Research Papers:

This article has been corrected. Correction in: Oncotarget. 2017; 8:45031.

High-level expression of P21-Cdc/Rac-activated kinase 7 is closely related to metastatic potential and poor prognosis of colon carcinoma

Chao Li, Jian Chen, Yupeng Wang, Guohe Song, Chao Xiao, Dongwang Yan, Lin Zhong, Xing Sun, Xiaoliang Wang, Fudong Yu, Yang Yu, Huamei Tang and Zhihai Peng _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:46042-46055. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10017

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Chao Li1,*, Jian Chen1,*, Yupeng Wang1,*, Guohe Song1, Chao Xiao1, Dongwang Yan1, Lin Zhong1, Xing Sun1, Xiaoliang Wang1, Fudong Yu1, Yang Yu1, Huamei Tang2, Zhihai Peng1

1Department of General Surgery, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200080, People’s Republic of China

2Department of Pathology, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200080, People’s Republic of China

*There authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Zhihai Peng, email: [email protected]

Keywords: PAK7, colon cancer, EMT, metastasis, prognosis

Received: November 18, 2015     Accepted: May 08, 2016     Published: June 14, 2016


P21 protein (Cdc42/Rac)-activated kinase 7 (PAK7) can promote neurite outgrowth, induce microtubule stabilization, and activate cell survival signaling pathways. PAK7 expression was found to increase with colon carcinoma progression, but the prognostic value, clinical significance, and underlying mechanisms have not been explored. In my study, the expression of PAK7 was up-related at both the transcriptional and the translational levels in colon tumors compared to that in adjacent normal colon tissue. Patients with PAK7-positive tumors had a lower rate of overall survival (OS) and metastasis-free survival (MFS) (log-rank test, P < 0.001). A Cox proportional hazards model showed that PAK7 expression was an independent prognostic factor for OS (hazard ration [HR], 2.08; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.16-3.73; P = 0.004) and MFS (HR, 2.88; 95% CI, 1.53-5.42; P < 0.001) in patients with colon cancer. Patients with tumors that were over-expressing PAK7 experienced metastasis, and died within a significantly shorter time after surgery (P < 0.001). Knockdown of PAK7 by a specific short hairpin RNA (shRNA) significantly suppressed the progression of epithelial to mesechymal transition (EMT), migration, and invasion of colon cancer cells in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. However, overexpression of PAK7 significantly promoted these processes. These findings indicate that aberrant PAK7 expression is associated with the occurrence of metastasis and poor clinical outcomes of human colon cancer by promoting the EMT, and the assessment of PAK7 expression might be helpful in predicting metastasis and prognostication for patients with colon cancer.

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