Research Papers:

Expression of TDRD9 in a subset of lung carcinomas by CpG island hypomethylation protects from DNA damage

Macarena Guijo, María Ceballos-Chávez, Elena Gómez-Marín, Laura Basurto-Cayuela and José C. Reyes _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:9618-9631. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.22709

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Macarena Guijo1, María Ceballos-Chávez1, Elena Gómez-Marín1, Laura Basurto-Cayuela1 and José C. Reyes1

1Centro Andaluz de Biología Molecular y Medicina Regenerativa-CABIMER, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas- Universidad de Sevilla-Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain

Correspondence to:

José C. Reyes, email: [email protected]

Keywords: DNA methylation; piRNA; DNA damage; DNA-PK; cancer

Received: February 24, 2017     Accepted: October 27, 2017     Published: November 27, 2017


Tudor domain containing protein 9 (TDRD9) is a RNA helicase normally expressed in the germline, where it is involved in the biosynthesis of PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs). Here, we show that TDRD9 is highly expressed in a subset of non-small cell lung carcinomas and derived cell lines by hypomethylation of its CpG island. Furthermore, TDRD9 expression is associated with poor prognosis in lung adenocarcinoma. We find that downregulation of TDRD9 expression in TDRD9-positive cell lines causes a decrease in cell proliferation, S-phase cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis. Transcriptomic analysis demonstrated that TDRD9 knockdown causes upregulation of cell cycle and DNA repair genes. We also observed that TDRD9 knockdown triggers activation of the catalytic subunit of the DNA dependent protein kinase (DNA-PKcs) and phosphorylation of H2A.X, which are indicative of an increase of DNA double strand breaks. TDRD9-silenced cells also presented aberrant mitosis and abnormal-shaped nuclei indicating defects in chromosomal segregation. Finally, TDRD9 silencing caused hypersensitivity to the replication stress inducer aphidicolin, while overexpression of the protein increased resistance to the drug, suggesting that TDRD9 protects from replicative stress to TDRD9-positive tumor cells. Thus, our results place TDRD9 as a marker for prognosis and as a potential therapeutic target in a subset of lung carcinomas.

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