Overexpression of N-terminal kinase like gene promotes tumorigenicity of hepatocellular carcinoma by regulating cell cycle progression and cell motility.

PMID 25575811


Amplification and overexpression of CHD1L is one of the most frequent genetic alterations in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Here we found that one of CHD1L downstream targets, NTKL, was frequently upregulated in HCC, which was significantly correlated with vascular invasion (P = 0.012) and poor prognosis (P = 0.050) of HCC. ChIP assay demonstrated the binding of CHD1L to the promoter region of NTKL. QRT-PCR study showed that the expression of NTKL positively correlated with CHD1L expression in both clinical samples and cell lines. Functional study found that NTKL had strong oncogenic roles, including increased cell growth, colony formation in soft agar, and tumor formation in nude mice. Further study found that NTKL could promote G1/S transition by decreasing P53 and increasing CyclinD1 expressions. NTKL overexpression could accelerate the mitotic exit and chromosome segregation, which led to the cytokinesis failure and subsequently induced apoptosis. NTKL also regulated cell motility by facilitating philopodia and lamellipodia formation through regulating F-actin reorganization and the phosphorylation of small GTPase Rac1/cdc42. Using co-IP and mass spectrometry approach, we identified the large GTPase dynamin2 as an interacting protein of NTKL, which might be responsible for the phenotype alterations caused by NTKL overexpression, such as cytokinesis failure, increased cell motility and abnormal of cell division.