The American journal of pathology

Identification of the NAC1-regulated genes in ovarian cancer.

PMID 24200849


Nucleus accumbens-associated protein 1 (NAC1), encoded by the NACC1 gene, is a transcription co-regulator that plays a multifaceted role in promoting tumorigenesis. However, the NAC1-regulated transcriptome has not been comprehensively defined. In this study, we compared the global gene expression profiles of NAC1-overexpressing SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells and NAC1-knockdown SKOV3 cells. We found that NAC1 knockdown was associated with up-regulation of apoptotic genes and down-regulation of genes involved in cell movement, proliferation, Notch signaling, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Among NAC1-regulated genes, FOXQ1 was further characterized because it is involved in cell motility and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. NAC1 knockdown decreased FOXQ1 expression and promoter activity. Similarly, inactivation of NAC1 by expression of a dominant-negative construct of NAC1 suppressed FOXQ1 expression. Ectopic expression of NAC1 in NACC1 null cells induced FOXQ1 expression. NAC1 knockdown resulted in decreased cell motility and invasion, whereas constitutive expression of FOXQ1 rescued motility in cells after NAC1 silencing. Moreover, in silico analysis revealed a significant co-up-regulation of NAC1 and FOXQ1 in ovarian carcinoma tissues. On the basis of transcription profiling, we report a group of NAC1-regulated genes that may participate in multiple cancer-related pathways. We further demonstrate that NAC1 is essential and sufficient for activation of FOXQ1 transcription and that the role of NAC1 in cell motility is mediated, at least in part, by FOXQ1.

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