Research Papers:

KDM4B plays an important role in mitochondrial apoptosis by upregulating HAX1 expression in colorectal cancer

Haijie Li, Xi Yang, Guihua Wang, Xiaolan Li, Deding Tao, Junbo Hu and Xuelai Luo _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:57866-57877. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11077

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Haijie Li1,*, Xi Yang1,*, Guihua Wang1, Xiaolan Li1, Deding Tao1, Junbo Hu1, Xuelai Luo1

1Cancer Research Institute, Tongji Hospital, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Xuelai Luo, email: [email protected]

Keywords: KDM4B, HAX1, mitochondrial apoptosis, colorectal cancer

Received: November 15, 2015     Accepted: July 17, 2016     Published: August 05, 2016


Histone methyltransferases and demethylases regulate transcription by altering the epigenetic marks on histones in tumorigenesis. Members of the histone lysine(K)-specific demethylase 4 (KDM4) family are dysregulated in several types of cancer. Here, we report a novel role for KDM4B in mitochondrial apoptosis. In this study, we demonstrate that KDM4B is overexpressed in colorectal cancer (CRC) tissues. Decreased expression of KDM4B significantly promoted apoptosis of CRC cell lines. Moreover, our data indicate that HAX1 is required for KDM4B-mediated mitochondrial apoptosis. The transcription of HAX1 was directly activated by KDM4B. We also show that HAX1 is overexpressed in CRC tissues and is positively correlated with KMD4B expression. Collectively, we demonstrate that KDM4B may play an important role in mitochondrial apoptosis and represent a potential therapeutic cancer target in CRC.

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