J Cancer 2018; 9(17):3067-3077. doi:10.7150/jca.26382

Research Paper

NKX2-2 Suppresses Osteosarcoma Metastasis and Proliferation by Downregulating Multiple Target Genes

Huiming Chen1, Wenqiang Liu2, Li Zhong1, Dan Liao1, Ruhua Zhang1, Tiebang Kang1, Yuanzhong Wu1,✉

1. State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou 510060, China.
2. Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China.

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Chen H, Liu W, Zhong L, Liao D, Zhang R, Kang T, Wu Y. NKX2-2 Suppresses Osteosarcoma Metastasis and Proliferation by Downregulating Multiple Target Genes. J Cancer 2018; 9(17):3067-3077. doi:10.7150/jca.26382. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v09p3067.htm

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Osteosarcoma is the most common primary malignant bone tumor. However, our understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying its pathogenesis is incomplete. Studies have shown that aberrant expression of NK homeobox (NKX) genes may be involved in the oncogenesis of various cancers. Here, through migration screening assay, we found that a series of NKX genes inhibit the migration of osteosarcoma cells. Among these genes, NKX2-2 is a bona fide tumor suppressor for osteosarcoma. Overexpression of NKX2-2 decreases the migration, invasion, proliferation and colony formation of osteosarcoma cells in vitro and suppresses tumor growth and metastasis in vivo. Moreover, based on the results from both in vitro and in vivo studies, the transcriptional activation domain of NKX2-2 is important for its tumor suppressor function. Mechanistically, we revealed that NKX2-2 acts as a tumor suppressor partially by mediating the transcriptional downregulation of COL5A2, PLAU, SEMA7A and S1PR1 genes. In summary, our studies of NKX2-2 revealed new molecular mechanisms underlying osteosarcoma proliferation and metastasis and may provide a series of potential therapeutic targets for osteosarcoma.

Keywords: osteosarcoma, tumor suppressor, metastasis, NKX2-2, transcription factor