Stable knockdown of ZBTB7A promotes cell proliferation and progression in nasopharyngeal carcinoma

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Article Subject: Molecular Oncology



Liu, Fei Tang, Fengzhu Lan, Jiao Jiao, Wei Si, Yongfeng Lu, Wensheng Mo, Mingzheng Li, Bing Lu, Jinlong Wei, Jiazhang Qin, Ying Xiao, Ruiping Zhang, Benjian Wang, Yongli Xiong, Weiming



Although high expression of ZBTB7A is positively relative to metastasis in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients, the association between its low expression and metastasis of NPC remains unclear. The present study aimed to definitely identify the association.


The level of ZBTB7A was effectively knocked down by stable transfection of short hair RNA plasmid in NPC cell lines CNE2 and 5-8F (shRNA-CNE2 and shRNA-5-8F), compared with the cells that stably transfected empty plasmid (NC-CNE2 and NC-5-8F). The levels of ZBTB7A were assessed by real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot in the cell lines. MTT assay, colorimetric focus-formation assay, flow cytometry, wound healing assay, transwell assays, and xenograft model were performed to analyze cell vitality, proliferation, cell cycle, migration, invasion, and tumorigenicity.


The levels of ZBTB7A were effectively reduced in shRNA-CNE2 and shRNA-5-8F. Their carcinogenicity was stronger separately than the abilities of NC-CNE2 and NC-5-8F. NC-CNE2 and shRNA-CNE2 were selected to establish the xenograft model because of their stronger tumorigenicity than NC-6-10B and shRNA-5-8F. The assay showed that shRNA-CNE2 had stronger tumorigenicity than NC-CNE2.


The results demonstrated the reverse association between the expression of ZBTB7A and the tumorigenicity of NPC. We postulate that some oncogenic pathways, which are suppressed by ZBTB7A, will vicariously promote the proliferation and progression of NPC when ZBTB7A is decreased.

Article History


Financial support: This study was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Guangxi Province (2015GXNSFAA139166, 2016GXNSFBA380144, 2016GXNSFCB380003), Guangxi Scientific Research and Technology Development Project (14124003-1-3).
Conflict of interest: None of the authors has financial interested related to this study to disclose.

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