Gene Summary

Gene:ZBTB7A; zinc finger and BTB domain containing 7A
Aliases: LRF, FBI1, FBI-1, TIP21, ZBTB7, ZNF857A, pokemon
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:zinc finger and BTB domain-containing protein 7A
Source:NCBIAccessed: 30 August, 2019


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 (1994-2019)
Graph generated 30 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 30 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

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: ZBTB7A (cancer-related)

Wang Z, Chen P, Tao N, et al.
Anticancer Activity of Polysaccharides Produced from Glycerol and Crude Glycerol by an Endophytic Fungus Chaetomium globosum CGMCC 6882 on Human Lung Cancer A549 Cells.
Biomolecules. 2018; 8(4) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Two polysaccharides were produced by

Dorokhov YL, Sheshukova EV, Bialik TE, Komarova TV
Human Endogenous Formaldehyde as an Anticancer Metabolite: Its Oxidation Downregulation May Be a Means of Improving Therapy.
Bioessays. 2018; 40(12):e1800136 [PubMed] Related Publications
Malignant cells are characterized by an increased content of endogenous formaldehyde formed as a by-product of biosynthetic processes. Accumulation of formaldehyde in cancer cells is combined with activation of the processes of cellular formaldehyde clearance. These mechanisms include increased ALDH and suppressed ADH5/FDH activity, which oncologists consider poor and favorable prognostic markers, respectively. Here, the sources and regulation of formaldehyde metabolism in cancer cells are reviewed. The authors also analyze the participation of oncoproteins such as fibulins, FGFR1, HER2/neu, FBI-1, and MUC1-C in the control of genes related to formaldehyde metabolism, suggesting the existence of two mutually exclusive processes in cancer cells: 1) production and 2) oxidation and elimination of formaldehyde from the cell. The authors hypothesize that the study of the anticancer properties of disulfiram and alpha lipoic acid - which affect the balance of formaldehyde in the body - may serve as the basis of future anticancer therapy.

Kawashima N, Akashi A, Nagata Y, et al.
Clinical significance of ASXL2 and ZBTB7A mutations and C-terminally truncated RUNX1-RUNX1T1 expression in AML patients with t(8;21) enrolled in the JALSG AML201 study.
Ann Hematol. 2019; 98(1):83-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
We analyzed the clinical significance and genetic features of ASXL2 and ZBTB7A mutations, and the alternatively spliced isoform of the RUNX1-RUNX1T1 transcript, which is also called AML1-ETO9a (AE9a), in Japanese CBF-AML patients enrolled in the JALSG AML201 study. ASXL2 and ZBTB7A genes were sequenced using bone marrow samples of 41 AML patients with t(8;21) and 14 with inv(16). The relative expression levels of AE9a were quantified using the real-time PCR assay in 23 AML patients with t(8;21). We identified ASXL2 (34.1%) and ZBTB7A (9.8%) mutations in only AML patients with t(8;21). ASXL2-mutated patients had a significantly higher WBC count at diagnosis (P = 0.04) and a lower frequency of sex chromosome loss than wild-type patients (33 vs. 76%, respectively, P = 0.01). KIT mutations were the most frequently accompanied with both ASXL2 (36%) and ZBTB7A (75%) mutations. Neither ASXL2 nor ZBTB7A mutations had an impact on overall or event-free survival. Patients harboring cohesin complex gene mutations expressed significantly higher levels of AE9a than unmutated patients (P = 0.03). In conclusion, ASXL2 and ZBTB7A mutations were frequently identified in Japanese AML patients with t(8;21), but not in those with inv(16). Further analysis is required to clarify the detailed biological mechanism of AE9a regulation of the cohesin complex.

Wang Z, Zhao X, Wang W, et al.
ZBTB7 evokes 5-fluorouracil resistance in colorectal cancer through the NF‑κB signaling pathway.
Int J Oncol. 2018; 53(5):2102-2110 [PubMed] Related Publications
Zinc finger and BTB domain containing 7A (ZBTB7), a POZ/BTB and Krüppel erythroid myeloid oncogenic factor, is critical for the tumorigenicity and progression of various cancer types. ZBTB7 has been reported to promote the cell proliferation of colorectal cancers (CRC). However, the function of ZBTB7 to 5-fluorouracil (5‑FU) resistance has not yet been studied. In the current study, ZBTB7 expression and function in 5‑FU resistance in CRC were investigated using with multidisciplinary approaches, including western blot analysis, Transwell assay, CCK8 and a tumor xenograft model. Overexpression of ZBTB7 was increased the level of proteins associated with cell invasion and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. ZBTB7 inhibition attenuated the invasion and enhanced the apoptosis of CRC cells. IC50 values and cell viability were significantly reduced in cells with short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated ZBTB7 depletion compared with the control group. 5‑FU administration decreased viability to a greater extent in the ZBTB7-shRNA group compared with the control, which was dose- and time-dependent. Analysis of gene expression omnibus data demonstrated that ZBTB7 mediated 5‑FU resistance, potentially through nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling. NF‑κB inhibitor SN50 reversed ZBTB7-induced resistance in CRC. Collectively, the findings demonstrated that ZBTB7 mediated 5‑FU resistance in CRC cells through NF‑κB signaling. Thus, targeting ZBTB7 and NF‑κB signaling may be an effective strategy to reverse 5‑FU resistance in CRC.

Karabay AZ, Koc A, Ozkan T, et al.
Expression analysis of Akirin-2, NFκB-p65 and β-catenin proteins in imatinib resistance of chronic myeloid leukemia.
Hematology. 2018; 23(10):765-770 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Chronic myleoid leukemia (CML) is a myeloproliferative disorder characterized with the constitutive activation of Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase which is a target for imatinib, the first line treatment option for CML. Constitutive activation of NFκB and β-catenin signaling promotes cellular proliferation and survival and resistance to Imatinib therapy in CML. Akirin-2 is a nuclear protein which is required for NFκB dependent gene expression as a cofactor and has been linked to Wnt/beta-catenin pathway. The purpose of this study is to examine Akirin-2, NFκB and β-catenin in imatinib resistance of CML and to test if any direct physical protein-protein interaction exists between NFkB and both β-catenin and Akirin-2.
METHODS: RT-PCR and western blot were performed to determine Akirin-2, NFκB-p65 and β-catenin gene and protein expressions, Co-immunoprecipitation and chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis were carried out to detect the direct physical interactions and binding of NFκB-p65 and β-catenin proteins to MDR1 promoter region, respectively.
RESULTS: β-catenin and NFκB-p65 proteins bound to DNA promoter regions of MDR1 in imatinib-sensitive and resistant CML cells, whereas any direct protein-protein interaction could not be found between NFκB-p65 and Akirin-2 or β-catenin proteins. Nuclear β-catenin and NFκB-p65 levels increased in imatinib resistance. Moreover, increased Akirin-2 protein accumulation in the nucleus was shown for the first time in imatinib resistant CML cells.
DISCUSSION: We show for the first time that Akirin-2 can be a novel biomarker in imatinib resistance. Targeting Akirin-2, NFκB and β-catenin genes may provide an opportunity to overcome imatinib resistance in CML.

Brøndum L, Alsner J, Sørensen BS, et al.
Associations between skin rash, treatment outcome, and single nucleotide polymorphisms in head and neck cancer patients receiving the EGFR-inhibitor zalutumumab: results from the DAHANCA 19 trial.
Acta Oncol. 2018; 57(9):1159-1164 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To study the associations between development of moderate to severe skin rash, clinical outcome, and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in candidate genes in head and neck cancer patients from the DAHANCA 19 trial receiving the EGFR-inhibitor zalutumumab concurrently with radiation treatment.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: 310 patients were included from the zalutumumab-arm of the DAHANCA 19 study. Nine SNPs in the candidate genes EGFR, EGF, AREG, FCGR2A, FCGR3A, and CCND1 were successfully determined in 294 patients. Clinical endpoints were moderate to severe skin rash within the first 3 weeks of treatment, loco-regional failure (LRF), disease-specific survival (DSS), and overall survival (OS).
RESULTS: During the first 3 weeks of treatment, 86% of the patients experienced any grade of rash and 17% experienced a moderate to severe rash. Development of moderate to severe rash was not associated with LRF or DSS but was associated with improved OS, HR 0.40 (95% CI: 0.19-0.82). The effect was similar for patients with p16-negative or p16-positive tumors (p = .90). After adjustment for comorbidity and performance status, the minor alleles of SNPs rs9996584 and rs13104811 located near the AREG gene were significantly associated with increased risk of moderate to severe rash with per-allele odds ratios of 1.61 (1.01-2.54) and 1.56 (1.00-2.44). SNP rs11942466 located close to rs9996584 had a borderline significant association, and none of the other SNPS were significantly associated with risk of skin rash.
CONCLUSIONS: Moderate to severe skin rash after zalutumumab during radiation treatment was associated with improved OS, independent of HPV/p16-status. Genetic variants in AREG (member of the EGF family) may be associated with increased risk of skin rash.

Alam H, Li N, Dhar SS, et al.
HP1γ Promotes Lung Adenocarcinoma by Downregulating the Transcription-Repressive Regulators NCOR2 and ZBTB7A.
Cancer Res. 2018; 78(14):3834-3848 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lung adenocarcinoma is a major form of lung cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer death. Histone methylation reader proteins mediate the effect of histone methylation, a hallmark of epigenetic and transcriptional regulation of gene expression. However, their roles in lung adenocarcinoma are poorly understood. Here, our bioinformatic screening and analysis in search of a lung adenocarcinoma-promoting histone methylation reader protein show that heterochromatin protein 1γ (HP1γ; also called CBX3) is among the most frequently overexpressed and amplified histone reader proteins in human lung adenocarcinoma, and that high

Bezzi M, Seitzer N, Ishikawa T, et al.
Diverse genetic-driven immune landscapes dictate tumor progression through distinct mechanisms.
Nat Med. 2018; 24(2):165-175 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple immune-cell types can infiltrate tumors and promote progression and metastasis through different mechanisms, including immunosuppression. How distinct genetic alterations in tumors affect the composition of the immune landscape is currently unclear. Here, we characterized the immune-cell composition of prostate cancers driven by the loss of the critical tumor suppressor gene Pten, either alone or in combination with the loss of Trp53, Zbtb7a or Pml. We observed a striking quantitative and qualitative heterogeneity that was directly dependent on the specific genetic events in the tumor and ranged from 'cold', noninflamed tumors to massively infiltrated landscapes-results with important therapeutic implications. Further, we showed these qualitative differences in transcriptomic analysis of human prostate cancer samples. These data suggest that patient stratification on the basis of integrated genotypic-immunophenotypic analyses may be necessary for successful clinical trials and tailored precision immunological therapies.

Sun G, Peng B, Xie Q, et al.
Upregulation of ZBTB7A exhibits a tumor suppressive role in gastric cancer cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2018; 17(2):2635-2641 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer presents as a complex solid tumor and is the third leading cause of global cancer‑associated mortality. The genetic alterations in gastric cancer remain unclear and deserve further investigation. Mining The Cancer Genome Atlas gastric adenocarcinoma dataset identified a frequent loss of the zinc finger and BTB domain containing 7A (ZBTB7A) gene locus and a significant correlation between low ZBTB7A expression and poor patient survival. ZBTB7A belongs to the POZ/BTB and Kruppel transcription factor family. In the present study, overexpression of ZBTB7A in a gastric cancer cell line induced cell cycle arrest at the S phase. Upregulation of ZBTB7A also promoted apoptosis and repressed cell migration. The results of the present study indicated that ZBTB7A functions as a tumor suppressor in gastric cancer cells. Understanding the role of ZBTB7A in gastric cancer may provide important clinical insight for treatment.

Zhang L, Wang Y, Li X, et al.
ZBTB7A Enhances Osteosarcoma Chemoresistance by Transcriptionally Repressing lncRNALINC00473-IL24 Activity.
Neoplasia. 2017; 19(11):908-918 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chemoresistance remains a major drawback to osteosarcoma treatment. ZBTB7A, a member of the POK transcription repressor family, was shown to play an important role in tumorigenesis. However, the effect of ZBTB7A on osteosarcoma chemoresistance is completely unknown. In this study, we found that ZBTB7A is increased in cisplatin-resistant osteosarcoma cells and that elevated ZBTB7A inhibits cisplatin-induced apoptosis by repressing LINC00473 expression. Further mechanistic studies revealed that ZBTB7A directly binds to the promoter and suppresses the transcription of LINC00473. Additionally, our data indicate that LINC00473 interacts with the transcript factor C/EBPβ, facilitating its binding to the promoter of IL24, leading to decrease chemoresistance. Thus, these findings indicate that the ZBTB7A-mediated LINC00473-C/EBPβ-IL24 pathway is a promising novel target for overcoming cisplatin resistance in osteosarcoma.

Potenza N, Panella M, Castiello F, et al.
Molecular mechanisms governing microRNA-125a expression in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):10712 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MicroRNA-125a-5p (miR-125a) is a vertebrate homolog of lin-4, the first discovered microRNA, and plays a fundamental role in embryo development by downregulating Lin-28 protein. MiR-125a is also expressed in differentiated cells where it generally acts as an antiproliferative factor by targeting membrane receptors or intracellular transductors of mitogenic signals. MiR-125a expression is downregulated in several tumors, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) where it targets sirtuin-7, matrix metalloproteinase-11, VEGF-A, Zbtb7a, and c-Raf. In this study, we have isolated the transcription promoter of human miR-125a and characterized its activity in HCC cells. It is a TATA-less Pol II promoter provided with an initiator element and a downstream promoter element, located 3939 bp upstream the genomic sequence of the miRNA. The activity of the promoter is increased by the transcription factor NF-kB, a master regulator of inflammatory response, and miR-125a itself was found to strengthen this activation through inhibition of TNFAIP3, a negative regulator of NF-kB. This finding contributes to explain the increased levels of miR-125a observed in the liver of patients with chronic hepatitis B.

Zhu M, Wang P, Feng F, Li MY
LRF inhibits p53 expression in colon cancer cells via modulating DAP5 activity.
Cell Biochem Funct. 2017; 35(7):401-406 [PubMed] Related Publications
The p53 protein plays a critical role in suppression of tumour growth; its regulation is not fully understood. Leukaemia/lymphoma-related factor (LRF) promotes tumour cell growth. This study tests a hypothesis that LRF inhibits p53 expression in colon cancer cells. In this study, human colon cancer cell lines, LIM1215 and HCT116 cells, were used. The expression of LRF and p53 in the cells was analysed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting. We observed that the expression of protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) was detected in both LIM1215 and HCT116 human colon cancer cells. Activation of PAR2 increased the expression of LRF and inhibited the p53 expression in the cancer cells. We also detected a complex of LRF and DAP5, one of the p53 gene transcription factors. The interaction of LRF and DAP5 resulted in the repression of p53 expression in the colon cancer cells. In conclusion, PAR2 activation increases the expression of LRF in colon cancer cells, which interacts with DAP5 to repress the p53 expression. Leukaemia/lymphoma-related factor may be a novel target in the treatment of colon cancer.

Ding Y, Han Y, Wang R, et al.
Rerouting Native HDL to Predetermined Receptors for Improved Tumor-Targeted Gene Silencing Therapy.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2017; 9(36):30488-30501 [PubMed] Related Publications
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is an outstanding biocompatible nanovector for tumor-targeted delivery of multimodel drugs in cancer therapy. However, this seemingly promising delivery platform demonstrates an adverse accumulation in liver and adrenal due to the primary expression of natural target scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI), which overexpressed in malignant cells as well. Therefore, we endowed native HDLs with rerouting capacity, that is, enabling HDLs to get away from natural receptors (SR-BI) to selectively alternate tumor-rich receptors. The α

Zhijun Z, Jingkang H
MicroRNA-520e suppresses non-small-cell lung cancer cell growth by targeting Zbtb7a-mediated Wnt signaling pathway.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017; 486(1):49-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) that negatively regulated gene expression have emerged as novel therapeutic target for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment. In this study, we investigated the potential role of miR-520e and examined its functional role in NSCLCs. Loss-and-gain of function assays show that miR-520e significantly modulated NSCLC cell growth, cell invasion and cell migration via directly targeting the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) of Zbtb7a and therefore reduced Zbtb7a protein level. These effects of miR-520e on NSCLC progression could be rescued by Zbtb7a overexpression in A549 cells. Furthermore, both of miR-520e level and Zbtb7a level were correlated with Wnt signaling in NSCLC cells. Taken together, these results indicate that overexpressing miR-520e is involved in regulating the NSCLC cell growth, invasion and migration by targeting Zbtb7a partly depending on Wnt signaling.

Zhao Z, Wang J, Wang S, et al.
LncRNA CCAT2 promotes tumorigenesis by over-expressed Pokemon in non-small cell lung cancer.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2017; 87:692-697 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains one of the most important death-related diseases, with poor effective diagnosis and less therapeutic biomarkers. LncRNA colon cancer-associated transcript 2 (CCAT2) was identified as an oncogenic lncRNA and over-expressed in many tumor cells. The aims of this study were to detect the correlation between CCAT2 and its regulatory genes and then explore the potential mechanism between them in NSCLC.
METHODS: In this study, qRT-PCR was used to detect CCAT2, Pokemon and p21 expression. Western-blot was used to detect protein levels of Pokemon and p21. CCK-8 assay and Transwell chambers were used to assess cell viability and invasion.
RESULTS: CCAT2 and Pokemon were over-expressed in NSCLC tissue and cells. In NSCLC cells, CCAT2 knockdown significantly decreased cell viability and invasion as well as Pokemon expression, but increased the expression of p21; then CCAT2 overexpression revealed an opposite result. In addition, over-expressed Pokemon reversed the results that induced by si-CCAT2, while down-regulation of Pokemon significantly reversed the results that induced by CCAT2 overexpression.
CONCLUSION: The results indicated that CCAT2 promotes tumorigenesis by over-expression of Pokemon, and the potential mechanism might relate to the Pokemon related gene p21.

Potenza N, Mosca N, Zappavigna S, et al.
MicroRNA-125a-5p Is a Downstream Effector of Sorafenib in Its Antiproliferative Activity Toward Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells.
J Cell Physiol. 2017; 232(7):1907-1913 [PubMed] Related Publications
Sorafenib is an antitumor drug for treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). It acts as a multikinase inhibitor suppressing cell proliferation and angiogenesis. Human microRNA-125a-5p (miR-125a) is endowed with similar activities and is frequently downregulated in HCC. Looking for a potential microRNA-based mechanism of action of the drug, we found that sorafenib increases cellular expression of miR-125a in cultured HuH-7 and HepG2 HCC cells. Upregulation of the microRNA inhibited cell proliferation by suppression of sirtuin-7, a NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase, and p21/p27-dependent cell cycle arrest in G1. Later, recruitment of miR-125a in the antiproliferative activity of sorafenib was inquired by modulating its expression in combination with the drug treatment. This analysis showed that intracellular delivery of miR-125a had no additive effect on the antiproliferative activity of sorafenib, whereas a miR-125a inhibitor could counteract it. Finally, evaluation of other oncogenic targets of miR-125a revealed its ability to interfere with the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-11, Zbtb7a proto-oncogene, and c-Raf, possibly contributing to the antiproliferative activity of the drug. J. Cell. Physiol. 232: 1907-1913, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Zhu M, Li M, Wang T, et al.
MicroRNA-137 represses FBI-1 to inhibit proliferation and in vitro invasion and migration of hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(10):13995-14008 [PubMed] Related Publications
The pro-oncogene factor that binds to inducer of short transcripts-1 (FBI-1), which is encoded by ZBTB7A gene and belongs to POK (POZ/BTB and KrÜppel) protein family, has been shown to enhance hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells proliferation and multi-drug resistance (MDR) process. However, the possibility that FBI-1 is a therapeutic target for further HCC treatment remains poorly determined. In the current study, two microRNA (miRNA) target prediction programs (TargetScan and MiRanda) were used to identify miR-137 as a potential regulator of FBI-1. Our results showed that expression of miR-137 was downregulated, while FBI-1 was upregulated in clinical HCC specimens, compared with paired non-tumor specimens. Overexpression of miR-137 via adenoviral vector inhibited the proliferation and anchorage-independent growth of HCC cells, HepG2 and MHCC-97H. Our data also showed that miR-137 repressed endogenous expression level of FBI-1, as well as Notch-1 and Survivin. MiR-137 also inhibited in vitro invasion and migration of HCC cells and attenuated their epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process. Moreover, miR-137 suppressed the growth rate of HepG2 cells in nude mice model. Overexpression of miR-137 via its adenoviral vector enhanced the sensitivity of HepG2 cells to anti-tumor drugs and attenuated the MDR process of a resistance cell line HepG2/adriamycin (ADR). Thus, FBI-1 downregulation mediated by miR-137 overexpression may be a potential strategy for HCC treatment.

Hartmann L, Dutta S, Opatz S, et al.
ZBTB7A mutations in acute myeloid leukaemia with t(8;21) translocation.
Nat Commun. 2016; 7:11733 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The t(8;21) translocation is one of the most frequent cytogenetic abnormalities in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and results in the RUNX1/RUNX1T1 rearrangement. Despite the causative role of the RUNX1/RUNX1T1 fusion gene in leukaemia initiation, additional genetic lesions are required for disease development. Here we identify recurring ZBTB7A mutations in 23% (13/56) of AML t(8;21) patients, including missense and truncating mutations resulting in alteration or loss of the C-terminal zinc-finger domain of ZBTB7A. The transcription factor ZBTB7A is important for haematopoietic lineage fate decisions and for regulation of glycolysis. On a functional level, we show that ZBTB7A mutations disrupt the transcriptional repressor potential and the anti-proliferative effect of ZBTB7A. The specific association of ZBTB7A mutations with t(8;21) rearranged AML points towards leukaemogenic cooperativity between mutant ZBTB7A and the RUNX1/RUNX1T1 fusion.

Oscier D, Else M, Matutes E, et al.
The morphology of CLL revisited: the clinical significance of prolymphocytes and correlations with prognostic/molecular markers in the LRF CLL4 trial.
Br J Haematol. 2016; 174(5):767-75 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Historically, an increase in the percentage and number of circulating prolymphocytes in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) has been associated with strong expression of surface immunoglobulin, trisomy 12 and a poor outcome. This study re-examines the biological and clinical significance of increased peripheral blood prolymphocytes in 508 patients at entry into the randomized UK Leukaemia Research Fund CLL4 trial. It also investigates the associations between increased prolymphocytes and a comprehensive array of biomarkers. 270 patients (53%) had <5% prolymphocytes, 167 (33%) had 5-9%, 60 (12%) had 10-14% and 11 (2%) had ≥15% prolymphocytes. We show that a higher proportion of prolymphocytes (≥10%) was independently associated with NOTCH1 mutations (P = 0·006), absence of 13q deletion (P = 0·001), high CD38 expression (P = 0·02) and unmutated IGHV genes (P = 0·01). Deaths due to Richter syndrome were significantly more common amongst patients who had ≥10% vs <10% prolymphocytes (13% vs 2%) respectively (P < 0·0001). ≥10% prolymphocytes was also associated with a shorter progression-free survival (Hazard ratio [HR] 1·50 [95% confidence interval [CI]: 1·16-1·93], P = 0·002) and overall survival (HR 1·99 [95% CI: 1·53-2·59], P < 0·0001). Our data support the routine examination of blood films in CLL and suggest that a finding of an increased proportion of prolymphocytes may be a trigger for further evaluation of clinical and laboratory features of progressive disease.

Pratt G, Thomas P, Marden N, et al.
Evaluation of serum markers in the LRF CLL4 trial: β2-microglobulin but not serum free light chains, is an independent marker of overall survival.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2016; 57(10):2342-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is characterized by heterogeneous clinical behavior and there is a need for improved biomarkers. The current study evaluated the prognostic significance of serum free light chains (sFLC, kappa, and lambda) and other serum markers (bar, serum thymidine kinase (sTK), soluble CD23, and LDH) together with established biomarkers in 289 patients enrolled into the LRF CLL4 trial. In a multivariable analysis of serum markers alone, higher big and kappa light chains were statistically significant in predicting disease progression and higher blg, and sTK in predicting mortality. In multivariable analysis for overall survival the following were independently significant: β2M levels, immunoglobulin gene (IGHV) mutational status (>98% homology), age, 17p13 deletions (>10%), and CD38 expression. β2M is the only serum marker that retained clear independent value as a biomarker in the LRF CLL4 trial and remains powerfully prognostic requiring evaluation in any future method of risk stratifying patients.

Hojo N, Tatsumi N, Moriguchi N, et al.
A Zbtb7a proto-oncogene as a novel target for miR-125a.
Mol Carcinog. 2016; 55(12):2001-2009 [PubMed] Related Publications
In our previous study, we showed that miR-125a directly targeted a WT1 oncogene, which was overexpressed in leukemia and various kinds of solid tumors including lung, breast, gastric, and colon cancers, and brain tumors and was deeply involved in leukemogenesis and tumorigenesis and that miR-125a knockout mice overexpressed WT1 and developed myeloproliferative disease. It had been also reported that miR-125a is downregulated in leukemia and various types of solid tumors such as lung cancers, suggesting its tumor suppressor function. Therefore, it is important to elucidate what is target(s) of miR-125a for understandings of such functions although few target genes for it are known. In the present study, Zbtb7a oncogene was identified as a potential target for miR-125a by gene expression profiling in miR-125a knockout mice combined with bioinformatics target prediction. EGFP-3'UTR reporter assay showed that miR-125a suppressed Zbtb7a expression through its direct binding to the Zbtb7a-3'UTR. Zbtb7a knockdown by siRNA suppressed cell proliferation and induced G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in lung cancer cells. Furthermore, miR-125a expression showed a negative correlation with Zbtb7a expression in non-small cell lung cancer tissues. The present study showed for the first time that Zbtb7a was a direct target for miR-125a and was involved in cell cycle progression and apoptosis of lung cancer cells. These results also demonstrated that deregulation of miR-125a-Zbtb7a signaling was associated with the development and progression of lung cancer. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Liu XS, Liu Z, Gerarduzzi C, et al.
Somatic human ZBTB7A zinc finger mutations promote cancer progression.
Oncogene. 2016; 35(23):3071-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We recently reported that ZBTB7A is a bona fide transcription repressor of key glycolytic genes and its downregulation in human cancer contributes to tumor metabolism. As reduced expression of ZBTB7A is found only in a subset of human cancers, we explored alternative mechanisms of its inactivation by mining human cancer genome databases. We discovered recurrent somatic mutations of ZBTB7A in multiple types of human cancers with a marked enrichment of mutations within the zinc finger domain. Functional characterization of the mutants demonstrated that mutations within the zinc finger region of ZBTB7A invariably resulted in loss of function. As a consequence, the glycolytic genes were markedly upregulated in cancer cells harboring ZBTB7A zinc finger mutation, leading to increased glycolysis and proliferation. Our study uncovers the loss-of-function mutation in ZBTB7A as a novel mechanism causing elevated glycolysis in human cancer, which carries important therapeutic implication.

Shi DB, Wang YW, Xing AY, et al.
C/EBPα-induced miR-100 expression suppresses tumor metastasis and growth by targeting ZBTB7A in gastric cancer.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 369(2):376-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs have been reported to play key roles in various human cancers, including gastric cancer. However, understanding of the expression of miR-100 and its regulatory mechanisms in human gastric cancer remains elusive. In this study, we reveal that miR-100 is downregulated in gastric cancer samples and gastric cancer cell lines. Furthermore, lower miR-100 expression was found in primary gastric cancer samples with lymphatic metastasis compared to those without lymphatic metastasis. Overexpression of miR-100 suppressed tumor growth in vivo and inhibited gastric cancer invasion and metastasis in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we demonstrated that miR-100 reduced gastric cancer aggressiveness by directly targeting ZBTB7A. Knockdown of ZBTB7A by siRNA disrupted gastric cancer progression by impairing tumor invasion and metastasis. High expression of ZBTB7A was significantly correlated with poorer prognosis in gastric cancer patients. Our results also showed that the transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (C/EBPα) could induce the expression of miR-100 by binding to the putative promoter region of miR-100. This study demonstrated that miR-100 could be induced by C/EBPα and may act as a tumor suppressor gene by inhibiting ZBTB7A.

Kong J, Liu X, Jia J, et al.
Pokemon siRNA Delivery Mediated by RGD-Modified HBV Core Protein Suppressed the Growth of Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Hum Gene Ther Methods. 2015; 26(5):175-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a deadly human malignant tumor that is among the most common cancers in the world, especially in Asia. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection has been well established as a high risk factor for hepatic malignance. Studies have shown that Pokemon is a master oncogene for HCC growth, suggesting it as an ideal therapeutic target. However, efficient delivery system is still lacking for Pokemon targeting treatment. In this study, we used core proteins of HBV, which is modified with RGD peptides, to construct a biomimetic vector for the delivery of Pokemon siRNAs (namely, RGD-HBc-Pokemon siRNA). Quantitative PCR and Western blot assays revealed that RGD-HBc-Pokemon siRNA possessed the highest efficiency of Pokemon suppression in HCC cells. In vitro experiments further indicated that RGD-HBc-Pokemon-siRNA exerted a higher tumor suppressor activity on HCC cell lines, evidenced by reduced proliferation and attenuated invasiveness, than Pokemon-siRNA or RGD-HBc alone. Finally, animal studies demonstrated that RGD-HBc-Pokemon siRNA suppressed the growth of HCC xenografts in mice by a greater extent than Pokemon-siRNA or RGD-HBc alone. Based on the above results, Pokemon siRNA delivery mediated by RGD-modified HBV core protein was shown to be an effective strategy of HCC gene therapy.

Kong J, Liu X, Li X, et al.
miR-125/Pokemon auto-circuit contributes to the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(1):511-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a type of human malignant tumor occurring in hepatic tissues with high mortality. Patients benefit little from current therapeutic modalities, at least partially due to the lack of complete elucidation of molecular network regulating HCC. miR-125 and Pokemon are well-recognized tumor suppressor and oncogenes for HCC, respectively. However, the underlying mechanism by which the two genes exert their functions and the relationship between miR-125 and Pokemon is still unexplored yet. In this study, we found that there is an inverse association between miR-125 and Pokemon expression levels in HCC specimen and cell lines. Online database mining indicated that there are three putative mRNA recognition elements (MREs) of miR-125 within 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of Pokemon. MREs of miR-125 confer the expression of luciferase with a miR-125-dependent fashion. The alteration in miR-125 abundance regulates the expression of Pokemon at both protein and mRNA levels. Overexpression of Pokemon is able to abrogate the inhibitory effect of miR-125 on HCC progression. Further study showed that Pokemon inhibits the expression of miR-125 by binding of recognition sites within its promoter. In conclusion, we found that there is an auto-regulatory circuit consisting of miR-125 and Pokemon, which promotes the progression of HCC and may be a promising therapeutic target in clinical HCC treatment.

Hong X, Hong XY, Li T, He CY
Pokemon and MEF2D co-operationally promote invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(12):9885-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most deadly human malignancy, and frequent invasion and metastasis is closely associated with its poor prognosis. However, the molecular mechanism underlying HCC invasion is still not completely elucidated. Pokemon is a well-established oncogene for HCC growth, but its contribution to HCC invasion has not been studied yet. In this paper, Pokemon was found to be overexpressed in MHCC-97H HCC cell line, which possesses higher invasiveness. Downregulation of Pokemon abolished the invasion of MHCC-97H HCC cell lines. Pokemon overexpression was able to enhance the invasion of MHCC-97L cells with lower invasiveness. MEF2D, an oncogene promoting the invasion of HCC cells, was further detected to be upregulated and downregulated when Pokemon was overexpressed and silenced, respectively. Online database analysis indicated that one Pokemon recognition site was located within the promoter of MEF2D. Chromatin co-precipitation, luciferase, and qPCR assays all proved that Pokemon can promote the expression of MEF2D in HCC cells. Restoration of MEF2D expression can prevent the impaired invasion of HCC cells with Pokemon silencing, while suppression of MEF2D abolished the effect of Pokemon overexpression on HCC invasion. More interestingly, MEF2D was also found to increase the transcription of Pokemon by binding myocyte enhancer factor 2 (MEF2) sites within its promoter region, implying an auto-regulatory circuit consisting of these two oncogenes that can promote HCC invasion. Our findings can contribute to the understanding of molecular mechanism underlying HCC invasion, and provided evidence that targeting this molecular loop may be a promising strategy for anti-invasion therapy.

Mak VC, Wong OG, Siu MK, et al.
FBI-1 Is Overexpressed in Gestational Trophoblastic Disease and Promotes Tumor Growth and Cell Aggressiveness of Choriocarcinoma via PI3K/Akt Signaling.
Am J Pathol. 2015; 185(7):2038-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human placental trophoblasts can be considered pseudomalignant, with tightly controlled proliferation, apoptosis, and invasiveness. Gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) represents a family of heterogeneous trophoblastic lesions with aberrant apoptotic and proliferative activities and dysregulation of cell signaling pathways. We characterize the oncogenic effects of factor that binds to the inducer of short transcripts of HIV-1 [FBI-1, alias POZ and Krüppel erythroid myeloid ontogenic factor (POKEMON)/ZBTB7A] in GTD and its role in promoting cell aggressiveness in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. IHC studies showed increased nuclear expression of FBI-1, including hydatidiform moles, choriocarcinoma (CCA), and placental site trophoblastic tumor, in GTD. In JAR and JEG-3 CCA cells, ectopic FBI-1 expression opposed apoptosis through repression of proapoptotic genes (eg, BAK1, FAS, and CASP8). FBI-1 overexpression also promoted Akt activation, as indicated by Akt-pS473 phosphorylation. FBI-1 overexpression promoted mobility and invasiveness of JEG-3 and JAR, but not in the presence of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002. These findings suggest that FBI-1 could promote cell migration and invasion via phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt signaling. In vivo, nude mice injected with CCA cells with stable FBI-1 knockdown demonstrated reduced tumor growth compared with that in control groups. These findings suggest that FBI-1 is clinically associated with the progression of, and may be a therapeutic target in, GTD, owing to its diverse oncogenic effects on dysregulated trophoblasts.

Krossa S, Schmitt AD, Hattermann K, et al.
Down regulation of Akirin-2 increases chemosensitivity in human glioblastomas more efficiently than Twist-1.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(25):21029-45 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The Twist-1 transcription factor and its interacting protein Akirin-2 regulate apoptosis. We found that in glioblastomas, highly malignant brain tumors, Akirin-2 and Twist-1 were expressed in glial fibrillary acidic protein positive tumor regions as well as in tumor endothelial cells and infiltrating macrophages / microglia. Temozolomide (TMZ) induced the expression of both molecules, partly shifting their nuclear to cytosolic localization. The knock-down (kd) of Akirin-2 increased the activity of cleaved (c)Caspase-3/-7, the amounts of cCaspases-3, -7 and cPARP-1 and resulted in an increased number of apoptotic cells after TMZ exposure. Glioblastoma cells containing decreased amounts of Akirin-2 after kd contained increased amounts of cCaspase-3 as determined by the ImageStreamx Mark II technology. For Twist-1, similar results were obtained with the exception that the combination of TMZ treatment and Twist-1 kd failed to significantly reduce chemoresistance compared with controls. This could be attributed to a cell population containing only slightly increased cCaspase-3 together with decreased Twist-1 levels, which was clearly larger than the respective population observed under Akirin-2 kd. Our results showed that, compared with Twist-1, Akirin-2 is the more promising target for RNAi strategies antagonizing Twist-1/Akirin-2 facilitated glioblastoma cell survival.

Liu XS, Genet MD, Haines JE, et al.
ZBTB7A Suppresses Melanoma Metastasis by Transcriptionally Repressing MCAM.
Mol Cancer Res. 2015; 13(8):1206-17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: The excessive metastatic propensity of melanoma makes it the most deadly form of skin cancer, yet the underlying mechanism of metastasis remains elusive. Here, mining of cancer genome datasets discovered a frequent loss of chromosome 19p13.3 and associated downregulation of the zinc finger transcription factor ZBTB7A in metastatic melanoma. Functional assessment of ZBTB7A-regulated genes identified MCAM, which encodes an adhesion protein key to melanoma metastasis. Using an integrated approach, it is demonstrated that ZBTB7A directly binds to the promoter and transcriptionally represses the expression of MCAM, establishing ZBTB7A as a bona fide transcriptional repressor of MCAM. Consistently, downregulation of ZBTB7A results in marked upregulation of MCAM and enhanced melanoma cell invasion and metastasis. An inverse correlation of ZBTB7A and MCAM expression in association with melanoma metastasis is further validated with data from analysis of human melanoma specimens.
IMPLICATIONS: Together, these results uncover a previously unrecognized role of ZBTB7A in negative regulation of melanoma metastasis and have important clinical implications.

Yang Y, Cui J, Xue F, et al.
Resveratrol Represses Pokemon Expression in Human Glioma Cells.
Mol Neurobiol. 2016; 53(2):1266-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic factor (Pokemon), an important proto-oncoprotein, is a transcriptional repressor that regulates the expression of many genes and plays an important role in tumorigenesis. Resveratrol (RSV), a natural polyphenolic compound, has many beneficial biological effects on health. In this study, we investigated the role of Pokemon in RSV-induced biological effects and the effect of RSV on the expression of Pokemon in glioma cells. We found that overexpression of Pokemon decreased RSV-induced cell apoptosis, senescence, and anti-proliferative effects. Moreover, we showed that RSV could efficiently decrease the activity of the Pokemon promoter and the expression of Pokemon. Meanwhile, RSV also inhibited Sp1 DNA binding activity to the Pokemon promoter; whereas, it did not influence the expression and nuclear translocation of Sp1. In addition, we found that RSV could increase the recruitment of HDAC1, but decreased p300 to the Pokemon promoter. Taken together, all these results extended our understanding on the anti-cancer mechanism of RSV in glioma cells.

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