ZEB1

Gene Summary

Gene:ZEB1; zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1
Aliases: BZP, TCF8, AREB6, FECD6, NIL2A, PPCD3, ZFHEP, ZFHX1A, DELTAEF1
Location:10p11.22
Summary:This gene encodes a zinc finger transcription factor. The encoded protein likely plays a role in transcriptional repression of interleukin 2. Mutations in this gene have been associated with posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy-3 and late-onset Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been described.[provided by RefSeq, Mar 2010]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 14 March, 2017

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
Show (39)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 14 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.

  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA Methylation
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Xylenes
  • Disease Progression
  • Zinc Finger Protein GLI1
  • Stromal Cells
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • snail family transcription factors
  • Virus Latency
  • Down-Regulation
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Lung Cancer
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Chromosome 10
  • Vimentin
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • MicroRNAs
  • Drug Resistance
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Promoter Regions
  • RNA Interference
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • siRNA
  • Cancer Stem Cells
  • Young Adult
  • Phenotype
  • Cell Movement
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Messenger RNA
  • Breast Cancer
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Western Blotting
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
  • Cadherins
Tag cloud generated 14 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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: ZEB1 (cancer-related)

Ryu SH, Heo SH, Park EY, et al.
Selumetinib Inhibits Melanoma Metastasis to Mouse Liver via Suppression of EMT-targeted Genes.
Anticancer Res. 2017; 37(2):607-614 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: We investigated the therapeutic effects of a mitogen-activated protein (MEK) inhibitor, selumetinib, in a hepatic melanoma metastasis model and studied its possible mechanism of action.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Melanoma cell lines were exposed to selumetinib under different experimental conditions. We established a mouse model of liver metastasis and treated mice orally with vehicle or selumetinib and then evaluated metastasis progress.
RESULTS: Growth inhibition was observed in melanoma cells as a consequence of G1-phase cell-cycle arrest and the subsequent induction of apoptosis in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Mice with established liver metastases that were treated with selumetinib exhibited significantly less tumor progression than vehicle-treated mice. c-Myc expression in metastasized liver tissues were suppressed by selumetinib. Moreover, oral treatment with selumetinib modulated expression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition- and metastasis-related genes, including integrin alpha-5 (ITGA5), jagged 1 (JAG1), zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1), NOTCH, and serpin peptidase inhibitor clade E (SERPINE1).
CONCLUSION: We established a mouse model of hepatic metastasis using a human melanoma cell line, such models are essential in elucidating the therapeutic effects of anti-metastatic drugs. Our data suggest the possibility that selumetinib presents a new strategy to treat liver metastasis in patients with melanoma by suppressing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition-related genes.

Janiak M, Paskal W, Rak B, et al.
TIMP4 expression is regulated by miR-200b-3p in prostate cancer cells.
APMIS. 2017; 125(2):101-105 [PubMed] Related Publications
In prostate cancer TIMP4 expression level fluctuates with tumor progression. The mechanism and factors influencing its expression remain unclear. The aim of the study was to test the hypothesis on regulation of TIMP4 by microRNA-200b-3p. The levels of TIMP4 and miR-200b-3p expression were determined by real time PCR in 27 prostate carcinomas and eight benign prostatic hyperplasia samples. We found that miR-200b-3p positively correlated with TIMP4 expression in cancer samples (r = 0.46; p < 0.02). Moreover, mean miR-200b-3p level and TIMP4 expression were both higher in cancer tissues compared to benign prostatic hyperplasia samples (p > 0.05). Next, to test probable mechanisms of the regulation androgen-sensitive human prostate adenocarcinoma cells (LNCaP) were transfected with synthetic-miR-200b-3p or its synthetic antagonist. Modulation of miR-200b-3p in LNCaP cells had an impact on TIMP4 expression confirming the observation made in analyzed clinical samples. Two targets of miR-200b-3p: ZEB1 and ETS1 were investigated subsequently as potential regulators of TIMP4, however, no effect of their modulation on TIMP4 expression in LNCaP cells was found. Concluding, miR-200b-3p mediates regulation of TIMP4 expression in prostate cancer but exact mechanism needs to be investigated.

Zhou G, Zhang F, Guo Y, et al.
miR-200c enhances sensitivity of drug-resistant non-small cell lung cancer to gefitinib by suppression of PI3K/Akt signaling pathway and inhibites cell migration via targeting ZEB1.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2017; 85:113-119 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acquired resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) is a major obstacle in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. We explored the role of miR-200c in modulating the sensitivity of gefitinib-resistant NSCLC cells and examined the underlying mechanism. The gefitinib-resistant cell line PC-9-ZD and its parental PC-9 cells were used. Growth inhibition was detected by MTT assay. The cell apoptosis was detected by Annexin V/PI assay. Cell migration was assessed by wound-healing assay. RT-PCR was used to detected levels of miR-200c and ZEB1. The PI3k, Bcl-2, Bax, caspase-3 and ZEB1 protein expression were detected using Western blot analysis, and TUNEL, Immunohistochemistry for xenograft model. PC-9-ZD cells had low level of miR-200c expression compared to its parental PC-9 cells. PC-9-ZD cells with miR-200c transfection were more sensitive to gefitinib treatment. Apoptosis induced by gefitinib was observed in PC-9-ZD cells with miR-200c transfection significantly. The levels of phosphorylated-Akt and Bcl-2 expression decreased and levels of Bax and Caspase-3 expression increased in PC-9-ZD cells with miR-200c transfection. Cell migration was inhibited and ZEB1 mRNA level and protein expression were significantly decreased in PC-9-ZD cells with miR-200c transfection. Further in gefitinib resistant xenograft model, miR-200c enhanced sensitivity of gefitinib and induced apoptosis significantly through PI3K/Akt signaling pathway and targeting ZEB1. These results provided insights into the functions of miR-200c and offered an alternate approach in treating gefitinib-resistance NSCLC.

Otsuka Y, Sato H, Oikawa T, et al.
High expression of EPB41L5, an integral component of the Arf6-driven mesenchymal program, correlates with poor prognosis of squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue.
Cell Commun Signal. 2016; 14(1):28 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue (tongue SCC) is a major subtype of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), which is an intractable cancer under current therapeutics. ARF6 and its effector AMAP1 are often overexpressed in different types of cancers, such as breast cancer and renal cancer, and in these cancers, AMAP1 binds to EPB41L5 to promote invasion, metastasis, and drug resistance. EPB41L5 is a mesenchymal-specific protein, normally induced during epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) to promote focal adhesion dynamics. Similarly to breast cancer and renal cancer, the acquisition of mesenchymal phenotypes is the key process that drives the malignancy of HNSCC. We previously showed that the overexpression of AMAP1 in tongue SCC is statistically correlated with the poor outcome of patients. In this study, we examined whether tongue SCC also expresses EPB41L5 at high levels.
RESULTS: Immunohistochemical staining of clinical specimens of tongue SCC demonstrated that high expression levels of EPB41L5 statistically correlate with poor disease-free survival and poor overall survival rates of patients. The tongue SCC cell line SCC-9, which overexpress Arf6 and AMAP1, also expressed EPB41L5 at high levels to promote invasiveness, whereas the weakly invasive SCC-25 cells did not express EPB41L5 at notable levels. Among the different EMT-associated transcriptional factors, ZEB1 was previously found to be most crucial in inducing EPB41L5 in breast cancer and renal cancer. In contrast, expression levels of ZEB1 did not correlate with the expression levels of EPB41L5 in tongue SCC, whereas KLF8 and FOXO3 levels showed positive correlations with EPB41L5 levels. Moreover, silencing of EPB41L5 only marginally improved the drug resistance of SCC-9 cells, even when coupled with ionizing radiation.
CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that activation of the cancer mesenchymal program in tongue SCC, which leads to EPB41L5 expression, closely correlates with the poor prognosis of patients. However, ZEB1 was not the major inducer of EPB41L5 in tongue SCC, unlike in breast cancer and renal cancer. Thus, processes that trigger the mesenchymal program of tongue SCC, which drives their malignancies, seem to be substantially different from those of other cancers.

Park SY, Choi M, Park D, et al.
AEG-1 promotes mesenchymal transition through the activation of Rho GTPases in human glioblastoma cells.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(5):2641-2646 [PubMed] Related Publications
Despite growing evidence indicating that astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) plays pivotal roles in tumor progression in various types of human cancers including brain tumors; to date, its role in the regulation of mesenchymal transition is not clear in glioblastoma. In the present study, we investigated the contribution of AEG-1 to stress fiber formation and then the acquisition of mesenchymal characteristics of glioblastoma cells. Gain- and loss-of-function studies in normal immortalized primary human fetal astrocytes (IM-PHFAs) and glioblastoma cells revealed that overexpression of AEG-1 increased expression of mesenchymal markers including N-cadherin and two mesenchymal transition‑inducing transcription factors ZEB1 and Slug but decreased epithelial markers E-cadherin and ZO-1. In addition, knockdown of AEG-1 suppressed invasive ability and migration of glioblastoma cells. Overexpression of AEG-1 also induced stress fiber formation and activated the Rho GTPase signaling pathways in glioblastoma cells. Consistently, treatment with an RhoA inhibitor decreased AEG-1-mediated stress fiber formation in glioblastoma cells. Collectively, our findings suggest that AEG-1 promotes mesenchymal transition in glioblastoma through the regulation of the Rho signaling pathway, resulting in tumor invasion, a primary characteristic of malignant brain tumors.

Mohammadi A, Mansoori B, Aghapour M, et al.
The Urtica dioica extract enhances sensitivity of paclitaxel drug to MDA-MB-468 breast cancer cells.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2016; 83:835-842 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Due to the chemo resistant nature of cancer cells and adverse effects of current therapies, researchers are looking for the most efficient therapeutic approach which has the lowest side effects and the highest toxicity on cancer cells. The aim of the present study was to investigate the synergic effect of Urtica dioica extract in combination with paclitaxel on cell death and invasion of human breast cancer MDA-MB-468 cell line.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: To determine the cytotoxic effects of Urtica dioica extract with paclitaxel, MTT assay was performed. The scratch test was exploited to assess the effects of Urtica dioica, Paclitaxel alone and combination on migration of cancer cells. The expression levels of snail-1, ZEB1, ZEB2, twist, Cdc2, cyclin B1 and Wee1 genes were quantified using qRT-PCR and western blot performed for snail-1expression. The effects of plant extract, Paclitaxel alone and combination on different phases of cell cycle was analyzed using flow cytometry.
RESULTS: Results of MTT assay showed that Urtica dioica significantly destroyed cancer cells. Interestingly, Concurrent use of Urtica dioica extract with paclitaxel resulted in decreased IC50 dose of paclitaxel. Moreover, findings of scratch assay exhibited the inhibitory effects of Urtica dioica, Paclitaxel alone and combination on migration of MDA-MB-468 cell line. Our findings also demonstrated that the extract substantially decreased the Snail-1 and related gene expression. Ultimately, Cell cycle arrest occurred at G2/M phase post-treatment by deregulating Cdc2 and wee1.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrated that the dichloromethane extract of Urtica dioica inhibit cell growth and migration. Also, Urtica dioica extract substantially increased sensitivity of breast cancer cells to paclitaxel. Therefore, it can be used as a potential candidate for treatment of breast cancer with paclitaxel.

Colditz J, Rupf B, Maiwald C, Baniahmad A
Androgens induce a distinct response of epithelial-mesenchymal transition factors in human prostate cancer cells.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2016; 421(1-2):139-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
Inhibition of the androgen receptor (AR) is a major target of prostate cancer (PCa) therapy. However, prolonged androgen deprivation results eventually in castration-resistant PCa (CRPC) with metastasis and poor survival. Emerging evidence suggests that epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) may facilitate castration-resistance and cancer metastasis in PCa. The human androgen-dependent, castration-sensitive prostate cancer (CSPC) cell line LNCaP and the CRPC cell line C4-2 are often used as a model system for human PCa. However, the role of the AR and the effect of AR antagonist (antiandrogen) treatment on the RNA expression of key factors of EMT including the long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) DRAIC in PCa cells remain elusive. Although as expected the established AR target genes PSA and FKBP5 are strongly induced by androgens in both cell lines, both E-cadherin and vimentin mRNA levels are upregulated by androgens in LNCaP but not in C4-2 cells by short- and long-term treatments. The mRNA levels of E-cadherin and vimentin remain unchanged by antiandrogen treatment in both cell lines. The expression of transcription factors that regulate EMT including Slug, Snail and ZEB1 and the lncRNA DRAIC were affected by androgen treatment in both cell lines. The mRNA level of Slug is upregulated by androgens and interestingly downregulated by antiandrogens in both cell lines. On the other hand, ZEB1 mRNA levels are strongly upregulated by androgens but remain unchanged by antiandrogens. In contrast, Snail mRNA levels are repressed by androgen treatment similar to DRAIC RNA levels. However, while antiandrogen treatment seems not to change Snail mRNA levels, antiandrogen treatments induce DRAIC RNA levels. Moreover, despite the strong upregulation of Zeb1 mRNA, no significant increase of the ZEB1 protein was observed indicating that despite androgen upregulation, posttranscriptional regulation of EMT controlling transcription factors occurs. SLUG protein was enhanced in both cell lines by androgens and reduced by antiandrogens. Taken together, our data suggest that the ligand-activated AR regulates the expression of several EMT key factors and antiandrogens counteract AR activity only on selected genes.

Chiang KC, Hsu SY, Lin SJ, et al.
PTEN Insufficiency Increases Breast Cancer Cell Metastasis In Vitro and In Vivo in a Xenograft Zebrafish Model.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(8):3997-4005 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) insufficiency is commonly found in breast cancer patients with metastasis. We investigated the mechanisms by which PTEN affects breast cancer metastatic behavior.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Migration and invasion assay, western blot, immunofluorescent staining and zebrafish animal model were applied.
RESULTS: We showed that PTEN insufficiency induced an increase in MCF-7 cell migration and invasion through induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which was triggered by up-regulation of the EMT-inducing transcriptional factors Zeb1, Zeb2, Snail, Slug and Twist. Simultaneously, E-cadherin expression was inhibited and P-cadherin was up-regulated. Further, WNT1 inducible signaling pathway protein 1 (WISP1) and lipocalin-2 (LCN2) expressions were increased after PTEN knockdown in MCF-7 cells, which also exhibited increased filamentous actin (F-actin) synthesis and extracellular matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9 expression. We further showed that PTEN knockdown in MCF-7 cells could increase cell migration in the xenograft zebrafish model.
CONCLUSION: Our findings reveal new therapeutic targets for breast cancer patients with PTEN insufficiency.

Nowakowska M, Matysiak-Burzyńska Z, Kowalska K, et al.
Angiotensin II promotes endometrial cancer cell survival.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(2):1101-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
Endometrial cancer (EC) is one of the most common female cancers. One of the key processes involved in EC development is uncontrolled proliferation stimulated by local factors such as angiotensin. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the influence of angiotensin II (Ang II) on human EC cells. Biological assays and gene expression analysis were performed on three cell lines: ISH, MFE-296 and MFE-280. Our results indicated that at the beginning of cancerogenesis Ang II induced abnormal proliferation at lower doses. We also showed that dose-dependent induction of proliferation was connected with changes in the expression of MKI67, CCND1 and CCNE1 genes in well- and poorly differentiated cancer cells. After Ang II treatment, poorly differentiated endometrial cancer cell line acquired a mesenchymal phenotype, which was characterized by induced expression of EMT-related genes (VIM, CD44, SNAI1, ZEB1 and ZEB2). Our study revealed that Ang II influences EC cells in terms of cancer-related processes, and is responsible for increased proliferation, reduction in apoptosis, increased mobility and modulation of adhesion potential. Its effect and effectiveness appear to be highly connected with the differentiation status of the cancerous cells, as Ang II appears to play a crucial role in the early and late stages of malignant transformation.

Fan Z, Jiang H, Wang Z, Qu J
Atorvastatin partially inhibits the epithelial-mesenchymal transition in A549 cells induced by TGF-β1 by attenuating the upregulation of SphK1.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(2):1016-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Statins are the most effective drugs used in the reduction of intracellular synthesis of cholesterol. Numerous studies have confirmed that statins reduce the risk of multiple types of cancers. Statin use in cancer patients is associated with reduced cancer-related mortality. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a complicated process programmed by multiple genes, is an important mechanism of cancer metastasis. We explored the effect and mechanism of atorvastatin on the EMT process in A549 cells by establishing an EMT model in vitro induced by TGF-β1, and evaluated the effects of atorvastatin on the lower signaling pathway of TGF-β1 stimulation. Our results showed that atorvastatin partially inhibited the EMT process, and inhibited cell migration and actin filament remodeling. Transcriptional upregulation of ZEB1 and protein sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1) induced by TGF-β1 was also suppressed. SphK1 plasmid transient transfection strengthened the EMT process induced by TGF-β1 in the presence of atorvastatin. Our experiments confirmed that atorvastatin can partially inhibit the EMT process of non-small cell lung cancer cells induced by TGF-β1 by attenuating the upregulation of SphK1.

Liu Y, Lu R, Gu J, et al.
Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A1 up-regulates stem cell markers in benzo[a]pyrene-induced malignant transformation of BEAS-2B cells.
Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2016; 45:241-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recently, Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A1 (ALDH1A1) has been proposed to be a common marker of cancer stem cells and can be induced by benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) exposure. However, the underlying mechanism of how ALDH1A1 contributes to B[a]P-induced carcinogenesis in human bronchial epithelial cells remains unclear. Here, we found that B[a]P up-regulated expression levels of stem cell markers (ABCG2, SOX2, c-Myc and Klf4), epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) associated genes (SNAIL1, ZEB1, TWIST and β-CATENIN) and cancer-related long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs; HOTAIR and MALAT-1) in malignant B[a]P-transformed human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B-T cells), and these up-regulations were dependent on increased expression of ALDH1A1. The inhibition of endogenous ALDH1A1 expression down-regulated expression levels of stem cell markers and reversed the malignant phenotype as well as reduced the chemoresistance of BEAS-2B-T cells. In contrast, the overexpression of ALDH1A1 in BEAS-2B cells increased the expression of stem cell markers, facilitated cell transformation, promoted migratory ability and enhanced the drug resistance of BEAS-2B cells. Overall, our data indicates that ALDH1A1 promotes a stemness phenotype and plays a critical role in the BEAS-2B cell malignant transformation induced by B[a]P.

Yao YH, Cui Y, Qiu XN, et al.
Attenuated LKB1-SIK1 signaling promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition and radioresistance of non-small cell lung cancer cells.
Chin J Cancer. 2016; 35:50 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Radiotherapy is one of the main therapeutic approaches for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, radioresistant cancer cells can eventually cause tumor relapse and even fatal metastasis. It is thought that radioresistance and metastasis could be potentially linked by epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In this study, we established radioresistant NSCLC cells to investigate the potential relationship among radioresistance, EMT, and enhanced metastatic potential and the underlying mechanism involving liver kinase B1 (LKB1)-Salt-inducible kinase 1 (SIK1) signaling.
METHODS: The radioresistant cell lines A549R and H1299R were generated by dose-gradient irradiation of the parental A549 and H1299 cells. The radioresistance/sensitivity was evaluated by Cell Counting Kit-8 assay, apoptosis analysis, and/or clonogenic cell survival assay. The EMT phenotype and the signaling change were assessed by Western blotting. The abilities of invasion and migration were evaluated by transwell assays and wound healing assays.
RESULTS: The radioresistant cell lines A549R and H1299R displayed mesenchymal features with enhanced invasion and migration. Mechanistically, A549R and H1299R cells had attenuated LKB1-SIK1 signaling, which leaded to the up-regulation of Zinc-finger E-box-binding homeobox factor 1 (ZEB1)--a transcription factor that drives EMT. Re-expression of LKB1 in A549R cells reversed the EMT phenotype, whereas knockdown of LKB1 in H1299R cells further promoted the EMT phenotype. Moreover, re-expression of LKB1 in A549 cells increased the radiosensitivity, whereas knockdown of LKB1 in H1299 cells decreased the radiosensitivity.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that attenuated LKB1-SIK1 signaling promotes EMT and radioresistance of NSCLC cells, which subsequently contributes to the enhanced metastatic potential. Targeting the LKB1-SIK1-ZEB1 pathway to suppress EMT might provide therapeutic benefits.

Sugimoto M, Kohashi K, Itsumi M, et al.
Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma with Rhabdoid Features.
Pathobiology. 2016; 83(6):277-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: The aims of this study were to investigate the association of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) displaying rhabdoid features and morphologically mesenchymal characteristics with epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), and to clarify the expression of EMT markers.
METHODS: We investigated the expression of EMT markers (E-cadherin, vimentin, Snail, Slug, ZEB1, ZEB2 and Twist1) using immunohistochemistry, Western blotting and real-time polymerase chain reaction in 18 cases of clear cell RCC (ccRCC) with rhabdoid features and 74 ccRCC cases with Fuhrman grade 1-3 (G1 to G3).
RESULTS: In ccRCCs with rhabdoid features, low E-cadherin and high vimentin expression were found. In G1 to G3 ccRCCs, low E-cadherin expression and high expression of vimentin, ZEB1 and ZEB2 were found. There was no significant difference in the immunoexpression of E-cadherin and vimentin between the two ccRCC groups.
CONCLUSIONS: The rhabdoid features may histologically and biologically be associated with EMT in ccRCC. There is a possibility that in G1 to G3 ccRCCs showing epithelial structures, other cell-cell adhesion mechanisms apart from E-cadherin adhesion may continue to work, and that ccRCC with rhabdoid features may be caused by an inactivation or loss of these mechanisms.

Xu S, Yi XM, Tang CP, et al.
Long non-coding RNA ATB promotes growth and epithelial-mesenchymal transition and predicts poor prognosis in human prostate carcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(1):10-22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been identified to be critical mediators in various tumors associated with cancer progression. Long non-coding RNA activated by TGF-β (lncRNA-ATB) is a stimulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and serves as a novel prognostic biomarker for hepatocellular carcinoma. However, the biological role and clinical significance of lncRNA-ATB in human prostate cancer have yet to be fully elucidated. The present study was designed to explore the expression of lncRNA-ATB in human prostate cancer patients and the role of lncRNA-ATB in prostate cancer cells. We showed that lncRNA-ATB expression was significantly upregulated in tumor tissues in patients with prostate cancer in comparison with adjacent non-tumor tissues. Further analysis indicted that high lncRNA-ATB expression may be an independent prognostic factor for biochemical recurrence (BCR)-free survival in prostate cancer patients. Overexpression of lncRNA-ATB promoted, and knockdown of lncRNA-ATB inhibited the growth of prostate cancer cells via regulations of cell cycle regulatory protein expression levels. In addition, lncRNA-ATB stimulated epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) associated with ZEB1 and ZNF217 expression levels via ERK and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways. These results indicated that lncRNA-ATB may be considered as a new predictor in the clinical prognosis of patients with prostate cancer. Overexpression of lncRNA-ATB exerts mitogenic and EMT effects of prostate cancer via activation of ERK and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways.

Lai YJ, Tai CJ, Wang CW, et al.
Anti-Cancer Activity of Solanum nigrum (AESN) through Suppression of Mitochondrial Function and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) in Breast Cancer Cells.
Molecules. 2016; 21(5) [PubMed] Related Publications
Chemotherapy is the main approach for treating advanced and recurrent carcinoma, but the clinical performance of chemotherapy is limited by relatively low response rates, drug resistance, and adverse effects that severely affect the quality of life of patients. An association between epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and chemotherapy resistance has been investigated in recent studies. Our recent studies have found that the aqueous extract of Solanum nigrum (AESN) is a crucial ingredient in some traditional Chinese medicine formulas for treating various types of cancer patients and exhibits antitumor effects. We evaluated the suppression of EMT in MCF-7 breast cancer cells treated with AESN. The mitochondrial morphology was investigated using Mitotracker Deep-Red FM stain. Our results indicated that AESN markedly inhibited cell viability of MCF-7 breast cancer cells through apoptosis induction and cell cycle arrest mediated by activation of caspase-3 and production of reactive oxygen species. Furthermore, mitochondrial fission was observed in MCF-7 breast cancer cells treated with AESN. In addition to elevation of E-cadherin, downregulations of ZEB1, N-cadherin, and vimentin were found in AESN-treated MCF-7 breast cancer cells. These results suggested that AESN could inhibit EMT of MCF-7 breast cancer cells mediated by attenuation of mitochondrial function. AESN could be potentially beneficial in treating breast cancer cells, and may be of interest for future studies in developing integrative cancer therapy against proliferation, metastasis, and migration of breast cancer cells.

Wang Y, Dong X, Hu B, et al.
The effects of Micro-429 on inhibition of cervical cancer cells through targeting ZEB1 and CRKL.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2016; 80:311-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNA-429 (miR-429) has been suggested to inhibit epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), mainly due to targeting of ZEB1 and ZEB2, which are repressors of the cell to cell contact protein, E-cadherin. In this study, we indicated that regulation of miR-429 in cervical cancer cells modulates cell migration, elongation, as well as transforming growth factor β (TGF-β)-induced stress fiber formation through regulating the cytoskeleton reorganization which is likely independent of the zinc finger E-box binding homeobox (ZEB)/E-cadherin axis. ZEB1 and Crk-like adapter protein (CRKL), as novel targets of miR-429 and direct regulators of the actin cytoskeleton were identified. Remarkably, expression levels of ZEB1 and CRKL were inversely associated with the level of miR-429 in cervical cancer cell lines. In addition, individual knockdown and over-expression of these targeting genes phenocopied the roles of miR-429 over-expression and inhibition on cell elongation, migration, stress fiber formation, and invasion. Targeting of ZEB1 by miR-429 led to a decreased expression and transcriptional activity of CRB3, regulated by interference with the translocation of the CRB3. This finally led to decreasing of the expression of Crumbs 3 (CRB3), which is needed for the formation of stress fiber and contractility. Therefore, miR-429 affects cervical cancer by modulating some EMT-related processes. And in this study, evidences were provided to support a role for miR-429 as a novel target suppressing invasion and migration of human cervical cancer cells through modulation of its targeting genes ZEB1 and CRKL. Taken together, our data indicate that miR-429 plays a pivotal role in cervical cancer progression, which is a potential therapeutic target for patients.

Chiang KC, Yeh TS, Chen SC, et al.
The Vitamin D Analog, MART-10, Attenuates Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells Metastatic Potential.
Int J Mol Sci. 2016; 17(4) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Regarding breast cancer treatment, triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a difficult issue. Most TNBC patients die of cancer metastasis. Thus, to develop a new regimen to attenuate TNBC metastatic potential is urgently needed. MART-10 (19-nor-2α-(3-hydroxypropyl)-1α,25(OH)₂D₃), the newly-synthesized 1α,25(OH)₂D₃ analog, has been shown to be much more potent in cancer growth inhibition than 1α,25(OH)₂D₃ and be active in vivo without inducing obvious side effect. In this study, we demonstrated that both 1α,25(OH)₂D₃ and MART-10 could effectively repress TNBC cells migration and invasion with MART-10 more effective. MART-10 and 1α,25(OH)₂D₃ induced cadherin switching (upregulation of E-cadherin and downregulation of N-cadherin) and downregulated P-cadherin expression in MDA-MB-231 cells. The EMT(epithelial mesenchymal transition) process in MDA-MB-231 cells was repressed by MART-10 through inhibiting Zeb1, Zeb2, Slug, and Twist expression. LCN2, one kind of breast cancer metastasis stimulator, was also found for the first time to be repressed by 1α,25(OH)₂D₃ and MART-10 in breast cancer cells. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) activity was also downregulated by MART-10. Furthermore, F-actin synthesis in MDA-MB-231 cells was attenuated as exposure to 1α,25(OH)₂D₃ and MART-10. Based on our result, we conclude that MART-10 could effectively inhibit TNBC cells metastatic potential and deserves further investigation as a new regimen to treat TNBC.

Yuan Z, Yu X, Ni B, et al.
Overexpression of long non-coding RNA-CTD903 inhibits colorectal cancer invasion and migration by repressing Wnt/β-catenin signaling and predicts favorable prognosis.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(6):2675-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
Accumulating evidence reveals that long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) is essential for tumorigenesis and progression, but little is known about its roles and mechanisms in metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). This study aimed to detect expression level and prognostic role of lncRNA‑CTD903 in CRC patients, which was selected based on one microarray data. The effects on cell invasion, migration and proliferation were investigated after silencing or overexpression of CTD903 in CRC cell lines. We also observed the EMT (epithelial-mesenchymal transition) phenomenon and effect on cell adhesion. The associations between CTD903 and EMT markers, such as E-cadherin, N-cadherin, β-catenin, ZEB1, ZO-1, Snail, and Twist, were determined by western blotting. Our results showed lncRNA-CTD903 expression was strongly upregulated in 115 CRC patients, comparing to adjacent normal tissues. CTD903 was proven to be an independent predicted factor of favorable prognosis in CRC patients by using multivariate Cox proportional hazards model. After knockdown of CTD903 in RKO and SW480, both cell invasion and migration increased, and cells exhibited EMT-like appearance, along with reduced adhering ability. Moreover, overexpression of CTD903 in DLD1 and HCT116 reversed these phenotypes. Furthermore, downregulation of CTD903 enhanced Wnt/β-catenin activation and subsequently increased transcription factors (Twist and Snail) expression, along with increased mesenchymal marker Vimentin and decreased epithelial marker ZO-1 level, while overexpressed CTD903 confirmed these associations. In conclusion, this study shows that LncRNA-CTD903 acts as a tumor suppressor in CRC and can inhibit cell invasion and migration through repressing Wnt/β-catenin signaling, which plays important roles in EMT and CRC metastasis.

Zheng QM, Lu JJ, Zhao J, et al.
Periostin Facilitates the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition of Endometrial Epithelial Cells through ILK-Akt Signaling Pathway.
Biomed Res Int. 2016; 2016:9842619 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although periostin was confirmed to facilitate the pathogenesis of endometriosis by enhancing the migration, invasion, and adhesion of human endometrial stromal cells (ESCs), its effect on the endometrial epithelial cells (EECs) is still unknown. The current study aimed to determine whether periostin enhanced the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of EECs. EECs were isolated from 12 women with endometriosis. The migration and invasion abilities of EECs were evaluated by transwell assays. Expressions of proteins were detected by western blot. After treatment with periostin, the migration and invasion abilities of EECs were enhanced. Additionally, E-cadherin and keratin were downregulated while N-cadherin and vimentin were upregulated in EECs. Simultaneously, levels of ILK, p-Akt, slug, and Zeb1 were all upregulated in EECs. After silencing the expression of ILK in EECs, levels of p-Akt, slug, Zeb1, N-cadherin, and vimentin were downregulated while E-cadherin and keratin were upregulated. Although periostin weakened the above effects in EECs after silencing the expression of ILK, it failed to induce the EMT of EECs. Thus, periostin enhanced invasion and migration abilities of EECs and facilitated the EMT of EECs through ILK-Akt signaling pathway. Playing a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of endometriosis, periostin may be a new clinical therapy target for endometriosis.

Wang C, Ge Q, Zhang Q, et al.
Targeted p53 activation by saRNA suppresses human bladder cancer cells growth and metastasis.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 35:53 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Previous study showed that dsP53-285 has the capacity to induce tumor suppressor gene p53 expression by targeting promoter in non-human primates' cells. And it is well known that TP53 gene is frequently mutant or inactivated in human bladder cancer. Hereby, whether this small RNA can activate the expression of wild-type p53 and inhibit human bladder cancer cells remains to be elucidated.
METHODS: Oligonucleotide and lentivirus were used to overexpress dsP53-285 and dsControl. Real-time PCR and western blot were used to detect genes' mRNA and protein expression, respectively. Cell proliferation assay, colony formation, flow cytometry, transwell assay and wound healing assay were performed to determine the effects on bladder cancer cells proliferation and migration/invasion in vitro. Animal models were carried out to analyze the effects on cells growth and metastasis in vivo.
RESULTS: Transfection of dsP53-285 into human bladder cancer cell lines T24 and EJ readily activate wild-type p53 expression by targeting promoter. Moreover, dsP53-285 exhibited robust capacity to inhibit cells proliferation and colony formation, induce cells G0/G1 arrest, suppress migration and invasion. Besides, the Cyclin-CDK genes (Cyclin D1 and CDK4/6) were down-regulated and the EMT-associated genes (E-cadherin, β-catenin, ZEB1 and Vimentin) were also expressed inversely after dsP53-285 treatment. In addition, dsP53-285 could also significantly suppress the growth of bladder cancer xenografts and metastasis in nude mice. Most importantly, the anti-tumor effects mediated by dsP53-285 were mainly achieved by manipulating wild-type p53 expression.
CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that the dsP53-285 can upregulate wild-type p53 expression in human bladder cancer cells through RNA activation, and suppresses cells proliferation and metastasis in vitro and in vivo.

Li M, Chen H, Zhao Y, et al.
H19 Functions as a ceRNA in Promoting Metastasis Through Decreasing miR-200s Activity in Osteosarcoma.
DNA Cell Biol. 2016; 35(5):235-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone sarcoma around the world. The poor prognosis and high recurrence rate of osteosarcoma are largely due to the high rate of pulmonary metastasis. H19 has been reported to play a potential role in osteosarcoma progression. However, the exact molecular mechanism of metastasis involving H19 remains unclear. In the present study, we performed gain- and loss-of-function assays and found that H19 promotes migration and invasion in osteosarcoma cells. Furthermore, we showed that H19 promotes metastasis through upregulation of ZEB1 and ZEB2 by competitively binding the miR-200 family. Thus, our findings suggest important roles of H19 in osteosarcoma metastasis and indicate its potential application in osteosarcoma therapy.

Wang F, Jiang C, Sun Q, et al.
Downregulation of miR‑429 and inhibition of cell migration and invasion in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
Mol Med Rep. 2016; 13(4):3236-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Viral, dietary and genetic factors have been implicated in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), however, the molecular mechanism underlying its pathogenesis remains to be fully elucidated. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been reported to be important in NPC tumorigenesis, with a previous miRNA microarray study showing the downregulation of miRNA (miR)‑429 in NPC cells. However, the possible mechanisms of action of miR‑429 have not been examined. In the present study, the expression profiles of miR‑429 were detected using reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis in CNE‑1 and CNE‑2 cells, which are two generally used NPC cells with different degrees of differentiation. Subsequently, cell proliferation, invasion and migration were analyzed in miR‑429‑overexpressing CNE‑2 cells, and the modulatory function of miR‑429 was also investigated using two target genes, zinc finger E‑Box‑binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1) and CRK‑like (CRKL), by transfection with miR‑429 mimic or anti‑miR‑429. Significant changes in the expression of miR‑429 were detected, particularly in low‑differentiated CNE‑2 cells, with higher levels of epidemicity and malignancy. Additional results revealed that miR‑429 inhibited the invasion and migration of the CNE‑2 cells, whereas no significant effect on cell growth was observed. In addition, the mRNA and protein expression levels of the two target genes, ZEB1 and CRKL, were negatively regulated by miR‑429, demonstrated through gain‑of‑function and loss‑of‑function investigations, indicating that these two functional downstream targets may be involved in the inhibitory effects of miR‑429 on NPC migration and invasion. miR‑429 may act as a negative regulatory factor of NPC tumorigenesis, involving the functions of its downstream targets, ZEB1 and CRKL. The results suggested miR‑429 as a potential candidate for miRNA‑based prognosis or therapy against NPC.

Zhan HX, Wang Y, Li C, et al.
LincRNA-ROR promotes invasion, metastasis and tumor growth in pancreatic cancer through activating ZEB1 pathway.
Cancer Lett. 2016; 374(2):261-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer (PC) remains one of the most lethal malignant tumors; early distant metastasis commonly results in poor prognosis. Recent studies confirmed the pivotal role of the long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in tumorigenesis and metastasis of malignant tumors, including PC. However, little is known about the role of LincRNA-ROR (linc-ROR) in PC. In the present study, we found that linc-ROR was upregulated in PC tissues. Overexpression of linc-ROR promoted cells proliferation, migration, invasion and metastasis both in vitro and in a mouse model. Contrarily, knockdown of linc-ROR attenuated proliferation, invasion and distant metastasis. Mechanistically, we confirmed that linc-ROR up-regulates ZEB1 and then induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which promotes the aggressive biological behaviors of PC. Together, these results indicate that linc-ROR acts as an important regulator of ZEB1, can promote invasion and metastasis in PC, and may represent a novel therapeutic target.

Mego M, Cholujova D, Minarik G, et al.
CXCR4-SDF-1 interaction potentially mediates trafficking of circulating tumor cells in primary breast cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:127 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cytokines are involved in cancer invasion and metastasis. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) play key role in tumor dissemination and are an independent survival predictor in breast cancer patients. The aim of this study was to assess correlation between CTCs and plasma cytokines in primary breast cancer (PBC) patients.
METHODS: This study included 147 chemotherapy naïve PBC patients. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were depleted of hematopoetic cells using RossetteSep™ negative selection kit. RNA extracted from CD45-depleted PBMC was interrogated for expression of EMT (Twist1, Snail1, Slug, Zeb1) and epithelial (Ck19) gene transcripts by qRT-PCR. The concentrations of 51 plasma cytokines were measured using multiplex bead arrays.
RESULTS: CTCs were detected in 25.2% patients. CTCs exhibiting only epithelial markers (CTC_EP) and only EMT markers (CTC_EMT) were present evenly in 11.6% patients, while CTCs co-expressing both markers were detected in 2.0% patients. Patients with presence of CTC_EP in peripheral blood had significantly elevated levels of plasma IFN-α2, IL-3, MCP-3, β-NGF, SCF, SCGF-β, TNF-β and SDF-1 compared to patients without CTC_EP. CTC_EP exhibited overexpression of SDF-1 receptor and CXCR4, but not other corresponding cytokine receptor, and in multivariate analysis SDF-1 was independently associated with CTC_EP. There was an inverse correlation between CTC_EMT and plasma cytokines CTACK, β-NGF and TRAIL, while presence of either subtype of CTCs was associated with increased level of TGF-β2.
CONCLUSION: Using cytokine profiling, we identified cytokines associated with CTCs subpopulations in peripheral blood of PBC. Our data suggest that CXCR4-SDF-1 axis is involved in mobilization and trafficking of epithelial CTCs.

Chung VY, Tan TZ, Tan M, et al.
GRHL2-miR-200-ZEB1 maintains the epithelial status of ovarian cancer through transcriptional regulation and histone modification.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:19943 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a biological process by which polarized epithelial cells convert into a mesenchymal phenotype, has been implicated to contribute to the molecular heterogeneity of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Here we report that a transcription factor--Grainyhead-like 2 (GRHL2) maintains the epithelial phenotype. EOC tumours with lower GRHL2 levels are associated with the Mes/Mesenchymal molecular subtype and a poorer overall survival. shRNA-mediated knockdown of GRHL2 in EOC cells with an epithelial phenotype results in EMT changes, with increased cell migration, invasion and motility. By ChIP-sequencing and gene expression microarray, microRNA-200b/a is identified as the direct transcriptional target of GRHL2 and regulates the epithelial status of EOC through ZEB1 and E-cadherin. Our study demonstrates that loss of GRHL2 increases the levels of histone mark H3K27me3 on promoters and GRHL2-binding sites at miR-200b/a and E-cadherin genes. These findings support GRHL2 as a pivotal gatekeeper of EMT in EOC via miR-200-ZEB1.

Hwang SJ, Lee HW, Kim HR, et al.
Ubiquitin-specific protease 4 controls metastatic potential through β-catenin stabilization in brain metastatic lung adenocarcinoma.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:21596 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Brain metastasis is the most common type of intracranial cancer and is the main cause of cancer-associated mortality. Brain metastasis mainly originates from lung cancer. Using a previously established in vitro brain metastatic model, we found that brain metastatic PC14PE6/LvBr4 cells exhibited higher expression of β-catenin and increased migratory activity than parental PC14PE6 cells. Knockdown of β-catenin dramatically suppressed the motility and invasiveness of PC14PE6/LvBr4 cells, indicating β-catenin is involved in controlling metastatic potential. Since β-catenin protein was increased without a significant change in its mRNA levels, the mechanism underlying increased β-catenin stability was investigated. We found that ubiquitin-specific protease 4 (USP4), recently identified as a β-catenin-specific deubiquitinylating enzyme, was highly expressed in PC14PE6/LvBr4 cells and involved in the increased stability of β-catenin protein. Similar to β-catenin knockdown, USP4-silenced PC14PE6/LvBr4 cells showed decreased migratory and invasive abilities. Moreover, knockdown of both USP4 and β-catenin inhibited clonogenicity and induced mesenchymal-epithelial transition by downregulating ZEB1 in PC14PE6/LvBr4 cells. Using bioluminescence imaging, we found that knockdown of USP4 suppressed brain metastasis in vivo and significantly increased overall survival and brain metastasis-free survival. Taken together, our results indicate that USP4 is a promising therapeutic target for brain metastasis in patients with lung adenocarcinoma.

Liu L, Tong Q, Liu S, et al.
ZEB1 Upregulates VEGF Expression and Stimulates Angiogenesis in Breast Cancer.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(2):e0148774 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1) has been identified as a key factor in the regulation of breast cancer differentiation and metastasis, its potential role in modulating tumor angiogenesis has not been fully examined. Here, we present the novel finding that conditioned medium derived from ZEB1-expressing MDA-MB-231 cells significantly increased the capillary tube formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), whereas ZEB1 knockdown by RNA interference had the opposite effect. ZEB1 caused marked upregulation of the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) at both mRNA and protein levels. Pre-incubation of HUVECs with anti-VEGFA neutralized antibody attenuated ZEB1-mediated tube formation of HUVECs. In breast cancer tissues, expression of ZEB1 was positively correlated with those of VEGFA and CD31. At the molecular level, ZEB1 activated VEGFA transcription by increasing SP1 recruitment to its promoter, which was mediated via the activation of PI3K and p38 pathways. Using a nude mouse xenograft model, we demonstrated that elevated expression of ZEB1 promotes in vivo tumorigenesis and angiogenesis in breast cancer. Collectively, we found that ZEB1-expressing breast cancer cells increase VEGFA production and thus stimulate tumor growth and angiogenesis via a paracrine mechanism.

Lehmann W, Mossmann D, Kleemann J, et al.
ZEB1 turns into a transcriptional activator by interacting with YAP1 in aggressive cancer types.
Nat Commun. 2016; 7:10498 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Early dissemination, metastasis and therapy resistance are central hallmarks of aggressive cancer types and the leading cause of cancer-associated deaths. The EMT-inducing transcriptional repressor ZEB1 is a crucial stimulator of these processes, particularly by coupling the activation of cellular motility with stemness and survival properties. ZEB1 expression is associated with aggressive behaviour in many tumour types, but the potent effects cannot be solely explained by its proven function as a transcriptional repressor of epithelial genes. Here we describe a direct interaction of ZEB1 with the Hippo pathway effector YAP, but notably not with its paralogue TAZ. In consequence, ZEB1 switches its function to a transcriptional co-activator of a 'common ZEB1/YAP target gene set', thereby linking two pathways with similar cancer promoting effects. This gene set is a predictor of poor survival, therapy resistance and increased metastatic risk in breast cancer, indicating the clinical relevance of our findings.

Weyemi U, Redon CE, Choudhuri R, et al.
The histone variant H2A.X is a regulator of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
Nat Commun. 2016; 7:10711 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), considered essential for metastatic cancer, has been a focus of much research, but important questions remain. Here, we show that silencing or removing H2A.X, a histone H2A variant involved in cellular DNA repair and robust growth, induces mesenchymal-like characteristics including activation of EMT transcription factors, Slug and ZEB1, in HCT116 human colon cancer cells. Ectopic H2A.X re-expression partially reverses these changes, as does silencing Slug and ZEB1. In an experimental metastasis model, the HCT116 parental and H2A.X-null cells exhibit a similar metastatic behaviour, but the cells with re-expressed H2A.X are substantially more metastatic. We surmise that H2A.X re-expression leads to partial EMT reversal and increases robustness in the HCT116 cells, permitting them to both form tumours and to metastasize. In a human adenocarcinoma panel, H2A.X levels correlate inversely with Slug and ZEB1 levels. Together, these results point to H2A.X as a regulator of EMT.

Zhao W, Wang H, Han X, et al.
ΔNp63α attenuates tumor aggressiveness by suppressing miR-205/ZEB1-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition in cervical squamous cell carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(8):10621-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cervical cancer is one of the most common female cancers worldwide. Although the therapeutic outcomes of patients with early-stage cervical cancer have been significantly improved in the past decades, tumor metastasis and recurrence remain the major causes of cervical cancer-related deaths. In cervical squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the aberrant activation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a crucial process in invasion and metastasis of epithelial cancer, could promote lymph nodal metastasis and recurrence, and predicts poor prognosis. In this study, we show that the expression levels of EMT markers, β-catenin and Vimentin, are associated with the p63 isoform ΔNp63α in SCC by using immunohistochemistry staining and analysis. Compared to the control SiHa cells (SiHa-NC), the expression of E-cadherin and β-catenin are upregulated, while Vimentin and ZEB1 are downregulated in the constructed SiHa cell line with stable ΔNp63α overexpression (SiHa-ΔNp63α). Besides, the migration and invasion abilities are also suppressed in SiHa-ΔNp63α cells with a typical epithelial morphology with cobblestone-like shape, suggesting that ΔNp63α is a vital EMT repressor in SCC cells. In addition, the involvement of miR-205/ZEB1 axis in the inhibition effect of ΔNp63α on EMT program is revealed by a miRNA array and confirmed by the subsequent transfection of the miR-205 mimic and antagomir. Moreover, SCC patients with low ΔNp63α expression and high EMT level show more frequent metastasis and recurrence as well as reduced overall survival. Therefore, EMT program and its vital repressor ΔNp63α could be used as biomarkers for tumor metastasis and recurrence in cervical cancer.

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