Research Papers:

Silencing homeobox C6 inhibits colorectal cancer cell proliferation

Meiling Ji, Qingyang Feng, Guodong He, Liangliang Yang, Wentao Tang, Xinyuan Lao, Dexiang Zhu, Qi Lin, Pingping Xu, Ye Wei and Jianmin Xu _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:29216-29227. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8703

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Meiling Ji1,*, Qingyang Feng1,*, Guodong He1,*, Liangliang Yang1,*, Wentao Tang1, Xinyuan Lao1, Dexiang Zhu1, Qi Lin1, Pingping Xu1, Ye Wei1, Jianmin Xu1

1Department of General Surgery, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

*These authors equally contributed to this work

Correspondence to:

Jianmin Xu, email: [email protected]

Ye Wei, email: [email protected]

Keywords: colorectal cancer, proliferation, HOXC6, autophagy, mTOR

Received: November 23, 2015     Accepted: March 28, 2016     Published: April 12, 2016


Homeobox C6 (HOXC6), a member of the homeobox family that encodes highly conserved transcription factors, plays a vital role in various carcinomas. In this study, we used a tissue microarray (TMA) consisting of 462 CRC samples to demonstrate that HOXC6 is more abundantly expressed in colorectal cancer (CRC) tissues than adjacent normal mucosa. Clinicopathological data indicated that higher HOXC6 expression correlated with poor overall survival and was associated with primary tumor location in the right colon, primary tumor (pT) stage 3/4 and primary node (pN) stage 1/2. Multivariate analysis showed that high HOXC6 expression was an independent risk factor for poor CRC patient prognosis. HOXC6 downregulation via lentivirus-mediated expression of HOXC6-targeting shRNA reduced HCT116 cell viability and colony formation in vitro, and reduced growth of subcutaneous xenografts in nude mouse. HOXC6 thus appears to promote CRC cell proliferation and tumorigenesis through autophagy inhibition and mTOR pathway activation.

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