PloS one

TOX acts an oncological role in mycosis fungoides.

PMID 25811617


Mycosis fungoides (MF) is a low-grade lymphoma characterized by clonal expansion of atypical CD4+ skin-homing T lymphocytes. Herein, we examined the role of thymocytes selection associated HMG-box (TOX), a gene previously found to be unregulated in MF skin biopsies, in MF pathogenesis. TOX encodes a high-mobility group family (HMG) domain DNA binding nuclear protein, which regulates the differentiation of developing T-cells. First, we confirmed that TOX expression levels in MF were increased compared with those in benign inflammatory dermatitis (BID) and normal skin. In addition, TOX level increased with the progression MF from patch stage to tumor stage. Overexpression of TOX accelerated the proliferation and migration of MF cell lines in vitro, which were blocked by AKT inhibitors. In conclusion, our study confirmed that TOX was highly expressed in MF lesions and accelerates the proliferation and migration of MF. TOX is a diagnostic marker for MF and may play a pathogenic role in disease progression.