Oncotarget

Research Papers:

Overexpression of NSUN2 by DNA hypomethylation is associated with metastatic progression in human breast cancer

Jie Yi, Ran Gao, Yu Chen, Zhuo Yang, Pei Han, Hui Zhang, Yaling Dou, Wenjing Liu, Wengong Wang, Guanhua Du, Yingchun Xu and Jinhua Wang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:20751-20765. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10612

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Abstract

Jie Yi1,*, Ran Gao1,*, Yu Chen1, Zhuo Yang1, Pei Han3, Hui Zhang4, Yaling Dou1, Wenjing Liu1, Wengong Wang3, Guanhua Du2, Yingchun Xu1, Jinhua Wang2

1Department of Clinical Laboratory, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

2The State Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substance and Function of Natural Medicines, Beijing Key Laboratory of Drug Target Research and Drug Screen, Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Science and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

3Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Beijing Key Laboratory of Protein Posttranslational Modifications and Cell Function, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

4Department of Pathology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Yingchun Xu, email: [email protected]

Jinhua Wang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: NSUN2, methylation, progression, biomarker, breast cancer

Received: March 22, 2016    Accepted: June 06, 2016    Published: November 30, 2016

ABSTRACT

NSUN2 is a RNA methyltransferase that has been shown to be implicated in development of human cancer. However, the functional role of NSUN2, mechanism of NSUN2 overexpression and its association with clinicopathologic features in breast cancer remain unclear. To investigate alterations in the expression and functional role of NSUN2 in breast cancer, NSUN2 expression was assessed in breast cancer cells and tissues obtained from cancers at different American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stages, and its functions were investigated using breast cancer cells. NSUN2 expression was shown to be significantly higher in breast cancer cells and tissues than in normal breast epithelial cells and tissues, at both mRNA and protein levels. Overexpression of NSUN2 was shown to promote cell proliferation, migration, and invasion while NSUN2 knockdown inhibited these processes in vitro and in vivo. NSUN2 expression level was associated with the methylation level of its promoter. Our results demonstrated that the overall expression of NSUN2 significantly correlated with clinical stage (P=0.027), tumor classification (P=0.012), pathological differentiation (P=0.023), as well as with the expression levels of estrogen receptor (P<0.001), progesterone receptor (P=0.001), and Ki-67 (P<0.001). Our findings provide a unique insight into the roles and effects of NSUN2 overexpression in breast cancer cells, and highlight the necessity of the investigation of novel therapeutic targets, such as NSUN2, for the improvement of breast cancer treatments.


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