Research Papers:

The in vitro and in vivo effects of nuclear and cytosolic parafibromin expression on the aggressive phenotypes of colorectal cancer cells: a search of potential gene therapy target

Hua-chuan Zheng _, Jia-jie Liu, Jing Li, Ji-cheng Wu, Lei Yang, Gui-feng Zhao, Xin Zhao, Hua-mao Jiang, Ke-qiang Huang and Zhi-jie Li

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:23603-23612. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15377

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Hua-chuan Zheng1, Jia-jie Liu2, Jing Li2, Ji-cheng Wu1, Lei Yang1, Gui-feng Zhao1, Xin Zhao1, Hua-mao Jiang2, Ke-qiang Huang2, Zhi-jie Li1

1Department of Experimental Oncology and Animal Center, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang 110004, China

2Jinzhou Medical University, Jinzhou 121001, China

Correspondence to:

Hua-chuan Zheng, email: [email protected]

Keywords: colorectal cancer, parafibromin, pathobiological behaviors, aggressive phenotypes, gene therapy

Received: December 16, 2016    Accepted: January 24, 2017    Published: February 16, 2017


Down-regulated parafibromin is positively linked to the pathogenesis of parathyroid, lung, breast, ovarian, gastric and colorectal cancers. Here, we found that wild-type (WT) parafibromin overexpression suppressed proliferation, tumor growth, induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells (p<0.05), but it was the converse for mutant-type (MT, mutation in nucleus localization sequence) parafibromin (p<0.05). Both WT and MT transfectants inhibited migration and invasion, and caused better differentiation (p<0.05) of cancer cells. WT parafibromin transfectants showed the overexpression of Cyclin B1, Cyclin D1, Cyclin E, p38, p53, and AIF in HCT-15 and HCT-116 cells, while MT parafibromin only up-regulated p38 expression. There was lower mRNA expression of bcl-2 in parafibromin transfectants than the control and mock, while higher expression of c-myc, Cyclin D1, mTOR, and Raptor. According to transcriptomic analysis, WT parafibromin suppressed PI3K-Akt and FoxO signaling pathways, while MT one promoted PI3K-Akt pathway, focal adhesion, and regulation of actin cytoskeleton. Parafibromin was less expressed in colorectal cancer than paired mucosa (p<0.05), and inversely correlated with its differentiation at both mRNA and protein levels (p<0.05). These findings indicated that WT parafibromin might reverse the aggressive phenotypes of colorectal cancer cells and be employed as a target for gene therapy. Down-regulated parafibromin expression might be closely linked to colorectal carcinogenesis and cancer differentiation.

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