Targeting Six1 by lentivirus-mediated RNA interference inhibits colorectal cancer cell growth and invasion

Zhaoming Li, Tian Tian, Xiaopeng Hu, Xudong Zhang, Lifeng Li, Feifei Nan, Yu Chang, Xinhua Wang, Zhenchang Sun, Feng Lv, Mingzhi Zhang
International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology 2014, 7 (2): 631-9
The Six1 homeodomain protein is a developmental transcription factor that has been implicated in tumor onset and progression. Recently, it's reported that overexpression of Six1 is sufficient to induce epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis of colorectal cancer. Moreover, its expression is significantly associated with poorer overall survival probability in advanced-stage colorectal cancer. To address whether Six1 could serve as a therapeutic target for human colorectal cancer, we used a lentivirus-mediated short hairpin RNA (shRNA) gene knockdown method to suppress the expression of Six1 in colorectal cancer cells. We showed that lentivirusmediated shRNA targeted to Six1 gene efficiently reduced its expression in colorectal cancer cells at both mRNA and protein levels. In vitro functional assays revealed that knockdown of Six1 significantly suppressed cell proliferation, and inhibited cell migration and invasion of colorectal cancer cells. Furthermore, tumor xenograft model demonstrated that downregulation of Six1 dramatically inhibited colorectal cancer growth in vivo. In conclusion, these findings suggest that lentivirus-mediated Six1 inhibition may represent a novel therapeutic approach for treatment of colorectal cancer.

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