RUNX3 protein is overexpressed in human basal cell carcinomas.

Department of Pathology, National University Hospital, Yong Loo Lin Medical School, National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore, Singapore.
Oncogene (Impact Factor: 8.56). 01/2007; 25(58):7646-9. DOI: 10.1038/sj.onc.1209739
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Basal cell carcinomas (BCC), which are the most common form of skin malignancy, are invariably associated with the deregulation of the Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signalling pathway. As such, BCC represent a unique model for the study of interactions of the Shh pathway with other genes and pathways. We constructed a tissue microarray (TMA) of 75 paired BCC and normal skin and analysed the expression of beta-catenin and RUNX3, nuclear effectors of the wingless-Int (Wnt) and bone morphogenetic protein/transforming growth factor-beta pathways, respectively. In line with previous reports, we observed varying subcellular expression pattern of beta-catenin in BCC, with 31 cases (41%) showing nuclear accumulation. In contrast, all the BCC cases tested by the TMA showed RUNX3 protein uniformly overexpressed in the nuclei of the cancer cells. Analysis by Western blotting and DNA sequencing indicates that the overexpressed protein is normal and full-length, containing no mutation in the coding region, implicating RUNX3 as an oncogene in certain human cancers. Our results indicate that although the deregulation of Wnt signalling could contribute to the pathogenesis of a subset of BCC, RUNX3 appears to be a universal downstream mediator of a constitutively active Shh pathway in BCC.

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    ABSTRACT: Core binding factor (CBF) is a transcription factor complex that plays roles in development, stem-cell homeostasis, and human disease. CBF is a heterodimer composed of one of three DNA-binding RUNX proteins plus the non-DNA-binding protein, CBFβ. Recent studies have showed that the RUNX factors exhibit complex expression patterns in prostate, breast, and ovarian cancers, and CBF has been implicated in the control of cancer-related genes. However, the biologic roles of CBF in solid tumors have not been fully elucidated. To test whether CBF is required for the malignant phenotype of various epithelial cancers, we used lentiviral delivery of CBFβ-specific shRNA to significantly decrease CBFβ expression in two prostate cancer cell lines (PPC1 and PC-3) and the SKOV-3 ovarian cancer cell line. We found that knockdown of CBFβ significantly inhibited anchorage independent growth of each cell line. Further, CBFβ knockdown in PPC1 cells suppressed xenograft tumor growth compared to controls. Mice injected with SKOV-3 ovarian cancer cells knocked-down for CBFβ exhibited a survival time similar to control mice. However, human cells recovered from the ascites fluid of these mice showed CBFβ expression levels similar to those from mice injected with control SKOV-3 cells, suggesting that CBFβ knockdown is incompatible with tumor cell growth. Gene expression profiling of CBFβ knockdown cells revealed significant changes in expression in genes involved in various developmental and cell signaling pathways. These data collectively suggest that CBFβ is required for malignancy in some human cancers.
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    ABSTRACT: The three RUNX family members are lineage specific master regulators, which also have important, context-dependent roles in carcinogenesis as either tumor suppressors or oncogenes. Here we review evidence for such roles in breast cancer (BCa). RUNX1, the predominant RUNX family member in breast epithelial cells, has a tumor suppressor role reflected by many somatic mutations found in primary tumor biopsies. The classical tumor suppressor gene RUNX3 does not consist of such a mutation hot spot, but it too seems to inhibit BCa; it is often inactivated in human BCa tumors and its haploinsufficiency in mice leads to spontaneous BCa development. The tumor suppressor activities of RUNX1 and RUNX3 are mediated in part by antagonism of estrogen signaling, a feature recently attributed to RUNX2 as well. Paradoxically, however RUNX2, a master osteoblast regulator, has been implicated in various aspects of metastasis in general and bone metastasis in particular. Reciprocating the anti-estrogenic tumor suppressor activity of RUNX proteins, inhibition of RUNX2 by estrogens may help explain their context-dependent anti-metastatic roles. Such roles are reserved to non-osseous metastasis, because ERα is associated with increased, not decreased skeletal dissemination of BCa cells. Finally, based on diverse expression patterns in BCa subtypes, the successful use of future RUNX-based therapies will most likely require careful patient selection.Oncogene advance online publication, 8 October 2012; doi:10.1038/onc.2012.328.
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