(a) Effect of forced expression ((shRNAi1) on cell growth was measured at 12?h intervals. cellular proliferation, invasion, and tumorigenic activity in a TWIST1-dependent manner and promoters, and that this SPZ1-TWIST axis mediates EMT signaling and exerts significant regulatory effects on tumor oncogenesis. Introduction Despite the identification of potential oncogenic drivers and their roles as master regulators of cancer initiation, the underlying mechanisms of tumorigenesis and metastasis remain unclear.1, 2 TWIST1, a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor, was originally identified as a mesoderm-inducing factor in directly via indirectly via and the mouse double minute 2 homolog12 or and mRNA expression in HCC samples was significantly upregulated as compared with that in patients without HCC (Figure 1a; expression indicated that the top 30th percentile (mRNA expression was significantly upregulated in HCC liver samples when compared with those from patients without HCC, as determined by a one-way ANOVA (Figure 1a). Analysis of the survival curves indicated that HCC patients with lower expression had a significantly longer survival than those with higher expression after hepatectomy (Figure 1c, mRNA was compared between HCC samples (on and mRNAs. (g) Effect of ectopic and knockdown expression of on cyclin D1, E2F1, Ki67 and ERK1/2 proteins. (h) Serum-starved Hep G2 transformed cells (5 105 cells) with and shRNAi1 were cultured in DMEM plus 10% FBS for 24?h, stained with BrdU-specific antibody and propidium iodide (PI) and subjected to Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) analysis to determine the percentage of cells in each phase of the cell cycle. FL1-BrdU, bromodeoxyuridine stained cells; FL2-PI, PI stained cells. (i) Percentages of cells that were stained with BrdU-specific antibodies. The percentage of each cell cycle was measured. Meanss.d. of results of three experiments are shown. a and b, nngene, to investigate the role of SPZ1 in oncogenesis. Basically, we used the cell lines with higher endogenous expression of SPZ1 (for example, SK-Hep1) for analysis of the cellular activities in a series of the knockdown experiments; by contrast, we used the cell lines with lower endogenous expression of SPZ1 (for example, Hep G2 and Hep 3B) for the forced expression of SPZ1 and for validating the consequent cellular responses. In the knockdown experiments, we examined two different constructs, shRNAi1 and shRNAi2 and found both constructs reduced the expression of SPZ1 in SK-Hep1, HCC36 and Hep G2; however, in HA 22T, the reduction was not complete (Supplementary Figure S1a). A similar correlation of cell proliferation were also detected in these hepatoma cell lines (Supplementary Figure S1b). As expected, forced expression of SPZ1 significantly increased the levels of mRNA and protein of several genes related to proliferation, including in Hep G2 or Hep B3 hepatoma cells (Figures 1f and g), but in the SK-Hep1 cells, while the knockdown of significantly repressed the expression of these cell cycle-related genes and (Figure 1f and Supplementary Figure S1a and c). We next performed a cell cycle re-entry assay, counting bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU)-stained cells by PB-22 flow cytometry (Figure 1h). The percentage of G2/M cells in transfected Hep G2 cells. In contrast, the knockdown construct transfected cells (1.580.25% vs 8.750.26%), suggesting a role of SPZ1 in controlling cell cycle. SPZ1 expression promotes tumorigenic activities in hepatoma cells We then used the cell lines, SK-Hep1 and Huh 7, to confirm the activity of SPZ1 in promoting cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. SPZ1 PB-22 functionally increased cell numbers and BrdU incorporation by promoting cell proliferation in the case of forced shRNAi1) was repressed as compared with that of mock-transfected hepatoma cells (Figures 2a and b). Hepatoma cells overexpressing showed increased transformation and oncogenic activity, whereas hepatoma cells with (Figure 2c) and tumor growth in nude mice (Figure 2d). Eighteen of sixty transgenic mice developed tumors in each organ PB-22 of 6- to 8-month transgenic mice;15, 16 13 out of 60 transgenic mice developed hepatoma (Figure 2e). PB-22 These results suggested that SPZ1 plays an important role in promoting cell proliferation, transformation and oncogenicity in hepatoma cells. Open in a separate window Figure 2 Ectopic expression promotes proliferation, transformation and tumor growth. (a) Effect of forced expression ((shRNAi1) on cell growth was measured at 12?h intervals. Expression of SPZ1 and exogenous SPZ1-GFP in each transformant were measured by western blotting (inside Figures). (b) Effect of forced expression ((shRNAi1) on cell proliferation was measured by BrdU incorporation into SK-Hep1 and Huh 7 cells. (c) Effect of forced and knockdown of on colony formation was measured in SK-Hep1 and Huh 7 cells. (d) Effect RGS14 of forced and knockdown of on tumor growth of transformed SK-Hep1 PB-22 or Huh 7 in nude mice (and.