Journal of experimental & clinical cancer research : CR

Transcription factor c-Myb promotes the invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma cells via increasing osteopontin expression.

PMID 21190594


Specific gene expression is tightly regulated by various transcription factors. Osteopontin (OPN) is a phosphoprotein that mediates hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression and metastasis. However, the mechanism of OPN up-regulation in HCC metastasis remains to be clarified. Oligonucleotide array-based transcription factor assays were applied to compare different activities of transcription factors in two human HCC cell lines with different OPN expression levels. The effects of one selected transcription factor on OPN expression were further evaluated. Eleven transcription factors were over-expressed in metastatic HCC cell line HCCLM6 cells whereas twelve transcription factors were down-regulated. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) and reporter gene assays showed that one of up-regulated transcription factors c-Myb could bind the OPN promoter and increase its transcription activity. In addition, small interfering RNA targeting c-Myb could inhibit OPN expression and significantly decrease migration and invasion of HCCLM6 cells in vitro. Our data first demonstrate that c-Myb has a functionally important role in the regulation of OPN expression in HCC cells, suggesting that c-Myb might be a new target to control HCC metastasis.