Journal of hematology & oncology

SIX3, a tumor suppressor, inhibits astrocytoma tumorigenesis by transcriptional repression of AURKA/B.

PMID 28595628


SIX homeobox 3 (SIX3) is a member of the sine oculis homeobox transcription factor family. It plays a vital role in the nervous system development. Our previous study showed that the SIX3 gene is hypermethylated, and its expression is decreased in astrocytoma, but the role of SIX3 remains unknown. Chromatin-immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and luciferase reporter assay were used to confirm the binding of SIX3 to the promoter regions of aurora kinase A (AURKA) and aurora kinase B (AURKB). Confocal imaging and co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) were used to detect the interaction between AURKA and AURKB. Flow cytometry was performed to assess the effect of SIX3 on cell cycle distribution. Colony formation, EdU incorporation, transwell, and intracranial xenograft assays were performed to demonstrate the effect of SIX3 on the malignant phenotype of astrocytoma cells. SIX3 is identified as a novel negative transcriptional regulator of AURKA and AURKB, and it decreases the expression of AURKA and AURKB in a dose-dependent manner in astrocytoma cells. Importantly, interactions between AURKA and AURKB stabilize and protect AURKA/B from degradation, and overexpression of SIX3 does not affect these interactions; SIX3 also acts as a tumor suppressor, and it increases p53 activity and expression at the post-translational level by the negative regulation of AURKA or AURKB, reduces the events of numerical centrosomal aberrations and misaligned chromosomes, and significantly inhibits the proliferation, invasion, and tumorigenesis of astrocytoma in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, experiments using primary cultured astrocytoma cells indicate that astrocytoma patients with a low expression of SIX3 and mutant p53 are more sensitive to treatment with aurora kinase inhibitors. SIX3 is a novel negative transcriptional regulator and acts as a tumor suppressor that directly represses the transcription of AURKA and AURKB in astrocytoma. For the first time, the functional interaction of AURKA and AURKB has been found, which aids in the protection of their stability, and partially explains their constant high expression and activity in cancers. SIX3 is a potential biomarker that could be used to predict the response of astrocytoma patients to aurora kinase inhibitors.

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EHU001471 MISSION® esiRNA, esiRNA targeting human AURKB (esiRNA1)