Gene Summary

Gene:TCF7; transcription factor 7 (T-cell specific, HMG-box)
Aliases: TCF-1
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the T-cell factor/lymphoid enhancer-binding factor family of high mobility group (HMG) box transcriptional activators. This gene is expressed predominantly in T-cells and plays a critical role in natural killer cell and innate lymphoid cell development. The encoded protein forms a complex with beta-catenin and activates transcription through a Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway. Mice with a knockout of this gene are viable and fertile, but display a block in T-lymphocyte differentiation. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. Naturally-occurring isoforms lacking the N-terminal beta-catenin interaction domain may act as dominant negative regulators of Wnt signaling. [provided by RefSeq, Oct 2016]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:transcription factor 7
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 16 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

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: TCF7 (cancer-related)

Wu J, Wang D
Long noncoding RNA TCF7 promotes invasiveness and self-renewal of human non-small cell lung cancer cells.
Hum Cell. 2017; 30(1):23-29 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lung cancer is the most common solid tumor and the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) represents the major histological subtype and accounts for about 80 % cases of lung cancer cases. Recently, lncRNA lncTCF7 was identified, which is highly expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tumors and liver cancer stem cells (CSCs). However, the role of lnTCF7 in NSCLC remains largely unknown. In this study, Gain- and loss-of-function studies demonstrated the critical role of lncTCF7 in promoting invasion and self-renewal in NSCLC cells. We showed that lncTCF7 increased slug expression to promote the invasive capability of NSCLC cells and upregulated EpCAM expression to promote the self-renewal. Collectively, these findings provide new insights into the potential role of lncTCF7 upregulation in NSCLC metastasis and suggest a promising potential to suppress lncTCF7 for NSCLC patients.

Wang Y, Zhang S, Xu Y, et al.
Upregulation of miR-192 inhibits cell growth and invasion and induces cell apoptosis by targeting TCF7 in human osteosarcoma.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(11):15211-15220 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) can function as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes and are involved in multiple processes in cancer development and progression. For example, miR-192 is dysregulated in multiple human cancers, including osteosarcoma (OS). However, the pathophysiological role of miR-192 and its relevance to OS cell growth and invasion has not yet been clarified. This study aimed to investigate the expression of miR-192 in OS and elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which miR-192 acts as a tumor suppressor in this disease. The qRT-PCR data identified significant down-regulation of miR-192 in 20 OS tissue samples and two OS cell lines when compared with adjacent normal tissues and a human osteoblast cell line, respectively. Furthermore, Western blot analysis revealed overexpression of T cell-specific transcription factor (TCF) 7 protein in tumor tissues compared with matched adjacent normal tissues. Further in vitro studies demonstrated that enforced expression of miR-192 inhibited U2OS and MG63 cell proliferation, invasion, and migration and induced apoptosis. Finally, Western blot and Luciferase assays identified TCF7 as a target of miR-192. Collectively, these findings suggest an important role for miR-192 in regulating the proliferation, migration, invasion, and apoptosis of OS cells through the regulation of TCF7.

Xu X, Tang X, Guo W, et al.
TCF-1 participates in the occurrence of dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(10):14129-14140 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The present study demonstrated that T cell factor 1 (TCF-1) protein, a component of the canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, can regulate the expression of runt-related transcription factor 2 (runx2) gene and Sry-related HMG box 9 (sox9) gene, which may participate in the differentiation of chondrosarcoma. Dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma (DDCS) is a special variant of conventional chondrosarcoma (CCS), associated with poor survival and high metastasis rate. However, little is known about the mechanism of its occurrence; thus, no effective treatment is available except surgery. Earlier, high expression of runx2 and low expression of sox9 were found in DDCS compared with CCS. Using Western blot to detect clinical tissue samples (including 8 CCS samples and 8 DDCS samples) and immunohistochemistry to detect 85 different-grade chondrosarcoma specimens, a high expression of TCF-1 in DDCS tissues was found compared with CCS tissues. This difference in expression was related to patients' prognosis. Results of luciferase, chromatin immunoprecipitation, and gel electrophoresis mobility shift assays demonstrated that TCF-1 protein could bind to the promoter of runx2 gene directly and sox9 gene indirectly. Hence, it could regulate expression of runx2 gene positively and sox9 gene negatively. Furthermore, in vitro and in vivo experiments showed that TCF-1 protein was closely related to the phenotype and aggressiveness of chondrosarcoma. In conclusion, this study proved that TCF-1 participates in the dedifferentiation of DDCS, which may be mediated by runx2 gene and sox9 gene. Also, TCF-1 can be of important prognostic value and a promising therapeutic target for DDCS patients.

Chin AR, Fong MY, Somlo G, et al.
Cross-kingdom inhibition of breast cancer growth by plant miR159.
Cell Res. 2016; 26(2):217-28 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are critical regulators of gene expression, and exert extensive impacts on development, physiology, and disease of eukaryotes. A high degree of parallelism is found in the molecular basis of miRNA biogenesis and action in plants and animals. Recent studies interestingly suggest a potential cross-kingdom action of plant-derived miRNAs, through dietary intake, in regulating mammalian gene expression. Although the source and scope of plant miRNAs detected in mammalian specimens remain controversial, these initial studies inspired us to determine whether plant miRNAs can be detected in Western human sera and whether these plant miRNAs are able to influence gene expression and cellular processes related to human diseases such as cancer. Here we found that Western donor sera contained the plant miRNA miR159, whose abundance in the serum was inversely correlated with breast cancer incidence and progression in patients. In human sera, miR159 was predominantly detected in the extracellular vesicles, and was resistant to sodium periodate oxidation suggesting the plant-originated 2'-O-methylation on the 3' terminal ribose. In breast cancer cells but not non-cancerous mammary epithelial cells, a synthetic mimic of miR159 was capable of inhibiting proliferation by targeting TCF7 that encodes a Wnt signaling transcription factor, leading to a decrease in MYC protein levels. Oral administration of miR159 mimic significantly suppressed the growth of xenograft breast tumors in mice. These results demonstrate for the first time that a plant miRNA can inhibit cancer growth in mammals.

Yepes S, Torres MM, López-Kleine L
Regulatory network reconstruction reveals genes with prognostic value for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
BMC Genomics. 2015; 16:1002 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The clinical course of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is highly variable; some patients follow an indolent course, but others progress to a more advanced stage. The mutational status of rearranged immunoglobulin heavy chain variable (IGVH) genes in CLL is a feature that is widely recognized for dividing patients into groups that are related to their prognoses. However, the regulatory programs associated with the IGVH statuses are poorly understood, and markers that can precisely predict survival outcomes have yet to be identified.
METHODS: In this study, (i) we reconstructed gene regulatory networks in CLL by applying an information-theoretic approach to the expression profiles of 5 cohorts. (ii) We applied master regulator analysis (MRA) to these networks to identify transcription factors (TFs) that regulate an IGVH mutational status signature. The IGVH mutational status signature was developed by searching for differentially expressed genes between the IGVH mutational statuses in numerous CLL cohorts. (iii) To evaluate the biological implication of the inferred regulators, prognostic values were determined using time to treatment (TTT) and overall survival (OS) in two different cohorts.
RESULTS: A robust IGVH expression signature was obtained, and various TFs emerged as regulators of the signature in most of the reconstructed networks. The TF targets expression profiles exhibited significant differences with respect to survival, which allowed the definition of a reduced profile with a high value for OS. TCF7 and its targets stood out for their roles in progression.
CONCLUSION: TFs and their targets, which were obtained merely from inferred regulatory associations, have prognostic implications and reflect a regulatory context for prognosis.

Li P, Hu Y, Yi J, et al.
Identification of potential biomarkers to differentially diagnose solid pseudopapillary tumors and pancreatic malignancies via a gene regulatory network.
J Transl Med. 2015; 13:361 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Solid pseudopapillary neoplasms (SPN) are pancreatic tumors with low malignant potential and good prognosis. However, differential diagnosis between SPN and pancreatic malignancies including pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (PanNET) and ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is difficult. This study tried to identify candidate biomarkers for the distinction between SPN and the two malignant pancreatic tumors by examining the gene regulatory network of SPN.
METHODS: The gene regulatory network for SPN was constructed by a co-expression model. Genes that have been reported to be correlated with SPN were used as the clues to hunt more SPN-related genes in the network according to a shortest path approach. By means of the K-nearest neighbor algorithm (KNN) classifier evaluated by the jackknife test, sets of genes to distinguish SPN and malignant pancreatic tumors were determined.
RESULTS: We took a new strategy to identify candidate biomarkers for differentiating SPN from the two malignant pancreatic tumors PanNET and PDAC by analyzing shortest paths among SPN-related genes in the gene regulatory network. 43 new SPN-relevant genes were discovered, among which, we found hsa-miR-194 and hsa-miR-7 along with 7 transcription factors (TFs) such as SOX11, SMAD3 and SOX4 etc. could correctly differentiate SPN from PanNET, while hsa-miR-204 and 4 TFs such as SOX9, TCF7 and PPARD etc. were demonstrated as the potential markers for SPN versus PDAC. 14 genes were demonstrated to serve as the candidate biomarkers for distinguishing SPN from PanNET and PDAC when considering them as malignant pancreatic tumors together.
CONCLUSION: This study provides new candidate genes related to SPN and the potential biomarkers to differentiate SPN from PanNET and PDAC, which may help to diagnose patients with SPN in clinical setting. Furthermore, candidate biomarkers such as SOX11 and hsa-miR-204 which could cause cell proliferation but inhibit invasion or metastasis may be of importance in understanding the molecular mechanism of pancreatic oncogenesis and could be possible therapeutic targets for malignant pancreatic tumors.

Leal LF, Bueno AC, Gomes DC, et al.
Inhibition of the Tcf/beta-catenin complex increases apoptosis and impairs adrenocortical tumor cell proliferation and adrenal steroidogenesis.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(40):43016-32 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: To date, there is no effective therapy for patients with advanced/metastatic adrenocortical cancer (ACC). The activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is frequent in ACC and this pathway is a promising therapeutic target.
AIM: To investigate the effects of the inhibition of the Wnt/beta-catenin in ACC cells.
METHODS: Adrenal (NCI-H295 and Y1) and non-adrenal (HeLa) cell lines were treated with PNU-74654 (5-200 μM) for 24-96 h to assess cell viability (MTS-based assay), apoptosis (Annexin V), expression/localization of beta-catenin (qPCR, immunofluorescence, immunocytochemistry and western blot), expression of beta-catenin target genes (qPCR and western blot), and adrenal steroidogenesis (radioimmunoassay, qPCR and western blot).
RESULTS: In NCI-H295 cells, PNU-74654 significantly decreased cell proliferation 96 h after treatment, increased early and late apoptosis, decreased nuclear beta-catenin accumulation, impaired CTNNB1/beta-catenin expression and increased beta-catenin target genes 48 h after treatment. No effects were observed on HeLa cells. In NCI-H295 cells, PNU-74654 decreased cortisol, testosterone and androstenedione secretion 24 and 48 h after treatment. Additionally, in NCI-H295 cells, PNU-74654 decreased SF1 and CYP21A2 mRNA expression as well as the protein levels of STAR and aldosterone synthase 48 h after treatment. In Y1 cells, PNU-74654 impaired corticosterone secretion 24 h after treatment but did not decrease cell viability.
CONCLUSIONS: Blocking the Tcf/beta-catenin complex inhibits the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in adrenocortical tumor cells triggering increased apoptosis, decreased cell viability and impairment of adrenal steroidogenesis. These promising findings pave the way for further experiments inhibiting the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway in pre-clinical models of ACC. The inhibition of this pathway may become a promising adjuvant therapy for patients with ACC.

Wu J, Zhang J, Shen B, et al.
Long noncoding RNA lncTCF7, induced by IL-6/STAT3 transactivation, promotes hepatocellular carcinoma aggressiveness through epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 34:116 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Accumulating evidence suggests the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) in tumor microenvironment may promote the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the underlying mechanism remains largely unknown.
METHODS: The expression and promoter activity of lncTCF7 were measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and luciferase reporter assay. The function of the STAT3 binding site in the lncTCF7 promoter region was tested by luciferase reporter assay with nucleotide substitutions. The binding of STAT3 to the lncTCF7 promoter was confirmed by chromatin immunoprecipitation assay (CHIP) in vivo. The effects of decreasing STAT3 with small interference RNA and inhibiting STAT3 activation by small molecular inhibitor on lncTCF7 expression were also determined.
RESULTS: We demonstrate that IL-6 could induce lncTCF7 expression in a time- and dose-dependent manner, and we showed that IL-6 transcriptionally activated the expression of lncTCF7 in HCC cells by activating STAT3, a transcription activator which binds to promoter regions of lncTCF7. Furthermore, knocking-down STAT3 and inhibiting STAT3 activation reduced lncTCF7 expression. Importantly, RNA interference-based attenuation of lncTCF7 prevented IL-6-induced EMT and cell invasion.
CONCLUSION: Thus, these data provides evidence to the existence of an aberrant IL-6/STAT3/ lncTCF7 signaling axis that leads to HCC aggressiveness through EMT induction, which could be novel therapeutic targets in malignancies.

Zhu Y, Wang W, Wang X
Roles of transcriptional factor 7 in production of inflammatory factors for lung diseases.
J Transl Med. 2015; 13:273 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lung disease is the major cause of death and hospitalization worldwide. Transcription factors such as transcription factor 7 (TCF7) are involved in the pathogenesis of lung diseases. TCF7 is important for T cell development and differentiation, embryonic development, or tumorogenesis. Multiple TCF7 isoforms can be characterized by the full-length isoform (FL-TCF7) as a transcription activator, or dominant negative isoform (dn-TCF7) as a transcription repressor. TCF7 interacts with multiple proteins or target genes and participates in several signal pathways critical for lung diseases. TCF7 is involved in pulmonary infection, allergy or asthma through promoting T cells differentiating to Th2 or memory T cells. TCF7 also works in tissue repair and remodeling after acute lung injury. The dual roles of TCF7 in lung cancers were discussed and it is associated with the cellular proliferation, invasion or metastasis. Thus, TCF7 plays critical roles in lung diseases and should be considered as a new therapeutic target.

Muff R, Rath P, Ram Kumar RM, et al.
Genomic instability of osteosarcoma cell lines in culture: impact on the prediction of metastasis relevant genes.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(5):e0125611 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Osteosarcoma is a rare but highly malignant cancer of the bone. As a consequence, the number of established cell lines used for experimental in vitro and in vivo osteosarcoma research is limited and the value of these cell lines relies on their stability during culture. Here we investigated the stability in gene expression by microarray analysis and array genomic hybridization of three low metastatic cell lines and derivatives thereof with increased metastatic potential using cells of different passages.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The osteosarcoma cell lines showed altered gene expression during in vitro culture, and it was more pronounced in two metastatic cell lines compared to the respective parental cells. Chromosomal instability contributed in part to the altered gene expression in SAOS and LM5 cells with low and high metastatic potential. To identify metastasis-relevant genes in a background of passage-dependent altered gene expression, genes involved in "Pathways in cancer" that were consistently regulated under all passage comparisons were evaluated. Genes belonging to "Hedgehog signaling pathway" and "Wnt signaling pathway" were significantly up-regulated, and IHH, WNT10B and TCF7 were found up-regulated in all three metastatic compared to the parental cell lines.
CONCLUSIONS: Considerable instability during culture in terms of gene expression and chromosomal aberrations was observed in osteosarcoma cell lines. The use of cells from different passages and a search for genes consistently regulated in early and late passages allows the analysis of metastasis-relevant genes despite the observed instability in gene expression in osteosarcoma cell lines during culture.

Wang Y, He L, Du Y, et al.
The long noncoding RNA lncTCF7 promotes self-renewal of human liver cancer stem cells through activation of Wnt signaling.
Cell Stem Cell. 2015; 16(4):413-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most prevalent subtype of liver cancer, and it is characterized by a high rate of recurrence and heterogeneity. Liver cancer stem cells (CSCs) may well contribute to both of these pathological properties, but the mechanisms underlying their self-renewal and maintenance are poorly understood. Here, using transcriptome microarray analysis, we identified a long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) termed lncTCF7 that is highly expressed in HCC tumors and liver CSCs. LncTCF7 is required for liver CSC self-renewal and tumor propagation. Mechanistically, lncTCF7 recruits the SWI/SNF complex to the promoter of TCF7 to regulate its expression, leading to activation of Wnt signaling. Our data suggest that lncTCF7-mediated Wnt signaling primes liver CSC self-renewal and tumor propagation. In sum, therefore, we have identified an lncRNA-based Wnt signaling regulatory circuit that promotes tumorigenic activity in liver cancer stem cells, highlighting the role that lncRNAs can play in tumor growth and propagation.

Li W, Jiang Z, Li T, et al.
Genome-wide analyses identify KLF4 as an important negative regulator in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia through directly inhibiting T-cell associated genes.
Mol Cancer. 2015; 14:26 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Kruppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) induces tumorigenesis or suppresses tumor growth in a tissue-dependent manner. However, the roles of KLF4 in hematological malignancies and the mechanisms of action are not fully understood.
METHODS: Inducible KLF4-overexpression Jurkat cell line combined with mouse models bearing cell-derived xenografts and primary T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cells from four patients were used to assess the functional role of KLF4 in T-ALL cells in vitro and in vivo. A genome-wide RNA-seq analysis was conducted to identify genes regulated by KLF4 in T-ALL cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) PCR was used to determine direct binding sites of KLF4 in T-ALL cells.
RESULTS: Here we reveal that KLF4 induced apoptosis through the BCL2/BCLXL pathway in human T-ALL cell lines and primary T-ALL specimens. In consistence, mice engrafted with KLF4-overexpressing T-ALL cells exhibited prolonged survival. Interestingly, the KLF4-induced apoptosis in T-ALL cells was compromised in xenografts but the invasion capacity of KLF4-expressing T-ALL cells to hosts was dramatically dampened. We found that KLF4 overexpression inhibited T cell-associated genes including NOTCH1, BCL11B, GATA3, and TCF7. Further mechanistic studies revealed that KLF4 directly bound to the promoters of NOTCH1, BCL2, and CXCR4 and suppressed their expression. Additionally, KLF4 induced SUMOylation and degradation of BCL11B.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that KLF4 as a major transcription factor that suppresses the expression of T-cell associated genes, thus inhibiting T-ALL progression.

Chen WY, Liu SY, Chang YS, et al.
MicroRNA-34a regulates WNT/TCF7 signaling and inhibits bone metastasis in Ras-activated prostate cancer.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(1):441-57 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Aberrant activation of Ras and WNT signaling are key events that have been shown to be up-regulated in prostate cancer that has metastasized to the bone. However, the regulatory mechanism of combinatorial Ras and WNT signaling in advanced prostate cancer is still unclear. TCF7, a WNT signaling-related gene, has been implicated as a critical factor in bone metastasis, and here we show that TCF7 is a direct target of miR-34a. In samples of prostate cancer patients, miR-34a levels are inversely correlated with TCF7 expression and a WNT dependent gene signature. Ectopic miR-34a expression inhibited bone metastasis and reduced cancer cell proliferation in a Ras-dependent xenograft model. We demonstrate that miR-34a can directly interfere with the gene expression of the anti-proliferative BIRC5, by targeting BIRC5 3'UTR. Importantly, BIRC5 overexpression was sufficient to reconstitute anti-apoptotic signaling in cells expressing high levels of miR-34a. In prostate cancer patients, we found that BIRC5 levels were positively correlated with a Ras signaling signature expression. Our data show that the bone metastasis and anti-apoptotic effects found in Ras signaling-activated prostate cancer cells require miR-34a deficiency, which in turn aids in cell survival by activating the WNT and anti-apoptotic signaling pathways thereby inducing TCF7 and BIRC5 expressions.

Otani K, Dong Y, Li X, et al.
Odd-skipped related 1 is a novel tumour suppressor gene and a potential prognostic biomarker in gastric cancer.
J Pathol. 2014; 234(3):302-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We report that the odd-skipped related 1 (OSR1) gene encoding a zinc-finger transcription factor was preferentially methylated in gastric cancer by genome-wide methylation screening. OSR1 expression was frequently silenced or down-regulated in gastric cancer cell lines. OSR1 expression was also significantly down-regulated at both mRNA and protein levels in primary gastric cancer tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues. The silencing or down-regulation of OSR1 was closely associated with promoter hypermethylation. Overexpression of OSR1 significantly inhibited cell growth, arrested the cell cycle, and induced apoptosis in the gastric cancer cell lines AGS, MKN28, and MGC803. Conversely, knockdown of OSR1 by OSR1-short hairpin RNA significantly enhanced cell growth, promoted the cell cycle, and inhibited apoptosis in the normal gastric epithelial cell line GES1. The dual-luciferase reporter assay revealed that OSR1 activated p53 transcription and repressed the T-cell factor (TCF)/lymphoid enhancer factor (LEF). Complementary DNA expression array and western blotting showed that OSR1 increased the expression of nuclear p53, p21, Fas, and death receptor-5, and suppressed the expression of cyclin D1 and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 in the p53 signalling pathway. In addition, OSR1 suppressed the expression of cytoplasmic β-catenin, TCF-1, and LEF1 in the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway. OSR1 methylation was detected in 51.8% of primary gastric cancer patients (85 of 164) by bisulphite genomic sequencing. Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that OSR1 methylation was an independent predictor of poor survival. Kaplan-Meier survival curves revealed that OSR1 methylation was associated with shortened survival in TNM stage I-III patients. In conclusion, OSR1 acts as a functional tumour suppressor through the transcriptional activation of p53 and repression of TCF/LEF in gastric cancer. Detection of OSR1 methylation may serve as a potential biomarker of the early stage of gastric cancer.

Bou Samra E, Klein B, Commes T, Moreaux J
Identification of a 20-gene expression-based risk score as a predictor of clinical outcome in chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients.
Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:423174 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Despite the improvement in treatment options, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) remains an incurable disease and patients show a heterogeneous clinical course requiring therapy for many of them. In the current work, we have built a 20-gene expression (GE)-based risk score predictive for patients overall survival and improving risk classification using microarray gene expression data. GE-based risk score allowed identifying a high-risk group associated with a significant shorter overall survival (OS) and time to treatment (TTT) (P ≤ .01), comprising 19.6% and 13.6% of the patients in two independent cohorts. GE-based risk score, and NRIP1 and TCF7 gene expression remained independent prognostic factors using multivariate Cox analyses and combination of GE-based risk score together with NRIP1 and TCF7 gene expression enabled the identification of three clinically distinct groups of CLL patients. Therefore, this GE-based risk score represents a powerful tool for risk stratification and outcome prediction of CLL patients and could thus be used to guide clinical and therapeutic decisions prospectively.

Keerthivasan S, Aghajani K, Dose M, et al.
β-Catenin promotes colitis and colon cancer through imprinting of proinflammatory properties in T cells.
Sci Transl Med. 2014; 6(225):225ra28 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The density and type of lymphocytes that infiltrate colon tumors are predictive of the clinical outcome of colon cancer. High densities of T helper 17 (T(H)17) cells and inflammation predict poor outcome, whereas infiltration by T regulatory cells (Tregs) that naturally suppress inflammation is associated with longer patient survival. However, the role of Tregs in cancer remains controversial. We recently reported that Tregs in colon cancer patients can become proinflammatory and tumor-promoting. These properties were directly linked with their expression of RORγt (retinoic acid-related orphan receptor-γt), the signature transcription factor of T(H)17 cells. We report that Wnt/β-catenin signaling in T cells promotes expression of RORγt. Expression of β-catenin was elevated in T cells, including Tregs, of patients with colon cancer. Genetically engineered activation of β-catenin in mouse T cells resulted in enhanced chromatin accessibility in the proximity of T cell factor-1 (Tcf-1) binding sites genome-wide, induced expression of T(H)17 signature genes including RORγt, and promoted T(H)17-mediated inflammation. Strikingly, the mice had inflammation of small intestine and colon and developed lesions indistinguishable from colitis-induced cancer. Activation of β-catenin only in Tregs was sufficient to produce inflammation and initiate cancer. On the basis of these findings, we conclude that activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in effector T cells and/or Tregs is causatively linked with the imprinting of proinflammatory properties and the promotion of colon cancer.

Lv C, Kong H, Dong G, et al.
Antitumor efficacy of α-solanine against pancreatic cancer in vitro and in vivo.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e87868 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
α-solanine, a steroidal glycoalkaloid in potato, was found to have proliferation-inhibiting and apoptosis-promoting effect on multiple cancer cells, such as clone, liver, melanoma cancer cells. However, the antitumor efficacy of α-solanine on pancreatic cancer has not been fully evaluated. In this study, we inquired into the anti-carcinogenic effect of α-solanine against human pancreatic cancer cells. In the present study, we investigated the anti-carcinogenic effect of α-solanine against human pancreatic cancer cells. In vitro, α-solanine inhibited proliferation of PANC-1, sw1990, MIA PaCa-2 cells in a dose-dependent manner, as well as cell migration and invasion with atoxic doses. The expression of MMP-2/9, extracellular inducer of matrix metalloproteinase (EMMPRIN), CD44, eNOS and E-cadherin were suppressed by α-solanine in PANC-1 cells. Moreover, significantly decreased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression and tube formation of endothelial cells were discerned following α-solanine treatment. Suppressed phosphorylation of Akt, mTOR, and Stat3, and strengthen phosphorylation of β-catenin was found, along with markedly decreased tran-nuclear of NF-κB, β-catenin and TCF-1. Following the administration of α-solanine (6 µg/g for 2 weeks) in xenograft model, tumor volume and weight were decreased by 61% and 43% (p<0.05) respectively, showing decreased MMP-2/9, PCNA and VEGF expression. In conclusion, α-solanine showed beneficial effects on pancreatic cancer in vitro and in vivo, which may via suppressing the pathway proliferation, angiogenesis and metastasis.

Zhang X, Li M, Zuo K, et al.
Upregulated miR-155 in papillary thyroid carcinoma promotes tumor growth by targeting APC and activating Wnt/β-catenin signaling.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013; 98(8):E1305-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are strongly implicated in many cancers, including papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), which is the most common malignancy in thyroid tissue. Recently, miRNA-155 (miR-155) has been proved to play a substantial role in liposarcoma and breast cancer, but its functions in the context of PTC remain unknown.
OBJECTIVES: The objective was to investigate the potential involvement of miR-155 in PTC.
DESIGN: Expression levels of miR-155 were assessed via quantitative real-time PCR in 20 pairs of human PTC and adjacent normal tissues and in 4 human PTC cell lines. Lentiviral miR-155 overexpression models were performed in TPC-1 and CGTH-W3 cells, and the effects on cell growth were evaluated. We have searched for miR-155 targets and identified the hypothesis that miR-155 could promote tumor growth of PTC by targeted regulation of adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) expression and activating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling.
RESULTS: MiR-155 levels were markedly increased in PTC specimens and PTC cell lines. Overexpression of miR-155 dramatically promoted PTC cell viability and colony formation in vitro, whereas miR-155 depletion reduced these parameters. Further studies revealed that APC is a novel miR-155 target, because miR-155 bound directly to its 3'-untranslated region and reduced both the mRNA and protein levels of APC. Similar to the miR-155 over-expression, APC downregulation promoted cell growth, whereas rescued APC expression reversed the promotive effect of miR-155. Furthermore, miR-155 overexpression resulted in activation of β-catenin and induction of several downstream genes including c-Myc, cyclin D1, TCF-1. and LEF-1. Depletion of β-catenin partially prevented miR-155-induced tumor cell viability and colony formation. In xenograft animal experiments, we found overexpressed miR-155 effectively promoted tumor growth of PTC cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that miR-155 functions as an oncogene in PTC. By targeting APC, miR-155 efficiently regulates the Wnt/β-catenin signaling. And miR-155 may be a potential therapeutic or diagnostic/prognostic target for treating PTC.

Wang J, Park JS, Wei Y, et al.
TRIB2 acts downstream of Wnt/TCF in liver cancer cells to regulate YAP and C/EBPα function.
Mol Cell. 2013; 51(2):211-25 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Dysregulation of Wnt signaling is closely associated with human liver tumorigenesis. However, liver cancer-specific Wnt transcriptional programs and downstream effectors remain poorly understood. Here, we identify tribbles homolog 2 (TRIB2) as a direct target of Wnt/TCF in liver cancer and demonstrate that transcription of Wnt target genes, including TRIB2, is coordinated by the TCF and FoxA transcription factors in liver cancer cells. We show that Wnt-TRIB2 activation is critical for cancer cell survival and transformation. Mechanistically, TRIB2 promotes protein stabilization of the YAP transcription coactivator through interaction with the βTrCP ubiquitin ligase. Furthermore, we find that TRIB2 relieves the liver tumor suppressor protein C/EBPα-mediated inhibition of YAP/TEAD transcriptional activation in liver cancer cells. Altogether, our study uncovers a regulatory mechanism underlying liver cancer-specific Wnt transcriptional output, and suggests that TRIB2 functions as a signaling nexus to integrate the Wnt/β-catenin, Hippo/YAP, and C/EBPα pathways in cancer cells.

Colli LM, Saggioro F, Serafini LN, et al.
Components of the canonical and non-canonical Wnt pathways are not mis-expressed in pituitary tumors.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(4):e62424 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Canonical and non-canonical Wnt pathways are involved in the genesis of multiple tumors; however, their role in pituitary tumorigenesis is mostly unknown.
OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated gene and protein expression of Wnt pathways in pituitary tumors and whether these expression correlate to clinical outcome.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Genes of the WNT canonical pathway: activating ligands (WNT11, WNT4, WNT5A), binding inhibitors (DKK3, sFRP1), β-catenin (CTNNB1), β-catenin degradation complex (APC, AXIN1, GSK3β), inhibitor of β-catenin degradation complex (AKT1), sequester of β-catenin (CDH1), pathway effectors (TCF7, MAPK8, NFAT5), pathway mediators (DVL-1, DVL-2, DVL-3, PRICKLE, VANGL1), target genes (MYB, MYC, WISP2, SPRY1, TP53, CCND1); calcium dependent pathway (PLCB1, CAMK2A, PRKCA, CHP); and planar cell polarity pathway (PTK7, DAAM1, RHOA) were evaluated by QPCR, in 19 GH-, 18 ACTH-secreting, 21 non-secreting (NS) pituitary tumors, and 5 normal pituitaries. Also, the main effectors of canonical (β-catenin), planar cell polarity (JNK), and calcium dependent (NFAT5) Wnt pathways were evaluated by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: There are no differences in gene expression of canonical and non-canonical Wnt pathways between all studied subtypes of pituitary tumors and normal pituitaries, except for WISP2, which was over-expressed in ACTH-secreting tumors compared to normal pituitaries (4.8x; p = 0.02), NS pituitary tumors (7.7x; p = 0.004) and GH-secreting tumors (5.0x; p = 0.05). β-catenin, NFAT5 and JNK proteins showed no expression in normal pituitaries and in any of the pituitary tumor subtypes. Furthermore, no association of the studied gene or protein expression was observed with tumor size, recurrence, and progressive disease. The hierarchical clustering showed a regular pattern of genes of the canonical and non-canonical Wnt pathways randomly distributed throughout the dendrogram.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data reinforce previous reports suggesting no activation of canonical Wnt pathway in pituitary tumorigenesis. Moreover, we describe, for the first time, evidence that non-canonical Wnt pathways are also not mis-expressed in the pituitary tumors.

Rampazzo E, Persano L, Pistollato F, et al.
Wnt activation promotes neuronal differentiation of glioblastoma.
Cell Death Dis. 2013; 4:e500 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
One of the biggest challenges in tumour research is the possibility to reprogram cancer cells towards less aggressive phenotypes. In this study, we reprogrammed primary Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)-derived cells towards a more differentiated and less oncogenic phenotype by activating the Wnt pathway in a hypoxic microenvironment. Hypoxia usually correlates with malignant behaviours in cancer cells, but it has been recently involved, together with Wnt signalling, in the differentiation of embryonic and neural stem cells. Here, we demonstrate that treatment with Wnt ligands, or overexpression of β-catenin, mediate neuronal differentiation and halt proliferation in primary GBM cells. An hypoxic environment cooperates with Wnt-induced differentiation, in line with our finding that hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) is instrumental and required to sustain the expression of β-catenin transcriptional partners TCF-1 and LEF-1. In addition, we also found that Wnt-induced GBM cell differentiation inhibits Notch signalling, and thus gain of Wnt and loss of Notch cooperate in the activation of a pro-neuronal differentiation program. Intriguingly, the GBM sub-population enriched of cancer stem cells (CD133(+) fraction) is the primary target of the pro-differentiating effects mediated by the crosstalk between HIF-1α, Wnt, and Notch signalling. By using zebrafish transgenics and mutants as model systems to visualize and manipulate in vivo the Wnt pathway, we confirm that Wnt pathway activation is able to promote neuronal differentiation and inhibit Notch signalling of primary human GBM cells also in this in vivo set-up. In conclusion, these findings shed light on an unsuspected crosstalk between hypoxia, Wnt and Notch signalling in GBM, and suggest the potential to manipulate these microenvironmental signals to blunt GBM malignancy.

Preet R, Mohapatra P, Das D, et al.
Lycopene synergistically enhances quinacrine action to inhibit Wnt-TCF signaling in breast cancer cells through APC.
Carcinogenesis. 2013; 34(2):277-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
We previously reported that quinacrine (QC) has anticancer activity against breast cancer cells. Here, we examine the mechanism of action of QC and its ability to inhibit Wnt-TCF signaling in two independent breast cancer cell lines. QC altered Wnt-TCF signaling components by increasing the levels of adenomatous polyposis coli (APC), DAB2, GSK-3β and axin and decreasing the levels of β-catenin, p-GSK3β (ser 9) and CK1. QC also reduced the activity of the Wnt transcription factor TCF/LEF and its downstream targets cyclin D1 and c-MYC. Using a luciferase-based Wnt-TCF transcription factor assay, it was shown that APC levels were inversely associated with TCF/LEF activity. Induction of apoptosis and DNA damage was observed after treatment with QC, which was associated with increased expression of APC. The effects induced by QC depend on APC because the inhibition of Wnt-TCF signaling by QC is lost in APC-knockdown cells, and consequently, the extent of apoptosis and DNA damage caused by QC is reduced compared with parental cells. Because we previously showed that QC inhibits topoisomerase, we examined the effect of another topoisomerase inhibitor, etoposide, on Wnt signaling. Interestingly, etoposide treatment also reduced TCF/LEF activity, β-catenin and cyclin D1 levels commensurate with induction of DNA damage and apoptosis. Lycopene, a plant-derived antioxidant, synergistically increased QC activity and inhibited Wnt-TCF signaling in cancer cells without affecting the MCF-10A normal breast cell line. Collectively, the data suggest that QC-mediated Wnt-TCF signal inhibition depends on APC and that the addition of lycopene synergistically increases QC anticancer activity.

Yu S, Zhou X, Steinke FC, et al.
The TCF-1 and LEF-1 transcription factors have cooperative and opposing roles in T cell development and malignancy.
Immunity. 2012; 37(5):813-26 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The TCF-1 and LEF-1 transcription factors are known to play critical roles in normal thymocyte development. Unexpectedly, we found that TCF-1-deficient (Tcf7(-/-)) mice developed aggressive T cell malignancy, resembling human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). LEF-1 was aberrantly upregulated in premalignant Tcf7(-/-) early thymocytes and lymphoma cells. We further demonstrated that TCF-1 directly repressed LEF-1 expression in early thymocytes and that conditional inactivation of Lef1 greatly delayed or prevented T cell malignancy in Tcf7(-/-) mice. In human T-ALLs, an early thymic progenitor (ETP) subtype was associated with diminished TCF7 expression, and two of the ETP-ALL cases harbored TCF7 gene deletions. We also showed that TCF-1 and LEF-1 were dispensable for T cell lineage commitment but instead were required for early thymocytes to mature beyond the CD4(-)CD8(-) stage. TCF-1 thus has dual roles, i.e., acting cooperatively with LEF-1 to promote thymocyte maturation while restraining LEF-1 expression to prevent malignant transformation of developing thymocytes.

Wang X, Chen J, Li F, et al.
MiR-214 inhibits cell growth in hepatocellular carcinoma through suppression of β-catenin.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012; 428(4):525-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mounting evidence has shown that microRNAs (miRNAs) are implicated in carcinogenesis and can function as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes in human cancers. Recent profile studies of miRNA expression have documented a deregulation of miRNA (miR-214) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, its potential functions and underlying mechanisms in hepatocarcinogenesis remain largely unknown. Here, we confirmed that miR-214 is significantly downregulated in HCC cells and specimens. Ectopic overexpression of miR-214 inhibited proliferation of HCC cells in vitro and tumorigenicity in vivo. Further studies revealed that miR-214 could directly target the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of β-catenin mRNA and suppress its protein expression. Similar to the restoring miR-214 expression, β-catenin downregulation inhibited cell growth, whereas restoring the β-catenin expression abolished the function of miR-214. Moreover, miR-214-mediated reduction of β-catenin resulted in suppression of several downstream genes including c-Myc, cyclinD1, TCF-1, and LEF-1. These findings indicate that miR-214 serves as tumor suppressor and plays substantial roles in inhibiting the tumorigenesis of HCC through suppression of β-catenin. Given these, miR-214 may serve as a useful prognostic or therapeutic target for treatment of HCC.

Schüle R, Dictus C, Campos B, et al.
Potential canonical wnt pathway activation in high-grade astrocytomas.
ScientificWorldJournal. 2012; 2012:697313 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Aberrant wnt pathway activation through cytoplasmic stabilization of β-catenin is crucial for the development of various human malignancies. In gliomagenesis, the role of canonical (i.e., β-catenin-dependent) signalling is largely unknown. Here, we studied canonical wnt pathway activation in 15 short-term cultures from high-grade gliomas and potential pathomechanisms leading to cytoplasmic β-catenin accumulation. Furthermore, we assessed the prognostic relevance of β-catenin expression in a tissue microarray comprising 283 astrocytomas. Expression of β-catenin, its transcriptional cofactors TCF-1 and TCF-4 as well as GSK-3β and APC, constituents of the β-catenin degradation complex was confirmed by RT-PCR in all cultures. A cytoplasmic β-catenin pool was detectable in 13/15 cultures leading to some transcriptional activity assessed by luciferase reporter gene assay in 8/13. Unlike other malignancies, characteristic mutations of β-catenin and APC leading to cytoplasmic stabilization of β-catenin were excluded by direct sequencing or protein truncation test. In patient tissues, β-catenin expression was directly and its degradation product's (β-catenin-P654) expression was inversely correlated with WHO grade. Increased β-catenin expression and low β-catenin-P654 expression were associated with shorter survival. Altogether, we report on potential canonical wnt pathway activation in high-grade gliomas and demonstrate that β-catenin expression in astrocytomas is associated with increased malignancy and adverse outcome.

Hoverter NP, Ting JH, Sundaresh S, et al.
A WNT/p21 circuit directed by the C-clamp, a sequence-specific DNA binding domain in TCFs.
Mol Cell Biol. 2012; 32(18):3648-62 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The lymphoid enhancer factor 1/T cell factor (LEF/TCF) family of transcription factors are downstream effectors of the WNT signaling pathway, which drives colon tumorigenesis. LEF/TCFs have a DNA sequence-specific high-mobility group (HMG) box that binds Wnt response elements (WREs). The "E tail" isoforms of TCFs are alternatively spliced to include a second DNA binding domain called the C-clamp. We show that induction of a dominant negative C-clamp version of TCF1 (dnTCF1E) induces p21 expression and a stall in the growth of DLD1 colon cancer cells. Induction of a C-clamp mutant did not efficiently induce p21, nor did it stall cell growth. Microarray analysis revealed that induction of p21 by wild-type dnTCF1E (dnTCF1E(WT)) correlated with a decrease in expression of multiple p21 suppressors that act at multiple levels from transcription (SP5, YAP1, and RUNX1), RNA stability (MSI2), and protein stability (CUL4A). We show that the C-clamp is a sequence-specific DNA binding domain that can make contacts with 5'-RCCG-3' elements upstream or downstream of WREs. The C-clamp-RCCG interaction was critical for TCF1E-mediated transcriptional control of p21-connected target gene promoters. Our results indicate that a rapid-response WNT/p21 circuit is driven by C-clamp target gene selection.

Kypta RM, Waxman J
Wnt/β-catenin signalling in prostate cancer.
Nat Rev Urol. 2012; 9(8):418-28 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Wnts are secreted cysteine-rich glycoproteins that have important roles in the developing embryo as well as in tissue homeostasis in adults. Dysregulation of Wnt signalling can lead to several types of cancer, including prostate cancer. A hallmark of the signalling pathway is the stabilization of the transcriptional co-activator β-catenin, which not only regulates expression of many genes implicated in cancer but is also an essential component of cadherin cell adhesion complexes. β-catenin regulates gene expression by binding members of the T-cell-specific transcription factor/lymphoid enhancer-binding factor 1 (TCF/LEF-1) family of transcription factors. In addition, β-catenin associates with the androgen receptor, a key regulator of prostate growth that drives prostate cancer progression. Wnt/β-catenin signalling can be controlled by secreted Wnt antagonists, many of which are downregulated in cancer. Activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway has effects on prostate cell proliferation, differentiation and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, which is thought to regulate the invasive behaviour of tumour cells. However, whether targeting Wnt/β-catenin signalling is a good therapeutic option for prostate cancer remains unclear.

Guerra E, Trerotola M, Aloisi AL, et al.
The Trop-2 signalling network in cancer growth.
Oncogene. 2013; 32(12):1594-600 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our findings show that upregulation of a wild-type Trop-2 has a key controlling role in human cancer growth, and that tumour development is quantitatively driven by Trop-2 expression levels. However, little is known about the regulation of expression of the TROP2 gene. Hence, we investigated the TROP2 transcription control network. TROP2 expression was shown to depend on a highly interconnected web of transcription factors: TP63/TP53L, ERG, GRHL1/Get-1 (grainyhead-like epithelial transactivator), HNF1A/TCF-1 (T-cell factor), SPI1/PU.1, WT (Wilms' tumour)1, GLIS2, AIRE (autoimmune regulator), FOXM1 (forkhead box M1) and FOXP3, with HNF4A as the major network hub. TROP2 upregulation was shown to subsequently drive the expression and activation of CREB1 (cyclic AMP-responsive-element binding protein), Jun, NF-κB, Rb, STAT1 and STAT3 through induction of the cyclin D1 and ERK (extracellular signal regulated kinase)/MEK (MAPK/ERK kinase) pathways. Growth-stimulatory signalling through NF-κB, cyclin D1 and ERK was shown to require an intact Trop-2 cytoplasmic tail. Network hubs and interacting partners are co-expressed with Trop-2 in primary human tumours, supporting a role of this signalling network in cancer growth.

Lin YY, Hsu YH, Huang HY, et al.
Aberrant nuclear localization of EBP50 promotes colorectal carcinogenesis in xenotransplanted mice by modulating TCF-1 and β-catenin interactions.
J Clin Invest. 2012; 122(5):1881-94 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Dysregulation of canonical Wnt signaling is thought to play a role in colon carcinogenesis. β-Catenin, a key mediator of the pathway, is stabilized upon Wnt activation and accumulates in the nucleus, where it can interact with the transcription factor T cell factor (TCF) to transactivate gene expression. Normal colonic epithelia express a truncated TCF-1 form, called dnTCF-1, that lacks the critical β-catenin-binding domain and behaves as a transcriptional suppressor. How the cell maintains a balance between the two forms of TCF-1 is unclear. Here, we show that ERM-binding phosphoprotein 50 (EBP50) modulates the interaction between β-catenin and TCF-1. We observed EBP50 localization to the nucleus of human colorectal carcinoma cell lines at low cell culture densities and human primary colorectal tumors that manifested a poor clinical outcome. In contrast, EBP50 was primarily membranous in confluent cell lines. Aberrantly located EBP50 stabilized conventional β-catenin/TCF-1 complexes and connected β-catenin to dnTCF-1 to form a ternary molecular complex that enhanced Wnt/β-catenin signaling events, including the transcription of downstream oncogenes such as c-Myc and cyclin D1. Genome-wide analysis of the EBP50 occupancy pattern revealed consensus binding motifs bearing similarity to Wnt-responsive element. Conventional chromatin immunoprecipitation assays confirmed that EBP50 bound to genomic regions highly enriched with TCF/LEF binding motifs. Knockdown of EBP50 in human colorectal carcinoma cell lines compromised cell cycle progression, anchorage-independent growth, and tumorigenesis in nude mice. We therefore suggest that nuclear EBP50 facilitates colon tumorigenesis by modulating the interaction between β-catenin and TCF-1.

Liu J, Shen M, Yue Z, et al.
Triptolide inhibits colon-rectal cancer cells proliferation by induction of G1 phase arrest through upregulation of p21.
Phytomedicine. 2012; 19(8-9):756-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Triptolide, a diterpene triepoxide compound extracted from the traditional Chinese medicine herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F., is a potential cancer chemotherapeutic for tumors. However, the mechanism of anti-proliferative mechanism of triptolide in colon cancer cells is not entirely clear. Triptolide markedly inhibited HT29 and SW480 cells proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Triptolide decreased ERK and AKT phosphorylation, and GABPα expression in colon cancer cells. Beta-catenin expression and phosphorylation were not altered by incubation of triptolide. However, we found that triptolide repressed expression of LEF/TCF. Although it did not significantly affect cells apoptosis, triptolide induced G1 phase arrest dose-dependently. Further detection for the expression of cell cycle-related proteins suggesting that triptolide stimulate expression of p21 and repress cyclin A1. Increased p21 binded to CDK4/CDK6, therefore blocked function of CDK4/CDK6, and subsequently contribute to the G1 arrest. These data suggested that triptolide is a potential agent for treatment of colon cancer, and its anti-proliferation effect mainly occur through G1 phase arrest.

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