Gene Summary

Gene:ZBTB7A; zinc finger and BTB domain containing 7A
Aliases: LRF, FBI1, FBI-1, TIP21, ZBTB7, ZNF857A, pokemon
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:zinc finger and BTB domain-containing protein 7A
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 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 12 March 2017 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 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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

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

Latest Publications: ZBTB7A (cancer-related)

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.

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.

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.

Li W, Kidiyoor A, Hu Y, et al.
Evaluation of transforming growth factor-β1 suppress Pokemon/epithelial-mesenchymal transition expression in human bladder cancer cells.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(2):1155-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) plays a dual role in apoptosis and in proapoptotic responses in the support of survival in a variety of cells. The aim of this study was to determine the function of TGF-β1 in bladder cancer cells and the relationship with POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic factor (Pokemon). TGF-β1 and its receptors mediate several tumorigenic cascades that regulate cell proliferation, migration, and survival of bladder cancer cells. Bladder cancer cells T24 were treated with different levels of TGF-β1. Levels of Pokemon, E-cadherin, Snail, MMP2, MMP9, Twist, VEGF, and β-catenin messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein were examined by real-time quantitative fluorescent PCR and Western blot analysis, respectively. The effects of TGF-β1 on epithelial-mesenchymal transition of T24 cells were evaluated with wound-healing assay, proliferation of T24 was evaluated with reference to growth curves with MTT assay, and cell invasive ability was investigated by Transwell assay. Data show that Pokemon was inhibited by TGF-β1 treatment; the gene and protein of E-cadherin and β-catenin expression level showed decreased markedly after TGF-β1 treatment (P < 0.05). While the bladder cancer cell after TGF-β1 treatment showed a significantly reduced wound-closing efficiency at 6, 12, and 24 h, mechanistic analyses demonstrated that different levels of TGF-β1 promotes tumor cell growth, migration, and invasion in bladder cancer cells (P < 0.01, P < 0.05, respectively). In summary, our findings suggest that TGF-β1 may inhibit the expression of Pokemon, β-catenin, and E-cadherin. The high expression of TGF-β1 leads to an increase in the phenotype and apical-base polarity of epithelial cells. These changes of cells may result in the recurrence and progression of bladder cancer at last. Related mechanism is worthy of further investigation.

Ozden S, Tiber PM, Ozgen Z, et al.
Expression of TRF2 and its prognostic relevance in advanced stage cervical cancer patients.
Biol Res. 2014; 47:61 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Telomeres are protective caps consisted of specific tandem repeats (5'-TTAGGG-3'). Shortening of telomeres at each cell division is known as "mitotic clock" of the cells, which renders telomeres as important regulators of lifespan. TRF2 is one of the critical members of shelterin complex, which is a protein complex responsible from the preservation of cap structure, and loss or mutation of TRF2 results in DNA damage, senescence or apoptosis. Since cancer is frequently associated with aberrant cell cycle progression, defective DNA repair or apoptosis pathways, TRF2 could be one likely candidate for cancer therapy. Here we investigated the prognostic role of TRF2 levels in cervical cancer patients. Fold-induction rates were evaluated with respect to median values after real-time PCR analysis. Overall survival, distant disease-free and local recurrence-free survival rates were calculated using Kaplan-Meier long rank test.
RESULTS: Both five year overall- and disease-free survival rates were longer in patients with higher TRF2 expression compared to lower expression, but results were not statistically significant (69.2% vs 28.9%, respectively). Mean local recurrence-free survivals (LRF) were very close ( 58.6, CI: 44.3-72.9 vs 54.5, CI: 32.1-76.9 months) for high and low expressions, respectively. Cumulative proportion of LRF at the end of five year period was 76.9% for high and 57.1% for low TRF2 expression (P = 0.75). Statistically significant difference was found between survival ratios and Bcl-xL and p53 gene expressions, but not with TRF2. A respectable correlation between TRF2 expression and apoptosis along with distant metastasis was noted (P = 0.045 and 0.036, respectively). Additionally, high TRF2 expression levels had a positive impact in five year survival rate of stage IIIB-IVA patients (P = 0.04).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results support the role of TRF2 in apoptosis and imply a positive relation with distant metastases and survival in advanced stage patients. The remarkable difference in survival periods of patients with different TRF2 expressions suggest that TRF2 may be a candidate factor to estimate survival for cervical cancer, a preliminary observation which should further be verified with a larger cohort.

Guarnerio J, Riccardi L, Taulli R, et al.
A genetic platform to model sarcomagenesis from primary adult mesenchymal stem cells.
Cancer Discov. 2015; 5(4):396-409 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: The regulatory factors governing adult mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) physiology and their tumorigenic potential are still largely unknown, which substantially delays the identification of effective therapeutic approaches for the treatment of aggressive and lethal forms of MSC-derived mesenchymal tumors, such as undifferentiated sarcomas. Here, we have developed a novel platform to screen and quickly identify genes and pathways responsible for adult MSC transformation, modeled undifferentiated sarcoma in vivo, and, ultimately, tested the efficacy of targeting the identified oncopathways. Importantly, by taking advantage of this new platform, we demonstrate the key role of an aberrant LRF-DLK1-SOX9 pathway in the pathogenesis of undifferentiated sarcoma, with important therapeutic implications.
SIGNIFICANCE: The paucity of therapeutic options for the treatment of sarcoma calls for a rapid and effective preclinical assessment of new therapeutic modalities. We have here developed a new platform to deconstruct the molecular genetics underlying the pathogenesis of sarcoma and to evaluate in vivo the efficacy of novel targeted therapies.

Sartini D, Lo Muzio L, Morganti S, et al.
Pokemon proto-oncogene in oral cancer: potential role in the early phase of tumorigenesis.
Oral Dis. 2015; 21(4):462-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) represents about 90% of all oral neoplasms with a poor clinical prognosis. To improve survival of OSCC patients, it is fundamental to understand the basic molecular mechanisms characterizing oral carcinogenesis. Dysregulation of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes seems to play a central role in tumorigenesis, including malignant transformation of the oral cavity.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We analyzed the expression levels of the pro-oncogenic transcription factor Pokemon through real-time PCR, Western blot and immunohistochemistry in tumor, and normal oral tissue samples obtained from 22 patients with OSCC. The relationship between tumor characteristics and the level of Pokemon intratumor expression was also analyzed.
RESULTS: Pokemon was significantly downregulated in OSCC. In particular, both mRNA and protein levels (tumor vs normal tissue) inversely correlated with histological grading, suggesting its potential role as a prognostic factor for OSCC. Moreover, a significant inverse correlation was found between Pokemon protein expression levels (OSCC vs normal oral mucosa) and tumor size, supporting the hypothesis that Pokemon could play an important role in the early phase of tumor expansion.
CONCLUSION: This work shows that reduced expression of Pokemon is a peculiar feature of OSCC. Additional studies may establish the effective role of Pokemon in oral tumorigenesis.

Wang X, Cao P, Li Z, et al.
EPAS-1 mediates SP-1-dependent FBI-1 expression and regulates tumor cell survival and proliferation.
Int J Mol Sci. 2014; 15(9):15689-99 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Factor binding IST-1 (FBI-1) plays an important role in oncogenic transformation and tumorigenesis. As FBI-1 is over-expressed in multiple human cancers, the regulation of itself would provide new effective options for cancer intervention. In this work, we aimed to study the role that EPAS-1 plays in regulating FBI-1. We use the fact that specificity protein-1 (SP-1) is one of the crucial transcription factors of FBI-1, and that SP-1 can interact with the endothelial pas domain protein-1 (EPAS-1) for the induction of hypoxia related genes. The study showed that EPAS-1 plays an indispensible role in SP-1 transcription factor-mediated FBI-1 induction, and participated in tumor cell survival and proliferation. Thus, EPAS-1 could be a novel target for cancer therapeutics.

Liu XS, Haines JE, Mehanna EK, et al.
ZBTB7A acts as a tumor suppressor through the transcriptional repression of glycolysis.
Genes Dev. 2014; 28(17):1917-28 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Elevated glycolysis is a common metabolic trait of cancer, but what drives such metabolic reprogramming remains incompletely clear. We report here a novel transcriptional repressor-mediated negative regulation of glycolysis. ZBTB7A, a member of the POK (POZ/BTB and Krüppel) transcription repressor family, directly binds to the promoter and represses the transcription of critical glycolytic genes, including GLUT3, PFKP, and PKM. Analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data sets reveals that the ZBTB7A locus is frequently deleted in many human tumors. Significantly, reduced ZBTB7A expression correlates with up-regulation of the glycolytic genes and poor survival in colon cancer patients. Remarkably, while ZBTB7A-deficient tumors progress exceedingly fast, they exhibit an unusually heightened sensitivity to glycolysis inhibition. Our study uncovers a novel tumor suppressor role of ZBTB7A in directly suppressing glycolysis.

Hamadani M, Hari PN, Zhang Y, et al.
Early failure of frontline rituximab-containing chemo-immunotherapy in diffuse large B cell lymphoma does not predict futility of autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2014; 20(11):1729-36 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The poor prognosis for patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who relapse within 1 year of initial diagnosis after first-line rituximab-based chemo-immunotherapy has created controversy about the role of autologous transplantation (HCT) in this setting. We compared autologous HCT outcomes for chemosensitive DLBCL patients between 2000 and 2011 in 2 cohorts based on time to relapse from diagnosis. The early rituximab failure (ERF) cohort consisted of patients with primary refractory disease or those with first relapse within 1 year of initial diagnosis. The ERF cohort was compared with those relapsing >1 year after initial diagnosis (late rituximab failure [LRF] cohort). ERF and LRF cohorts included 300 and 216 patients, respectively. Nonrelapse mortality (NRM), progression/relapse, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) of ERF versus LRF cohorts at 3 years were 9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 6% to 13%) versus 9% (95% CI, 5% to 13%), 47% (95% CI, 41% to 52%) versus 39% (95% CI, 33% to 46%), 44% (95% CI, 38% to 50%) versus 52% (95% CI, 45% to 59%), and 50% (95% CI, 44% to 56%) versus 67% (95% CI, 60% to 74%), respectively. On multivariate analysis, ERF was not associated with higher NRM (relative risk [RR], 1.31; P = .34). The ERF cohort had a higher risk of treatment failure (progression/relapse or death) (RR, 2.08; P < .001) and overall mortality (RR, 3.75; P <.001) within the first 9 months after autologous HCT. Beyond this period, PFS and OS were not significantly different between the ERF and LRF cohorts. Autologous HCT provides durable disease control to a sizeable subset of DLBCL despite ERF (3-year PFS, 44%) and remains the standard-of-care in chemosensitive DLBCL regardless of the timing of disease relapse.

Zhu M, Li M, Zhang F, et al.
FBI-1 enhances ETS-1 signaling activity and promotes proliferation of human colorectal carcinoma cells.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e98041 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In this study, we investigated a potential regulatory role of FBI-1 in transcription factor activity of ETS-1. The protein interaction was identified between ETS-1 and FBI-1 in lovo cells. The accumulating data showed that FBI-1 promoted the recruitment of ETS-1 to endogenous promoter of its target genes and increase ETS-1 accumulation in the nuclear. Our work also indicated that the FBI-1 enhances ETS-1 transcription factor activity via down-regulating p53-mediated inhibition on ETS-1. Further, FBI-1 plays a role in regulation of colorectal carcinoma cells proliferation. These findings supported that FBI-1 might be a potential molecule target for treating colorectal carcinoma.

Catovsky D, Wade R, Else M
The clinical significance of patients' sex in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Haematologica. 2014; 99(6):1088-94 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We examined the prognostic influence of gender in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Data from four randomized trials (involving 1821 patients) and three registration studies of stage-A disease (involving 1299 patients) were analyzed. Overall survival at 10 years was better for women than men in all trials (27% versus 15%; P=0.0001) and in the registration series (55% versus 43%; P<0.0001). More women than men in the trials were Binet stage A-progressive (26% versus 15%), but gender was an independent predictor of survival in multivariate analysis of clinical variables (P<0.0001). Women responded better to treatment (overall response 83%) than men (71%; P<0.0001), within each stage and age group, although fewer women than men received the full treatment dose (79% versus 85%; P=0.01). Women were more likely than men to experience toxicity (85% versus 78%, P=0.01), particularly gastro-intestinal toxicity (57% versus 42%, P<0.0001). Laboratory markers in the LRF CLL4 trial showed a significantly lower incidence in women than men of unmutated IGHV genes, raised beta-2 microglobulin, CD38 and Zap-70 positivity and TP53 deletions/mutations and/or 11q deletions. We also highlight the higher male:female ratios in randomized trials versus studies of early chronic lymphocytic leukemia and monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia in women runs a more benign clinical course than in men. Gender was also an independent predictor of response, suggesting that pharmacokinetic differences between the sexes and a possible effect of estrogens may contribute to the better outcome. Understanding the reasons for the different outcome by gender may improve patients' management. (LRF CLL4 controlled-trials.com identifier: ISRCTN58585610).

Rose-Zerilli MJ, Forster J, Parker H, et al.
ATM mutation rather than BIRC3 deletion and/or mutation predicts reduced survival in 11q-deleted chronic lymphocytic leukemia: data from the UK LRF CLL4 trial.
Haematologica. 2014; 99(4):736-42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
ATM mutation and BIRC3 deletion and/or mutation have independently been shown to have prognostic significance in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. However, the relative clinical importance of these abnormalities in patients with a deletion of 11q encompassing the ATM gene has not been established. We screened a cohort of 166 patients enriched for 11q-deletions for ATM mutations and BIRC3 deletion and mutation and determined the overall and progression-free survival among the 133 of these cases treated within the UK LRF CLL4 trial. SNP6.0 profiling demonstrated that BIRC3 deletion occurred in 83% of 11q-deleted cases and always co-existed with ATM deletion. For the first time we have demonstrated that 40% of BIRC3-deleted cases have concomitant deletion and mutation of ATM. While BIRC3 mutations were rare, they exclusively occurred with BIRC3 deletion and a wild-type residual ATM allele. In 11q-deleted cases, we confirmed that ATM mutation was associated with a reduced overall and progression-free survival comparable to that seen with TP53 abnormalities, whereas BIRC3 deletion and/or mutation had no impact on overall and progression-free survival. In conclusion, in 11q-deleted patients treated with first-line chemotherapy, ATM mutation rather than BIRC3 deletion and/or mutation identifies a subgroup with a poorer outcome.

Guo C, Zhu K, Sun W, et al.
The effect of Pokemon on bladder cancer epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 443(4):1226-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed at detecting Pokemon expression in bladder cancer cell and investigating the relationship between Pokemon and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Furthermore, we investigated the functions of Pokemon in the carcinogenesis and development of bladder cancer. This study was also designed to observe the inhibitory effects of siRNA expression vector on Pokemon in bladder cancer cell.
METHODS: The siRNA expression vectors which were constructed to express a short hairpin RNA against Pokemon were transfected to the bladder cancer cells T24 with a liposome. Levels of Pokemon, E-cadherin and β-catenin mRNA and protein were examined by real-time quantitative-fluorescent PCR and Western blot analysis, respectively. The effects of Pokemon silencing on epithelial-mesenchymal transition of T24 cells were evaluated with wound-healing assay.
RESULTS: Pokemon was strongly inhibited by siRNA treatment, especially siRNA3 treatment group, as it was reflected by Western blot and real-time PCR. The gene and protein of E-cadherin expression level showed increased markedly after Pokemon was inhibited by RNA interference. While there were no differences in the levels of gene and protein of β-catenin among five groups. The bladder cancer cell after Pokemon siRNA interference showed a significantly reduced wound-closing efficiency at 6, 12 and 24h.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest Pokemon may inhibit the expression of E-cadherin. The low expression of E-cadherin lead to increasing the phenotype and apical-base polarity of epithelial cells. These changes of cells may result in the recurrence and progression of bladder cancer at last.

Jiao W, Liu F, Tang FZ, et al.
Expression of the Pokemon proto-oncogene in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell lines and tissues.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013; 14(11):6315-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
To study the differentiated expression of the proto-oncogene Pokemon in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cell lines and tissues, mRNA and protein expression levels of CNE1, CNE2, CNE3 and C666-1 were detected separately by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), real-time PCR and Western-blotting. The immortalized nasopharyngeal epithelial cell line NP69 was used as a control. The Pokemon protein expression level in biopsy specimens from chronic rhinitis patients and undifferentiated non keratinizing NPC patients was determined by Western-blotting and arranged from high to low: C666-1>CNE1>CNE2> CNE3>NP69. The Pokemon mRNA expression level was also arranged from high to low: CNE1>CNE2>NP69>C666-1>CNE3. Pokemon expression of NP69 and C666-1 obviously varied from mRNA to protein. The Pokemon protein level of NPC biopsy specimens was obviously higher than in chronic rhinitis. The data suggest that high Pokemon protein expression is closely associated with undifferentiated non-keratinizing NPC and may provide useful information for NPC molecular target therapy.

Bohn O, Maeda T, Filatov A, et al.
Utility of LRF/Pokemon and NOTCH1 protein expression in the distinction between nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma and classical Hodgkin lymphoma.
Int J Surg Pathol. 2014; 22(1):6-11 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (CHL) and nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL) are considered separate entities with different prognosis and treatment. However, morphologic features can be similar and immunohistochemical studies are essential in the distinction; thus, determination of additional biomarkers is of utmost importance. LRF/Pokemon is a proto-oncogene, an interacting partner co-expressed with BCL6 in germinal centers and highly expressed in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma. Conversely, loss of the LRF gene in mouse hematopoietic stem cells results in complete block of early B cell development with concomitant Notch de-repression, indicating its critical role in B versus T cell fate decision at the hematopoietic stem cell stage. For the first time, we show that LRF/Pokemon is predominantly expressed in NLPHL cases as is BCL6 with low to absent NOTCH1 protein expression; while Hodgkin Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells in CHL show low to absent BCL6 and LRF/Pokemon expression with higher NOTCH1 expression. We illustrate a potential functional interaction between LRF and BCL6 in NLPHL pathogenesis, and differential expression of LRF/Pokemon and NOTCH1 proteins in CHL thus showing differential expression, making for an additional diagnostic marker and therapeutic target.

Bi X, Jin Y, Gao X, et al.
Investigation of Pokemon-regulated proteins in hepatocellular carcinoma using mass spectrometry-based multiplex quantitative proteomics.
Eur J Mass Spectrom (Chichester). 2013; 19(2):111-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pokemon is a transcription regulator involved in embryonic development, cellular differentiation and oncogenesis. It is aberrantly overexpressed in multiple human cancers including Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and is considered as a promising biomarker for HCC. In this work, the isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based quantitative proteomics strategy was used to investigate the proteomic profile associated with Pokemon in human HCC cell line QGY7703 and human hepatocyte line HL7702. Samples were labeled with four-plex iTRAQ reagents followed by two-dimensional liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry analysis. A total of 24 differentially expressed proteins were selected as significant. Nine proteins were potentially up-regulated by Pokemon while 15 proteins were potentially down-regulated and many proteins were previously identified as potential biomarkers for HCC. Gene ontology (GO) term enrichment revealed that the listed proteins were mainly involved in DNA metabolism and biosynthesis process. The changes of glucose-6-phosphate 1-dehydrogenase (G6PD, up-regulated) and ribonucleoside-diphosphate reductase large sub-unit (RIM1, down-regulated) were validated by Western blotting analysis and denoted as Pokemon's function of oncogenesis. We also found that Pokemon potentially repressed the expression of highly clustered proteins (MCM3, MCM5, MCM6, MCM7) which played key roles in promoting DNA replication. Altogether, our results may help better understand the role of Pokemon in HCC and promote the clinical applications.

Akiyama H, Iwahana Y, Suda M, et al.
The FBI1/Akirin2 target gene, BCAM, acts as a suppressive oncogene.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(11):e78716 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Basal cell adhesion molecule (BCAM), known to be a splicing variant of Lutheran glycoprotein (LU), is an immunoglobulin superfamily membrane protein that acts as a laminin α5 receptor. The high affinity of BCAM/LU for laminin α5 is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of sickle red blood cells and to various developmental processes. However, the function of BCAM in carcinogenesis is poorly understood. Based on microarray expression analysis, we found that BCAM was one of the target genes of the oncogenic 14-3-3β-FBI1/Akirin2 complex, which acts as a transcriptional repressor and suppresses MAPK phosphatase-1 gene expression. To elucidate the detailed function of BCAM in malignant tumors, we established BCAM-expressing hepatoma K2 cells. These cells lost the malignant characteristics of parental cells, such as anchorage-independent growth, migration, invasion, and tumorigenicity. Moreover, luciferase reporter assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that the 14-3-3β-FBI1/Akirin2 complex bound to the BCAM promoter and repressed transcription. Thus, these data indicate that BCAM is a suppressive oncoprotein, and that FBI1/Akirin2 is involved in tumorigenicity and metastasis of hepatoma through the downregulation of suppressive oncogenes.

Zhao GT, Yang LJ, Li XX, et al.
Expression of the proto-oncogene Pokemon in colorectal cancer--inhibitory effects of an siRNA.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013; 14(9):4999-5005 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate expression of the proto-oncogene POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic factor (Pokemon) in colorectal cancer (CRC), and assess inhibitory effects of a small interference RNA (siRNA) expression vector in SW480 and SW620 cells.
METHODS: Semi-quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunohistochemistry were performed to determine mRNA and protein expression levels of Pokemon in CRC tissues. Indirect immunofluorescence staining was applied to investigate the location of Pokemon in SW480 and SW620 cells. The siRNA expression vectors that were constructed to express a short hairpin RNA against Pokemon were transfected to the SW480 and SW620 cells with a liposome. Expression levels of Pokemon mRNA and protein were examined by real-time quantitative-fluorescent PCR and western blot analysis. The effects of Pokemon silencing on proliferation of SW480 and SW620 cells were evaluated with reference to growth curves with MTT assays.
RESULTS: The mRNA expression level of Pokemon in tumor tissues (0.845 ± 0.344) was significantly higher than that in adjacent tumor specimens (0.321 ± 0.197). The positive expression ratio of Pokemon protein in CRC (87.0%) was significantly higher than that in the adjacent tissues (19.6%). Strong fluorescence staining of Pokemon protein was observed in the cytoplasm of the SW480 and SW620 cells. The inhibition ratios of Pokemon mRNA and protein in the SW480 cells were 83.1% and 73.5% at 48 and 72 h, respectively, compared with those of the negative control cells with the siRNA. In the SW620 cells, the inhibition ratios of Pokemon mRNA and protein were 76.3% and 68.7% at 48 and 72 h, respectively. MTT showed that Pokemon gene silencing inhibited the proliferation of SW480 and SW620 cells.
CONCLUSION: Overexpression of Pokemon in CRC may have a function in carcinogenesis and progression. siRNA expression vectors could effectively inhibit mRNA and protein expression of Pokemon in SW480 and SW620 cells, thereby reducing malignant cell proliferation.

Zhu X, Dai Y, Chen Z, et al.
Knockdown of Pokemon protein expression inhibits hepatocellular carcinoma cell proliferation by suppression of AKT activity.
Oncol Res. 2013; 20(8):377-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Overexpression of Pokemon, which is an erythroid myeloid ontogenic factor protein, occurs in different cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Pokemon is also reported to have an oncogenic activity in various human cancers. This study investigated the effect of Pokemon knockdown on the regulation of HCC growth. POK shRNA suppressed the expression of Pokemon protein in HepG2 cells compared to the negative control vector-transfected HCC cells. Pokemon knockdown also reduced HCC cell viability and enhanced cisplatin-induced apoptosis in HCC cells. AKT activation and the expression of various cell cycle-related genes were inhibited following Pokemon knockdown. These data demonstrate that Pokemon may play a role in HCC progression, suggesting that inhibition of Pokemon expression using Pokemon shRNA should be further evaluated as a novel target for the control of HCC.

Zhang YQ, Xiao CX, Lin BY, et al.
Silencing of Pokemon enhances caspase-dependent apoptosis via fas- and mitochondria-mediated pathways in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e68981 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The role of Pokemon (POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic actor), a recently identified POK transcription factor with proto-oncogenic activity, in hepatocellular carcinogenesis has only been assessed by a few studies. Our previous study revealed that Pokemon is overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) and promotes HCC cell proliferation and migration via an AKT- and ERK- dependent manner. In the present study, we used the TUNEL assay and FACS analysis to demonstrate that oxaliplatin induced apoptosis was significantly increased in cells with silenced Pokemon. Western blots showed that p53 expression and phosphorylation were significantly increased in Pokemon defective cells, thereby initiating the mitochondria-mediated and death receptor-mediated apoptotic pathways. In the mitochondria-mediated pathway, expression of pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members (including Bad, Bid, Bim and Puma) as well as AIF was increased and decreasing the mitochondrial membrane potential resulted in cytochrome C released from mitochondrial in HepG2 si-Pokemon cells. In addition, upon oxaliplatin treatment of Pokemon-silenced cells, the FAS receptor, FADD and their downstream targets caspase-10 and caspase-8 were activated, causing increased release of caspase-8 active fragments p18 and p10. Increased activated caspase-8-mediated cleavage and activation of downstream effector caspases such as caspase-9 and caspase-3 was observed in HepG2 si-Pokemon cells as compared to control. Therefore, Pokemon might serve as an important mediator of crosstalk between intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways in HCC cells. Moreover, our findings suggest that Pokemon could be an attractive therapeutic target gene for human cancer therapy.

Zhao S, Nelson PS
Leveraging the species barrier to advance cancer therapy.
Nat Genet. 2013; 45(7):718-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
The discovery of new therapeutic targets and the personalization of treatments are two active areas of cancer research. New studies suggest that a 'co-clinical' approach may expedite both therapeutic target validation and risk stratification in patients with advanced prostate cancer.

Wang G, Lunardi A, Zhang J, et al.
Zbtb7a suppresses prostate cancer through repression of a Sox9-dependent pathway for cellular senescence bypass and tumor invasion.
Nat Genet. 2013; 45(7):739-46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Zbtb7a has previously been described as a powerful proto-oncogene. Here we unexpectedly demonstrate that Zbtb7a has a critical oncosuppressive role in the prostate. Prostate-specific inactivation of Zbtb7a leads to a marked acceleration of Pten loss-driven prostate tumorigenesis through bypass of Pten loss-induced cellular senescence (PICS). We show that ZBTB7A physically interacts with SOX9 and functionally antagonizes its transcriptional activity on key target genes such as MIA, which is involved in tumor cell invasion, and H19, a long noncoding RNA precursor for an RB-targeting microRNA. Inactivation of Zbtb7a in vivo leads to Rb downregulation, PICS bypass and invasive prostate cancer. Notably, we found that ZBTB7A is genetically lost, as well as downregulated at both the mRNA and protein levels, in a subset of human advanced prostate cancers. Thus, we identify ZBTB7A as a context-dependent cancer gene that can act as an oncogene in some contexts but also has oncosuppressive-like activity in PTEN-null tumors.

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