JOURNAL ARTICLE

Pro-oncogene Pokemon promotes breast cancer progression by upregulating survivin expression

Xuyu Zu, Jun Ma, Hongxia Liu, Feng Liu, Chunyan Tan, Lingling Yu, Jue Wang, Zhenhua Xie, Deliang Cao, Yuyang Jiang
Breast Cancer Research: BCR 2011, 13 (2): R26
21392388

INTRODUCTION: Pokemon is an oncogenic transcription factor involved in cell growth, differentiation and oncogenesis, but little is known about its role in human breast cancer. In this study, we aimed to reveal the role of Pokemon in breast cancer progression and patient survival and to understand its underlying mechanisms.

METHODS: Tissue microarray analysis of breast cancer tissues from patients with complete clinicopathological data and more than 20 years of follow-up were used to evaluate Pokemon expression and its correlation with the progression and prognosis of the disease. DNA microarray analysis of MCF-7 cells that overexpress Pokemon was used to identify Pokemon target genes. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and site-directed mutagenesis were utilized to determine how Pokemon regulates survivin expression, a target gene.

RESULTS: Pokemon was found to be overexpressed in 158 (86.8%) of 182 breast cancer tissues, and its expression was correlated with tumor size (P = 0.0148) and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.0014). Pokemon expression led to worse overall (n = 175, P = 0.01) and disease-related (n = 79, P = 0.0134) patient survival. DNA microarray analyses revealed that in MCF-7 breast cancer cells, Pokemon regulates the expression of at least 121 genes involved in several signaling and metabolic pathways, including anti-apoptotic survivin. In clinical specimens, Pokemon and survivin expression were highly correlated (n = 49, r = 0.6799, P < 0.0001). ChIP and site-directed mutagenesis indicated that Pokemon induces survivin expression by binding to the GT boxes in its promoter.

CONCLUSIONS: Pokemon promotes breast cancer progression by upregulating survivin expression and thus may be a potential target for the treatment of this malignancy.

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