|Inhibition of the growth and metastasis of human colon cancer by restoration of RUNX3 expression in cancer cells|
Authors: Zhihai Peng, Huamei Tang, Xiaoliang Wang, Chongzhi Zhou, Junwei Fan, Liwei Wang, Zhiliang Jia, Qiang Li, Xiangdong Le, Daoyan Wei, Keping Xie
Department of General Surgery, Shanghai Jiaotong University Affiliated First People's Hospital, Shanghai, P.R. China
Recent studies demonstrated an epigenetic inactivation of the runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) gene in human colon cancer. However, it remains unclear whether RUNX3 is tumor suppressive in colon cancer and, if so, the underlying molecular mechanisms of this activity are still unknown. In the present study, we sought to determine the level of RUNX3 expression in human colon tumor specimens and used an animal model of colon cancer to determine the impact of RUNX3 expression on tumor growth and metastasis. First, we analyzed RUNX3 expression in 83 human colon tumor specimens using immunohistochemical, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and Western blot analysis. RUNX3 mRNA and protein expression levels were consistently lower in tumor tissue specimens than in matched normal colon tissue specimens. Also, restoration of RUNX3 expression in colon cancer cells using gene transfer inhibited colon tumor growth and metastasis in our animal model, which was consistent with inhibition of colon tumor growth in vitro. Collectively, our clinical and experimental data support the notion that RUNX3 is a tumor suppressor in human colon cancer.