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Tong Z.,State Key Laboratory of Cellular Stress Biology | Tong Z.,Xiamen University | Li M.,State Key Laboratory of Cellular Stress Biology | Li M.,Xiamen University | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2015

Steroid receptor coactivator 1 (SRC-1) is a transcriptional coactivator not only for steroid receptors, such as androgen receptor and estrogen receptor, but also for other transcription factors. SRC-1 has been shown to play an important role in the progression of breast cancer and prostate cancer. However, its role in liver cancer progression remains unknown. In this study, we report that SRC-1 was overexpressed in 25 (62.5%) of 40 human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) specimens. Down-regulation of SRC-1 decreased HCC cell proliferation and impaired tumor maintenance in HCC xenografts. Knockdown of SRC-1 reduced protein levels of the proliferation marker proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and the oncogene c-Myc. Knockout of SRC-1 in mice reduced diethylnitrosamine/CCl4-induced tumor formation in the liver and the expression of c-Myc and PCNA in liver tumors. SRC-1 promoted c-Myc expression, at least in part, by directly interacting with β-catenin to enhance Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Consistent with these results, the expression of SRC-1 was positively correlated with PCNA expression in human HCC specimens, and the expression levels of c-Myc in SRC-1-positive HCC specimens were higher than in SRC-1-negative HCC specimens. In addition, SRC-1 and SRC-3 were co-overexpressed in 47.5% of HCC specimens, and they cooperated to promote HCC cell proliferation. Simultaneous down-regulation of SRC-1 and SRC-3 dramatically inhibited HCC cell proliferation. Our results demonstrate that SRC-1 promotes HCC progression by enhancing Wnt/β-catenin signaling and suggest that SRC-1 is a potential therapeutic molecular target for HCC. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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