Research Papers:

TCTN2: a novel tumor marker with oncogenic properties

David Cano-Rodriguez, Susanna Campagnoli, Alberto Grandi, Matteo Parri, Elisa De Camilli, Chaojun Song, Boquan Jin, Aurelien Lacombe, Andrea Pierleoni, Mauro Bombaci, Chiara Cordiglieri, Marcel HJ Ruiters, Giuseppe Viale, Luigi Terracciano, Paolo Sarmientos, Sergio Abrignani, Guido Grandi, Piero Pileri, Marianne G. Rots and Renata Grifantini _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:95256-95269. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20438

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David Cano-Rodriguez2,*, Susanna Campagnoli1,*, Alberto Grandi1, Matteo Parri1, Elisa De Camilli3, Chaojun Song4, Boquan Jin4, Aurelien Lacombe5, Andrea Pierleoni1,9, Mauro Bombaci7, Chiara Cordiglieri7, Marcel HJ Ruiters2, Giuseppe Viale3,6, Luigi Terracciano5, Paolo Sarmientos1, Sergio Abrignani7, Guido Grandi8, Piero Pileri1, Marianne G. Rots2 and Renata Grifantini1,7

1Externautics SpA, Siena, Italy

2Department of Pathology and Medical Biology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center, Groningen, The Netherlands

3Department of Pathology, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy

4Department of Immunology, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, China

5Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland

6Department of Oncology and Hemato-Oncology, University of Milan, Milan, Italy

7Istituto Nazionale Genetica Molecolare, Padiglione Romeo ed Enrica Invernizzi, IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy

8Centre for Integrative Biology - CIBIO, University of Trento, Trento, Italy

9Present affiliation: European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Renata Grifantini, email: [email protected]

Piero Pileri, email: [email protected]

Marianne G. Rots, email: [email protected]

Keywords: TCTN2; cancer; biomarker; oncogene; epigenetic editing

Received: February 17, 2017    Accepted: July 25, 2017    Published: August 24, 2017


Tectonic family member 2 (TCTN2) encodes a transmembrane protein that belongs to the tectonic family, which is involved in ciliary functions. Previous studies have demonstrated the role of tectonics in regulating a variety of signaling pathways at the transition zone of cilia. However, the role of tectonics in cancer is still unclear. Here we identify that TCTN2 is overexpressed in colorectal, lung and ovary cancers. We show that different cancer cell lines express the protein that localizes at the plasma membrane, facing the intracellular milieu. TCTN2 over-expression in cancer cells resulted in an increased ability to form colonies in an anchorage independent way. On the other hand, downregulation of TCTN2 using targeted epigenetic editing in cancer cells significantly reduced colony formation, cell invasiveness, increased apoptosis and impaired assembly of primary cilia. Taken together, our results indicate that TCTN2 acts as an oncogene, making it an interesting cancer-associated protein and a potential candidate for therapeutic applications.

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