Research Papers:

ZNF452 facilitates tumor proliferation and invasion via activating AKT-GSK3β signaling pathway and predicts poor prognosis of non-small cell lung cancer patients

Xiupeng Zhang, Haijing Zhou, Yong Zhang, Lin Cai, Guiyang Jiang, Ailin Li, Yuan Miao _, Qingchang Li, Xueshan Qiu and Enhua Wang

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:38863-38875. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16408

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Xiupeng Zhang1, Haijing Zhou1, Yong Zhang2, Lin Cai1, Guiyang Jiang1, Ailin Li3, Yuan Miao1, Qingchang Li1, Xueshan Qiu1 and Enhua Wang1

1Department of Pathology, College of Basic Medicine Science and First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China

2Department of Pathology, Cancer Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China

3Department of Radiotherapy, First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China

Correspondence to:

Yuan Miao, email: [email protected]

Keywords: ZNF452, NSCLC, AKT signaling, proliferation, invasion and metastasis

Received: January 17, 2017     Accepted: February 24, 2017     Published: March 21, 2017


ZNF452 is a zinc-finger protein family member which contains an isolated SCAN (SRE-ZBP, CTfin51, AW-1 and Number 18 cDNA) zinc-finger domain. Despite the SCAN N-terminus domain is known to play a role in transcriptional regulation of genes involved in cell survival and differentiation, there are no precise cellular functions that have been assigned to ZNF452. In the present study, we found that either endogenous or exogenous ZNF452 was overexpressed in the cytoplasm of NSCLC cells and positive ratio of ZNF452 in NSCLC samples (50.8%, 93/183) was significantly higher than that in normal lung tissues (22.4%, 13/58, P<0.001). ZNF452 overexpression was correlated with advanced TNM stage (P=0.033), positive lymph node metastasis (P=0.002) and predicted poor overall survival of NSCLC patients (P<0.001). ZNF452 facilitated tumor growth, colony formation, G1-S phase arrest, migration and invasion through upregulating the levels of CyclinD1, CyclinE1, p-Rb, or Snail, and downregulating the expression of Zo-1. In nude mice xenografts, overexpressing ZNF452 also promoted tumor proliferation and metastasis. Subsequently, we found that the effect of ZNF452 on facilitating tumor proliferation and invasion was through activating its downstream AKT-GSK3β signaling pathway. Treatment of AKT inhibitor markedly prevented the phosphorylation of AKT and GSK3β which subsequently counteracted increasing expression of CyclinD1, CyclinE1 or Snail and restored the decreasing expression of Zo-1, as well as the upregulation of tumor proliferation and invasion, caused by ZNF452 overexpression.

Taken together, the present study indicated that ZNF452 may be an upstream regulator of AKT-GSK3β signaling pathway and facilitates proliferation and invasion of NSCLC.

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