potentiated by the down-regulation of bHLH transcription factor DEC1.
Pharmacol Res. 2016; 105:121-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
Despite progress in diagnostics and treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), its prognosis remains poor. 8-Methoxypsoralen (8-MOP), a formerly considered photosensitizing agent, has been reported to induce cell apoptosis in HepG2 cells in a modest way when used alone. In this study, it was demonstrated that 8-MOP inhibited HCC HepG2 cells and SMMC-7721 cells migratory and invasive potentiality, as well as modulated the expression of various EMT-associated genes such as enhancing E-cadherin and reducing N-cadherin, vimentin, α-SMA and MMP9 in a concentration-dependent way. Differentiated embryonic chondrocyte-expressed gene 1, DEC1 (BHLHE40/Stra13/Sharp2), is a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor that regulates cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis and tumorigenesis. 8-MOP suppressed the expression of DEC1 in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Overexpression of DEC1 endorsed the HepG2 cells a higher metastatic phenotype, while totally abolished 8-MOP-repressed metastatic capability. In the meanwhile, overexpression of DEC1 promoted EMT process by suppressing expression of epithelial protein and enhancing expression of mesenchymal proteins, while potently antagonized the regulation of EMT-associated genes by 8-MOP. In vivo experiments revealed that the treatment of 8-MOP (5 or 20mg/kg) resulted in a dose-dependent decreases in the lung metastasis of hepatoma H22-transplanted mice without any obvious toxicity to the organs, as well as increased expression of E-cadherin in lung tissues. Consistently, 8-MOP down-regulated the expression of DEC1 in the lungs of tumor-bearing mice, which further confirms that DEC1 was correlated with 8-MOP-induced anti-metastatic effect. The present findings establish a function for DEC1 in HCC metastatic progression and suggest its candidacy as a novel target for the anti-metastasis effect of 8-MOP.

You J, Lin L, Liu Q, et al.
The correlation between the expression of differentiated embryo-chondrocyte expressed gene l and oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Eur J Med Res. 2014; 19:21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: This study aims to explore the correlation between expression of differentiated embryo-chondrocyte expressed gene l (DEC1) and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), which could provide the reference for treatment and prognosis assessment of OSCC.
METHODS: The expression of DEC1 in tissues from 56 primary OSCC patients and 20 normal oral mucosa samples were detected using real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical methods, respectively.
RESULTS: The results showed that the positive expression rate of DEC1 in the OSCC group was significantly higher than that in the normal group (P <0.05); further, the expression of DEC1 in different OSCC groups was statistically significant (P <0.05). The expression of DEC1 in the 1-year recurrence OSCC group was significantly higher than other groups. The expression of DEC1 in the 3-years no recurrence OSCC group was the lowest.
CONCLUSIONS: The expression of DEC1 was associated with the incidence of OSCC and there was a negative correlation between the expression of DEC1 and the prognosis of OSCC.

Ma W, Shi X, Lu S, et al.
Hypoxia-induced overexpression of DEC1 is regulated by HIF-1α in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2013; 30(6):2957-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and differentiated embryo-chondrocyte expressed gene 1 (DEC1) are two key factors that protect hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells from a hypoxic microenvironment. However, little is known concerning the effects of hypoxia on the expression of HIF-1α and DEC1 in HCC. In the present study, RT-PCR and western blotting were conducted to assay the mRNA and protein levels of HIF-1α and DEC1 under normoxia and hypoxia induced by exposure to CoCl2 for different time periods (0, 2, 4, 6, 24 and 48 h). In addition, the HIF-1α protein inhibitor, YC-1, was used to analyze the interaction between DEC1 and HIF-1α expression and the related mechanism. Results showed that expression of DEC1 in HCC was significantly upregulated at both the mRNA and protein levels, when compared with that in normal liver cells (P<0.05). Hypoxia induced the upregulation of HIF-1α in a time-dependent manner, which was also observed at the DEC1 mRNA and protein levels (P<0.05). However, hypoxia did not affect the transcription of HIF-1α (P>0.05). A positive correlation was found between HIF-1α and DEC1 expression in both BEL-7402 (r=0.885, P<0.05) and SMMC-7721 cells (r=0.826, P<0.05). Furthermore, inhibition of HIF-1α by YC-1 led to a significant decrease in DEC1 induced by hypoxia (P<0.05). We suggest that hypoxia induced the overexpression of DEC1, the mechanism of which may be related to the upregulation of HIF-1α in HCC. The efficacy of inhibiting HIF-1α and DEC1 expression as a possible treatment for HCC should be assessed in clinical trials.

Jia YF, Xiao DJ, Ma XL, et al.
Differentiated embryonic chondrocyte-expressed gene 1 is associated with hypoxia-inducible factor 1α and Ki67 in human gastric cancer.
Diagn Pathol. 2013; 8:37 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gastric cancer is a leading causes of cancer-related deaths ,but the underlying molecular mechanisms of its progression are largely unknown. Differentiated embryonic chondrocyte-expressed gene 1 (DEC1), is an important transcription factor involved in the progression of tumors and has recently been identified to be strongly inducible by hypoxia. Little is known about the contribution of DEC1 to the intracellular hypoxia and proliferation signaling events in gastric cancer.
METHODS: Immunohistochemistry was used to detect the expression of DEC1, hypoxia-inducible factor 1(HIF-1α) and Ki67 in 173 human gastric cancer samples and adjacent non-tumor tissues samples. The relationship between DEC1, HIF-1α and Ki67 was evaluated.
RESULTS: DEC1 protein was persistently expressed in the nucleus and cytoplasm of gastric cancer tissue. The protein expression of DEC1 and HIF-1α in tumour tissues was 83.8% and 54.3%, respectively, and was significantly higher than that in adjacent normal tissues (83.8% vs 23.7%, P < 0.001; 54.3% vs 12.7%, P < 0.001). The expression of DEC1 and HIF-1α was associated with poor histological differentiation. (P < 0. 01). Furthermore, DEC1 level was positively correlated with HIF-1α (P < 0. 01, r=0.290) and Ki67 expression (P < 0. 01, r=0.249).
CONCLUSION: The upregulation of DEC1 may play an important role in hypoxia regulation and cell proliferation in gastric cancer. The relevant molecular mechanism requires further investigation.

Liu Y, Miao Y, Wang J, et al.
DEC1 is positively associated with the malignant phenotype of invasive breast cancers and negatively correlated with the expression of claudin-1.
Int J Mol Med. 2013; 31(4):855-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
Differentiated embryo-chondrocyte expressed gene 1 (DEC1) is a basic helix-loop-helix transcriptional regulator, reportedly involved in cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis and tumorigenesis. In breast cancer, DEC1 expression correlates with increased malignant potential and invasiveness. Nevertheless, the detailed mechanisms by which DEC1 modulates breast cancer progression are still unclear. Claudin-1, an important tight junction protein, functions as a tumor invasion suppressor. In the present study, the relationship between DEC1 and claudin-1 in 147 cases of invasive breast ductal carcinomas was examined by immunohistochemistry. Based on the data, DEC1 expression was elevated in invasive breast ductal carcinomas and DEC1 levels were positively correlated with tumor grade (P=0.023). Moreover, DEC1 expression was negatively correlated with the claudin-1 level (correlation coefficient =-0.245, P=0.003). We further identified that, in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines, DEC1 knockdown led to the enhanced expression of claudin-1 at both the mRNA and protein levels, and reduced cell invasive capacity. Collectively, our data suggest that overexpression of DEC1 may promote the invasiveness of breast cancer through downregulation of claudin-1.

Liu Y, Wang L, Lin XY, et al.
The transcription factor DEC1 (BHLHE40/STRA13/SHARP-2) is negatively associated with TNM stage in non-small-cell lung cancer and inhibits the proliferation through cyclin D1 in A549 and BE1 cells.
Tumour Biol. 2013; 34(3):1641-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
The objective of the current study was to investigate the expression pattern and clinicopathological significance of differentiated embryo-chondrocyte-expressed gene 1 (DEC1) in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In 118 archived NSCLC tissues, the positive rate of DEC1 was reduced in human lung cancer samples (36/118, 30.5 %) compared with adjacent normal lung tissues (106/118, 89.8 %), as measured by immunohistochemical staining. Loss of DEC1 was correlated with poor differentiation (p=0.005) and high p-TNM stage (p=0.002). Consistently, downregulation of DEC1 by siRNA knockdown promoted the growth and colony formation in the A549 lung cancer cell line, and overexpression of DEC1 inhibited the growth and colony formation in the BE1 lung cancer cell line. In addition, a significant negative correlation was found between DEC1 and cyclin D1 (p=0.014) in 118 cases of NSCLC. Knockdown of DEC1 resulted in the upregulation of cyclin D1, and overexpression of DEC1 led to the downregulation of cyclin D1. Together with the observation that DEC1 bound directly to the promoter region of cyclin D1 in A549 cells, these results indicate that loss of DEC1 may promote tumor progression in NSCLC through upregulation of cyclin D1, and DEC1 might serve as a novel therapeutic target of NSCLC.

Xu Q, Ma P, Hu C, et al.
Overexpression of the DEC1 protein induces senescence in vitro and is related to better survival in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(7):e41862 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a leading cause of cancer-related death in China and has limited effective therapeutic options except for early surgery, since the underlying molecular mechanism driving its precursor lesions towards invasive ESCC is not fully understood. Cellular senescence is the state of the permanent growth arrest of a cell, and is considered as the initial barrier of tumor development. Human differentiated embryo chondrocyte expressed gene 1 (Dec1) is an important transcription factor that related to senescence. In this study, DEC1 immunohistochemical analysis was performed on tissue microarray blocks constructed from ESCC combined with adjacent precursor tissues of 241 patients. Compared with normal epithelia, DEC1 expression was significantly increased in intraepithelial neoplasia and DEC1 expression was significantly decreased in ESCC in comparison with intraepithelial neoplasia. In vitro, DEC1 overexpression induced cellular senescence, and it inhibited cell growth and colony formation in ESCC cell line EC9706. Fresh esophagectomy tissue sections from five ESCC patients were detected by immunohistochemistry of DEC1 and senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-Gal) activity, and strongly positive expression of DEC1 was correlated to more senescent cells in these fresh tissue sections. Kaplan-Meier method analysis of the 241 patients revealed that DEC1 expression levels were significantly correlated with the survival of ESCC patients after surgery. The expression levels of DEC1 were also correlated with age, tumor embolus, depth of invasion of ESCC, lymph metastasis status and pTNMs. These results suggest that DEC1 overexpression in precursor lesions of ESCC is a protective mechanism by inducing cellular senescence in ESCC initiation, and DEC1 may be a potential prognostic marker of ESCC.

Wu Y, Sato F, Yamada T, et al.
The BHLH transcription factor DEC1 plays an important role in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition of pancreatic cancer.
Int J Oncol. 2012; 41(4):1337-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
DEC1 (BHLHE40/Stra13/Sharp2) is a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor that is involved in the regulation of apoptosis and cell proliferation and the response to hypoxia. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an important step leading to invasion and migration of various tumor cells, and TGF-β treatment has been shown to induce cancer cells to undergo EMT. However, the significance of DEC1 in TGF-β-induced EMT remains unknown. We examined the role of DEC1 in EMT of PANC-1 cells, a human pancreatic cancer cell line. As a result, we found that DEC1 was upregulated by TGF-β in PANC-1 cells, and regulated the expression and the levels of nuclear, cytoplasmic or membrane localization of EMT-related factors, including phosphorylated Smad3 (pSmad3), snail, claudin-4 and N-cadherin. In the presence of TGF-β, DEC1 knockdown by siRNA inhibited morphological changes during EMT processes, while TGF-β induced PANC-1 cells to taken on a spindle-shaped morphology. Furthermore, a combination treatment of DEC1 expression with TGF-β was closely linked to the migration and invasion of PANC-1 cells. Immunohistochemically, DEC1 and pSmad3 were detected within pancreatic cancer tissues, whereas claudin-4 expression was weaker in the cancer tissues compared with the adjacent non-cancer pancreatic tissues. These findings suggest that DEC1 plays an important role in the regulation of these EMT-related factors in pancreatic cancer.

Wu Y, Sato F, Bhawal UK, et al.
BHLH transcription factor DEC2 regulates pro-apoptotic factor Bim in human oral cancer HSC-3 cells.
Biomed Res. 2012; 33(2):75-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
DEC1 (BHLHE40/Stra13/Sharp2) and DEC2 (BHLHE41/Sharp1) are basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors that are involved in the regulation of apoptosis, cell proliferation, circadian rhythms and the response to hypoxia. We previously showed the functional effects of DEC1 and DEC2 on apoptosis in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells. However, the roles of DEC1 and DEC2 in oral cancer are poorly understood. We examined whether DEC1 and DEC2 are involved in the regulation of apoptosis in human oral cancer HSC-3 and CA9-22 cells. The expression of DEC2 was upregulated by cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (II) (cisplatin: CDDP) treatment in HSC-3 cells, whereas CDDP treatment had little effects on the expression of DEC2 in CA9-22 cells. We showed that DEC2 overexpression inhibits pro-apoptotic factor Bim and inhibits apoptosis induced by CDDP in HSC-3 cells, whereas it had little effects on apoptosis in CA9-22 cells. DEC1 overexpression had little effects on apoptosis induced by CDDP in these cells. We also found that CDDP upregulated the amounts of DEC2 in the nucleus in HSC-3 cells. These results suggest that DEC2 has anti-apoptotic effects on apoptosis induced by CDDP in HSC-3 cells.

Wei H, Ke HL, Lin J, et al.
MicroRNA target site polymorphisms in the VHL-HIF1α pathway predict renal cell carcinoma risk.
Mol Carcinog. 2014; 53(1):1-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) accounts for ∼4% of all human malignancies and is the 9th leading cause of male cancer death in the United States. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of variation within microRNA (miRNA)-binding sites of genes in the VHL-HIF1α pathway on RCC risk. We identified 429 miRNA-binding site single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 102 pathway genes and assessed 53 tagging-SNPs for 31 of these genes for risk in a case-control study consisting of 894 RCC cases and 1,516 controls. Results showed that five SNPs were significantly associated with RCC risk. The most significant finding was rs743409 in MAPK1. Under the additive model, the variant was associated with a 10% risk reduction (OR: 0.90, 95% CI, 0.77-0.98). Other significant findings were for SNPs in CDCP1, TFRC, and DEC1. Cumulative effects analysis showed that subjects carrying four or five unfavorable genotypes had a 2.14-fold increase in risk (95% CI, 1.03-4.43, P = 0.04) than those with no unfavorable genotypes. Potential higher-order gene-gene interactions were identified and categorized subjects into different risk groups. The OR of the high-risk group defined by two SNPs: CDCP1:rs6773576 (GG) and DEC1:rs10982724 (GG) was 4.46 times higher than that of low-risk reference group (95% CI, 1.31-15.08). Overall, our study provides the first evidence supporting a connection between miRNA-binding site SNPs within the VHL-HIF1α pathway and RCC risk. These novel genetic risk factors might help identify individuals at high risk to enable detection of tumors at an early, curable stage.

Feige E, Yokoyama S, Levy C, et al.
Hypoxia-induced transcriptional repression of the melanoma-associated oncogene MITF.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011; 108(43):E924-33 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) regulates normal melanocyte development and is also a lineage-selective oncogene implicated in melanoma and clear-cell sarcoma (i.e., melanoma of soft parts). We have observed that MITF expression is potently reduced under hypoxic conditions in primary melanocytes and melanoma and clear cell sarcoma cells through hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF1)-mediated induction of the transcriptional repressor differentially expressed in chondrocytes protein 1 (DEC1) (BHLHE40), which subsequently binds and suppresses the promoter of M-MITF (melanocyte-restricted MITF isoform). Correspondingly, hypoxic conditions or HIF1α stabilization achieved by using small-molecule prolyl-hydroxylase inhibitors reduced M-MITF expression, leading to melanoma cell growth arrest that was rescued by ectopic expression of M-MITF in vitro. Prolyl hydroxylase inhibition also potently suppressed melanoma growth in a mouse xenograft model. These studies illuminate a physiologic hypoxia response in pigment cells leading to M-MITF suppression, one that suggests a potential survival advantage mechanism for MITF amplification in metastatic melanoma and offers a small-molecule strategy for suppression of the MITF oncogene in vivo.

Zheng Y, Shi X, Wang M, et al.
The increased expression of DEC1 gene is related to HIF-1α protein in gastric cancer cell lines.
Mol Biol Rep. 2012; 39(4):4229-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
Overexpression of differentiated embryo chondrocyte 1 (DEC1) has been reported to contribute to the cellular differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis of various cancers. Our previous studies have shown that DEC1 was highly expressed in gastric cancer (GCa) tissues. However, there is no report about the expression of DEC1 in GCa cell lines until now. In this study, We evaluated the mRNA and protein expression of DEC1 and hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) under normoxic and hypoxic conditions in six GCa cell lines: BGC-823, MGC80-3, MKN1, AGS, FU97 and SGC-7901. An HIF-1α protein inhibitor was used to analyze the association of DEC1 and HIF-1α expression. Under normoxia, the mRNA expression of both HIF-1α and DEC1 was moderate, whereas the protein expression of DEC1 was higher than that of HIF-1α. Hypoxia induced the mRNA expression of DEC1 and the protein expression of HIF-1α and DEC1 in a time-dependent manner but had no effect on the mRNA expression of HIF-1α. Furthermore, inhibition of HIF-1α protein expression resulted in a significant decrease in both the mRNA and protein expression of DEC1. Taken together, DEC1 expression is correlated with HIF-1α protein in GCa cell line, blockage of HIF-1α protein led to reduced DEC1 expression. The efficacy of inhibiting HIF-1α and DEC1 expression should be tested in clinical trials as possible treatment for GCa.

Phadke M, Krynetskaia N, Mishra A, Krynetskiy E
Accelerated cellular senescence phenotype of GAPDH-depleted human lung carcinoma cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011; 411(2):409-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) is a pivotal glycolytic enzyme, and a signaling molecule which acts at the interface between stress factors and the cellular apoptotic machinery. Earlier, we found that knockdown of GAPDH in human carcinoma cell lines resulted in cell proliferation arrest and chemoresistance to S phase-specific cytotoxic agents. To elucidate the mechanism by which GAPDH depletion arrests cell proliferation, we examined the effect of GAPDH knockdown on human carcinoma cells A549. Our results show that GAPDH-depleted cells establish senescence phenotype, as revealed by proliferation arrest, changes in morphology, SA-β-galactosidase staining, and more than 2-fold up-regulation of senescence-associated genes DEC1 and GLB1. Accelerated senescence following GAPDH depletion results from compromised glycolysis and energy crisis leading to the sustained AMPK activation via phosphorylation of α subunit at Thr172. Our findings demonstrate that GAPDH depletion switches human tumor cells to senescent phenotype via AMPK network, in the absence of DNA damage. Rescue experiments using metabolic and genetic models confirmed that GAPDH has important regulatory functions linking the energy metabolism and the cell cycle networks. Induction of senescence in LKB1-deficient non-small cell lung cancer cells via GAPDH depletion suggests a novel strategy to control tumor cell proliferation.

Bhawal UK, Sato F, Arakawa Y, et al.
Basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor DEC1 negatively regulates cyclin D1.
J Pathol. 2011; 224(3):420-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
DEC1 (also known as Stra13/Bhlhb2/Sharp2) and DEC2 (also known as Bhlhb3/Sharp1) are two paralogous basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcriptional regulators which exhibit a robust circadian gene expression pattern in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and in peripheral organs. DEC1 has been suggested to play key roles in mammalian cell differentiation, the cell cycle and circadian regulation, hypoxia response, and carcinogenesis. Here we show that DEC1 overexpression exhibits delayed wound healing and reduces cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. DEC1 strongly repressed the promoter activity of cyclin D1. We further identify a possible DEC-response element in the cyclin D1 promoter region, and confirmed the direct binding of DEC1 to that element. Forced expression of DEC1 efficiently repressed the cyclin D1 promoter and expression. Our clinical data provide the first evidence that there is a strong inverse correlation between DEC1 and cyclin D1 expression in oral cancer, and DEC1 expression significantly correlated with clinicopathological parameters. We suggest that radiation-induced DEC1 overexpression and Akt phosphorylation in cancer cells are mediated via PI-3K signalling. Overexpression of DEC1 activates the PI-3K/Akt signalling pathway through reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Wu Y, Sato F, Bhawal UK, et al.
Basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors DEC1 and DEC2 regulate the paclitaxel-induced apoptotic pathway of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells.
Int J Mol Med. 2011; 27(4):491-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Differentiated embryonic chondrocyte gene (DEC) 1 (BHLHE40/Stra13/Sharp2) and DEC2 (BHLHE41/Sharp1) are basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors that are associated with the regulation of apoptosis, cell proliferation and circadian rhythms, as well as malignancy in various cancers. However, the roles of DEC1 and DEC2 expression in breast cancer are poorly understood. In this study, we sought to examine the roles of DEC1 and DEC2 in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells that had been treated with paclitaxel. The expression of DEC1 and DEC2 was up-regulated in paclitaxel-treated MCF-7 cells. Knockdown of DEC1 by siRNA decreased the amount of cleaved poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), after treatment with paclitaxel, whereas DEC2 knockdown increased the amount of cleaved PARP in both the presence and absence of paclitaxel. Immunofluorescent staining revealed that paclitaxel treatment increased the amount of DEC1 in the nucleus, and increased the amount of DEC2 in both the nucleus and cytoplasm. These results indicate that DEC1 has pro-apoptotic effects, whereas DEC2 has anti-apoptotic effects on the paclitaxel-induced apoptosis in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells.

Kunimoto Y, Nakano S, Kataoka H, et al.
Deleted in Esophageal Cancer 1(DEC1) is down-regulated and contributes to migration in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines.
ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 2011; 73(1):17-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown that the expression of Deleted in Esophageal Cancer 1 (DEC1) is significantly reduced in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) often develop esophageal carcinomas.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We analyzed the expression of DEC1 and histone modifications in HNSCC cell lines. The motility and invasive ability of the HNSCC cell lines were also studied.
RESULTS: Of 18 cell lines, 12 (66.7%) showed down-regulation of DEC1. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays indicated that H3 K27 trimethylation levels in the DEC1-down-regulated cell lines were greater than that in the DEC1-expressed cell lines. Migration assays showed that the DEC1-down-regulated cell lines tended to be more motile than the DEC1-expressed cell lines.
CONCLUSION: DEC1 is down-regulated and tends to contribute to the migration ability of HNSCC cell lines. In addition, H3 K27 trimethylation potentially plays an important role in the regulation of DEC1 expression.

Huang YJ, Niu J, Wei S, et al.
A novel functional DEC1 promoter polymorphism -249T>C reduces risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
Carcinogenesis. 2010; 31(12):2082-90 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Human DEC1 (deleted in esophageal cancer 1) gene is located on chromosome 9q, a region frequently deleted in various types of human cancers, including squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). However, only one epidemiological study has evaluated the association between DEC1 polymorphisms and cancer risk. In this hospital-based case-control study, four potentially functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms -1628 G>A (rs1591420), -606 T>C [rs4978620, in complete linkage disequilibrium with -249T>C (rs2012775) and -122 G>A(rs2012566)], c.179 C>T p.Ala60Val (rs2269700) and 3' untranslated region-rs3750505 as well as the TP53 tumor suppressor gene codon 72 (Arg72Pro, rs1042522) polymorphism were genotyped in 1111 non-Hispanic Whites SCCHN patients and 1130 age-and sex-matched cancer-free controls. After adjustment for age, sex and smoking and drinking status, the variant -606CC (i.e. -249CC) homozygotes had a significantly reduced SCCHN risk (adjusted odds ratio = 0.71, 95% confidence interval = 0.52-0.99) compared with the -606TT homozygotes. Stratification analyses showed that a reduced risk associated with the -606CC genotype was more pronounced in subgroups of non-smokers, non-drinkers, younger subjects (defined as ≤57 years), carriers of the TP53 Arg/Arg (rs1042522) genotype, patients with oropharyngeal cancer or late-stage SCCHN. Further in silico analysis revealed that the -249 T-to-C change led to a gain of a transcription factor-binding site. Additional functional analysis showed that the -249T-to-C change significantly enhanced transcriptional activity of the DEC1 promoter and the DNA-protein-binding activity. We conclude that the DEC1 promoter -249 T>C (rs2012775) polymorphism is functional, modulating susceptibility to SCCHN among non-Hispanic Whites.

Liu Y, Sato F, Kawamoto T, et al.
Anti-apoptotic effect of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor DEC2 in human breast cancer cells.
Genes Cells. 2010; 15(4):315-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
DEC1 (BHLHB2/Stra13/Sharp2) and DEC2 (BHLHB3/Sharp1) are basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors that are involved in circadian rhythms, differentiation and the responses to hypoxia. We examined whether DEC1 and DEC2 are involved in apoptosis regulation, in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells. We found that siRNA-mediated knockdown of DEC2 resulted in marked enhancement of apoptosis compared with that in control cells transfected with nonspecific siRNA. However, knockdown of DEC1 by siRNA did not affect cell survival. Knockdown of DEC2 affected the expression of mRNA or proteins related to apoptosis, such as Fas, c-Myc, caspase-8, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and Bax. We also showed that tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) up-regulates the expression of DEC1 and DEC2. DEC2 over-expression caused by the transfection of an expression vector reduced the amounts of cleaved PARP and caspase-8 induced by TNF-alpha treatment, whereas DEC1 over-expression increased it. Finally, we revealed that treatment with double knockdown against both DEC1 and DEC2 decreased the amounts of cleaved PARP and caspase-8 induced by DEC2 siRNA with or without TNF-alpha. These data indicate that DEC2 has an anti-apoptotic effect, whereas DEC1 has a pro-apoptotic effect, which are involved in the balance of survival of human breast cancer MCF-7 cells.

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