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Centromere protein U expression promotes non-small-cell lung cancer cell proliferation through FOXM1 and predicts poor survival

Authors Wang X, Chen D, Gao J, Long H, Zha H, Zhang A, Shu C, Zhou L, Yang F, Zhu B, Wu W

Received 6 August 2018

Accepted for publication 19 October 2018

Published 14 December 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 6971—6984


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Rituraj Purohit

Xinxin Wang,1 Diangang Chen,1 Jianbao Gao,1 Haixia Long,1 Haoran Zha,2 Anmei Zhang,1 Chi Shu,1 Li Zhou,1 Fei Yang,1 Bo Zhu,1 Wei Wu3

1Institute of Cancer, Xinqiao Hospital, Army Medical University, Chongqing, China; 2Department of Oncology, The General Hospital of the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force, Beijing, China; 3Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Southwest Hospital, Army Medical University, Chongqing, China

Purpose: Centromere protein U (CENPU) abnormally exhibits high expression in various types of human tumor tissues and participates in tumor progression; however, its expression pattern and biological function in lung cancer have not yet been elucidated. In the present study, we explored the clinical significance and biological function of CENPU in lung cancer.
Materials and methods: The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data analyses, quantitative real-time PCR (RT-PCR), and Western blotting were performed to quantify CENPU and FOXM1 expression in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) samples. Survival data were obtained from Kaplan–Meier plotter or PROGgene V2 prognostic database. The function of CENPU in lung cancer cell proliferation was determined using 5-ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine (EdU), Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8), and cell cycle assays, and the underlying mechanism was determined through bioinformatic analyses and validated by in vitro siRNA or plasmid transfection experiments.
Results: CENPU was abnormally overexpressed in NSCLC samples compared with matched paired normal tissues. Higher expression of CENPU predicted worse overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival (RFS) in NSCLC patients. Knockdown of CENPU expression by siRNA significantly inhibited proliferation and delayed cell cycle progression of lung cancer cells. To figure out the mechanism, bioinformatic analyses were performed and the results showed that the transcription factor, FOXM1, positively correlated with CENPU. Further in vitro experiments indicated that FOXM1 was the possible downstream transcription factor of CENPU as the knockdown of CENPU led to lower expression of FOXM1 and the overexpression of FOXM1 significantly reversed the inhibition of proliferation caused by CENPU knockdown. Furthermore, FOXM1 was highly expressed in NSCLC. The knockdown of FOXM1 also attenuated proliferation and induced G1 arrest in lung cancer cells.
Conclusion: CENPU was highly expressed in NSCLC tissues, wherein it promoted lung cancer cell proliferation via the transcription factor, FOXM1, which could be a potential target for therapeutic strategies.

Keywords: CENPU, NSCLC, proliferation, FOXM1

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