Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K upregulates the kinetochore complex component NUF2 and promotes the tumorigenicity of colon cancer cells.

PMID 25701787


Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K) is a multi-functional protein involved in transcription, mRNA splicing, mRNA stabilization and translation. Although hnRNP K has been suggested to play a role in the development of many cancers, its molecular function in colorectal cancer has remained elusive. Here we show that hnRNP K plays an important role in the mitotic process in HCT116 colon cancer cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate that hnRNP K directly transactivates the NUF2 gene, the product of which is a component of the NDC80 kinetochore complex and which is known to be critical for a stable spindle microtubule-kinetochore attachment. In addition, knockdown of both hnRNP K and NUF2 caused failure in metaphase chromosome alignment and drastic decrease in the growth of colon cancer cells. These results suggest that the hnRNP K-NUF2 axis is important for the mitotic process and proliferation of colon cancer cells and that this axis could be a target for the therapy of colon cancer.