Research Papers:

SOX9, a potential tumor suppressor in cervical cancer, transactivates p21WAF1/CIP1 and suppresses cervical tumor growth

Hai-yan Wang, Ping Lian and Peng-Sheng Zheng _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:20711-20722. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.4133

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Hai-yan Wang1, Ping Lian1 and Peng-Sheng Zheng1

1 Department of Reproductive Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital, Xi’an Jiaotong University Medical School, Xi’an, China

Correspondence to:

Peng-Sheng Zheng, email:

Keywords: SOX9, cervical carcinoma, tumor suppressor, oncogene, p21WAF1/CIP1

Received: February 28, 2015 Accepted: April 22, 2015 Published: May 16, 2015


Sex-determining region Y-box 9 protein (SOX9) is a transcription factor that may act as both oncogene and tumor suppressor depending on tumor origin. Here we found that SOX9 expression was progressively decreased in cervical carcinoma in situ and especially in invasive cervical carcinoma, compared with normal cervix tissue. The effects of SOX9 on the proliferation, viability, and tumor formation of cervical carcinoma cells were assessed through the silencing and overexpression of SOX9. Overexpression of SOX9 in cervical carcinoma cells (SiHa and C33A) inhibited cell growth in vitro and tumor formation in vivo. In agreement, the silencing of SOX9 in HeLa cells promoted cell growth in culture and tumor formation in mice. Overexpression of SOX9 transactivated p21WAF1/CIP1 via a specific promoter region, thus blocking G1/S transition. The quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed physical interaction between SOX9 and the specific region of the p21WAF1/CIP1 promoter. We suggest that SOX9 is a potential therapeutic target in cervical carcinoma, that specifically transactivates p21WAF1/CIP1.

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