Research Papers:

Upregulated TRIM29 promotes proliferation and metastasis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma via PTEN/AKT/mTOR signal pathway

Xiao-Min Zhou, Rui Sun, Dong-Hua Luo, Jian Sun, Mei-Yin Zhang, Meng-He Wang, Yang Yang, Hui-Yun Wang and Shi-Juan Mai _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:13634-13650. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7215

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Xiao-Min Zhou1,2,*, Rui Sun3,*, Dong-Hua Luo3,*, Jian Sun1,2, Mei-Yin Zhang1,2, Meng-He Wang1,2, Yang Yang1,2, Hui-Yun Wang1,2 and Shi-Juan Mai1,2

1 State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China

2 Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China

3 Department of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Shi-Juan Mai, email:

Hui-Yun Wang, email:

Keywords: nasopharyngeal carcinoma, TRIM29, metastasis, signal pathway

Received: October 28, 2015 Accepted: January 28, 2016 Published: February 08, 2016


Tripartite motif–containing 29 (TRIM29) has been reported to be dysregulated in human cancers. Up-regulation of TRIM29 was first observed in NPC cell lines by a genome-wide transcriptome analysis in our previous study. However, its expression biological function and clinical significance in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) remain unclear. In this study, TRIM29 expression was validated by qRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry in 69 NPC samples. Notably, TRIM29 protein expression was significantly and positively correlated with the tumor size, clinical stage and metastasis. TRIM29 was identified as the direct target of miR-335-5p and miR-15b-5p, both of which were down-regulated and negatively associated with TRIM29 expression in NPC cell lines and clinical samples. Ectopic TRIM29 expression promoted proliferation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), migration and invasion in NPC cells, while its depletion inhibited cell invasion and EMT phenotype. Mechanistically, TRIM29 overexpression reduced PTEN expression and increase phosphorylated protein level of AKT, p70S6K and 4E-BP1. Correspondingly, AKT inhibitor and Rapamycin blocked the effect of TRIM29 on cell invasion. In conclusion, our results suggest that miR-335-5p and miR-15b-5p down-regulation results in TRIM29 over-expression, which induces proliferation, EMT and metastasis of NPC through the PTEN/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway.

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