BioScience Trends. 2020;14(2):83-95. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2019.01272)

Overexpression of DJ-1 enhances colorectal cancer cell proliferation through the cyclin-D1/MDM2-p53 signaling pathway

Zhu XJ, Luo C, Lin K, Bu FQ, Ye F, Huang C, Luo HL, Huang J, Zhu ZM


Emerging evidence indicates that DJ-1 is highly expressed in different cancers. It modulates cancer progression, including cell proliferation, cell apoptosis, invasion, and metastasis. However, its role in colorectal cancer (CRC) remains poorly defined. The current study noted increased DJ-1 expression in CRC tumor tissue and found that its expression was closely related to clinicalpathological features. Similarly, DJ-1 increased in CRC cells (SW480, HT-29, Caco-2, LoVo, HCT116, and SW620), and especially in SW480 and HCT116 cells. Functional analyses indicated that overexpression of DJ-1 promoted CRC cell invasion, migration, and proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistic studies indicated that DJ-1 increased in CRC cell lines, activated specific protein cyclin-D1, and modulated the MDM2/p53 signaling pathway by regulating the levels of the downstream factors Bax, Caspase-3, and Bcl-2, which are related to the cell cycle and apoptosis. Conversely, knockdown of DJ-1 upregulated p53 expression by disrupting the interaction between p53 and MDM2 and inhibiting CRC cell proliferation, revealing the pro-oncogenic mechanism of DJ-1 in CRC. In conclusion, the current findings provide compelling evidence that DJ-1 might be a promoter of CRC cell invasion, proliferation, and migration via the cyclin-D1/MDM2-p53 signaling pathway. Findings also suggest its potential role as a postoperative adjuvant therapy for patients with CRC.

KEYWORDS: DJ-1, MDM2, p53, cyclin-D1, proliferation, CRC

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