Homeobox protein VentX induces p53-independent apoptosis in cancer cells
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Hong Gao1,2,*, Bin Wu1,3,*, Yi Le1, Zhenglun Zhu1
1Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, 02115, Massachusetts, USA
2Current address: Department of Medicine, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, 02115, Massachusetts, USA
3Current address: Department of Gastroenterology, Third Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, 510630, China
*These authors contributed equally to this work
Zhenglun Zhu, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keywords: ventX, apoptosis, p53, caspase-3, PARP
Received: December 18, 2015 Accepted: April 24, 2016 Published: May 09, 2016
Identifying novel tumor suppressors holds promise for improving cancer treatment. Our recent studies identified VentX, a homeobox transcriptional factor, as a putative tumor suppressor. Here we demonstrate that VentX exerts strong inhibitory effects on the proliferation and survival of cancer cells, but not primary transformed cells, such as 293T cells. Mechanistically, both in vitro and in vivo data showed that VentX induces apoptosis of cancer cells in a p53-independent manner. We found that VentX expression can be induced by chemotherapeutic agents. Taken together, our findings suggest that VentX may function as a novel therapeutic target in cancer treatment.
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