Gene Summary

Gene:CBX7; chromobox 7
Summary:This gene encodes a protein that contains the CHROMO (CHRomatin Organization MOdifier) domain. The encoded protein is a component of the Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1), and is thought to control the lifespan of several normal human cells. [provided by RefSeq, Oct 2016]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:chromobox protein homolog 7
Source:NCBIAccessed: 29 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 29 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 29 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: CBX7 (cancer-related)

Zhu X, Qin M, Li C, et al.
Downregulated Expression of Chromobox Homolog 7 in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2019; 23(5):348-352 [PubMed] Related Publications

Bilgiç F, Gerçeker E, Boyacıoğlu SÖ, et al.
Potential role of chromatin remodeling factor genes in atrophic gastritis/gastric cancer risk.
Turk J Gastroenterol. 2018; 29(4):427-435 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Atrophic gastritis (AG), intestinal metaplasia (IM), and Helicobacter pylori (HP) are the risk factors for the development of gastric cancer (GC). Chromatin remodeling is one of the epigenetic mechanisms involved in the carcinogenesis of GC. The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression profiles of defined chromatin remodeling genes in gastric mucosal samples and their values as gastric carcinogenesis biomarkers.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In total, 95 patients were included in the study. Patients were divided into 3 groups as: GC group (n=34), AG group (n=36), and control group (n=25). AG group was further divided into subgroups based on the presence of HP and IM in gastric mucosa. Chromatin remodeling gene expressions were analyzed using real-time PCR (RT-PCR) array in all groups. Data were evaluated using the RT-qPCR primer assay data analysis software.
RESULTS: EED, CBX3, and MTA1 were more overexpressed, whereas ARID1A, ING5, and CBX7 were more underexpressed in the AG and GC groups compared with the controls. No significant differences were observed between the AG and GC groups concerning the expression of these 6 genes, although the fold change levels of these genes in the GC group were well above than in the AG group. EED, CBX3, and MTA1 were significantly more overexpressed in HP- and IM-positive AG subgroup compared with the HP- or IM-negative AG subgroup.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, our results provide an evidence of epigenetic alterations in AG. Expressions of EED, CBX3, MTA1, ARID1A, ING5, and CBX7 may be considered as promising markers to be used in GC screening for patients with AG.

Tatavosian R, Duc HN, Huynh TN, et al.
Live-cell single-molecule dynamics of PcG proteins imposed by the DIPG H3.3K27M mutation.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):2080 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Over 80% of diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs) harbor a point mutation in histone H3.3 where lysine 27 is substituted with methionine (H3.3K27M); however, how the mutation affects kinetics and function of PcG proteins remains elusive. We demonstrate that H3.3K27M prolongs the residence time and search time of Ezh2, but has no effect on its fraction bound to chromatin. In contrast, H3.3K27M has no effect on the residence time of Cbx7, but prolongs its search time and decreases its fraction bound to chromatin. We show that increasing expression of Cbx7 inhibits the proliferation of DIPG cells and prolongs its residence time. Our results highlight that the residence time of PcG proteins directly correlates with their functions and the search time of PcG proteins is critical for regulating their genomic occupancy. Together, our data provide mechanisms in which the cancer-causing histone mutation alters the binding and search dynamics of epigenetic complexes.

Parfett CL, Desaulniers D
A Tox21 Approach to Altered Epigenetic Landscapes: Assessing Epigenetic Toxicity Pathways Leading to Altered Gene Expression and Oncogenic Transformation In Vitro.
Int J Mol Sci. 2017; 18(6) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
An emerging vision for toxicity testing in the 21st century foresees in vitro assays assuming the leading role in testing for chemical hazards, including testing for carcinogenicity. Toxicity will be determined by monitoring key steps in functionally validated molecular pathways, using tests designed to reveal chemically-induced perturbations that lead to adverse phenotypic endpoints in cultured human cells. Risk assessments would subsequently be derived from the causal in vitro endpoints and concentration vs. effect data extrapolated to human in vivo concentrations. Much direct experimental evidence now shows that disruption of epigenetic processes by chemicals is a carcinogenic mode of action that leads to altered gene functions playing causal roles in cancer initiation and progression. In assessing chemical safety, it would therefore be advantageous to consider an emerging class of carcinogens, the epigenotoxicants, with the ability to change chromatin and/or DNA marks by direct or indirect effects on the activities of enzymes (writers, erasers/editors, remodelers and readers) that convey the epigenetic information. Evidence is reviewed supporting a strategy for in vitro hazard identification of carcinogens that induce toxicity through disturbance of functional epigenetic pathways in human somatic cells, leading to inactivated tumour suppressor genes and carcinogenesis. In the context of human cell transformation models, these in vitro pathway measurements ensure high biological relevance to the apical endpoint of cancer. Four causal mechanisms participating in pathways to persistent epigenetic gene silencing were considered: covalent histone modification, nucleosome remodeling, non-coding RNA interaction and DNA methylation. Within these four interacting mechanisms, 25 epigenetic toxicity pathway components (SET1, MLL1, KDM5, G9A, SUV39H1, SETDB1, EZH2, JMJD3, CBX7, CBX8, BMI, SUZ12, HP1, MPP8, DNMT1, DNMT3A, DNMT3B, TET1, MeCP2, SETDB2, BAZ2A, UHRF1, CTCF, HOTAIR and ANRIL) were found to have experimental evidence showing that functional perturbations played "driver" roles in human cellular transformation. Measurement of epigenotoxicants presents challenges for short-term carcinogenicity testing, especially in the high-throughput modes emphasized in the Tox21 chemicals testing approach. There is need to develop and validate in vitro tests to detect both, locus-specific, and genome-wide, epigenetic alterations with causal links to oncogenic cellular phenotypes. Some recent examples of cell-based high throughput chemical screening assays are presented that have been applied or have shown potential for application to epigenetic endpoints.

Yu T, Wu Y, Hu Q, et al.
CBX7 is a glioma prognostic marker and induces G1/S arrest via the silencing of CCNE1.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(16):26637-26647 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chromobox homolog 7 (CBX7) cooperates with other polycomb group (PcG) proteins to maintain target genes in a silenced state. However, the precise role of CBX7 in tumor progression is still controversial. We found that the expression of CBX7 in four public databases was significantly lower in high grade glioma (HGG). The reduced expression of CBX7 correlated with poor outcome in HGG patients. Both KEGG and GO analyses indicated that genes that were negatively correlated to CBX7 were strongly associated with the cell cycle pathway. We observed that decreased CBX7 protein levels enhanced glioma cells proliferation, migration and invasion. Then, we verified that CBX7 overexpression arrested cells in the G0/G1 phase. Moreover, we demonstrated that the underlying mechanism involved in CBX7 induced repression of CCNE1 promoter requiring the recruitment of histone deacetylase 2 (HADC2). Finally, in vivo bioluminescence imaging and survival times of nude mice revealed that CBX7 behaved as a tumor suppressor in gliomas. In summary, our results validate the assumption that CBX7 is a tumor suppressor of gliomas. Moreover, CBX7 is a potential and novel prognostic biomarker in glioma patients. We also clarified that CBX7 silences CCNE1 via the combination of CCNE1 promoter and the recruitment of HDAC2.

Bao Z, Xu X, Liu Y, et al.
CBX7 negatively regulates migration and invasion in glioma via Wnt/β-catenin pathway inactivation.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(24):39048-39063 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CBX7, a member of the Polycomb-group proteins, plays a significant role in normal and cancerous tissues and has been defined as a tumor suppressor in thyroid, breast and pancreatic cancers. However, its function in glioma remains undefined. CBX7 expression is decreased in glioma, especially in higher grade cases, according to data in the CGGA, GSE16001 and TCGA databases. Further experimental evidence has shown that exogenous CBX7 overexpression induced apoptosis and inhibited cell proliferation, colony formation and migration of glioma cells. In this study, we show that the invasive ability of glioma cells was decreased following CBX7 overexpression and CBX7 overexpression was associated with Wnt/β-catenin pathway inhibition, which also decreased downstream expression of ZEB1, a core epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition factor. This reduction in Wnt signaling is controlled by DKK1, a specific Wnt/β-catenin inhibitor. CBX7 enhances DKK1 expression by binding the DKK1 promoter, as shown in Luciferase reporter assays. Our data confirm that CBX7 inhibits EMT and invasion in glioma, which is manifested by influencing the expression of MMP2, MMP9, E-cadherin, N-cadherin and Vimentin in LN229, T98G cells and primary glioma cells (PGC). Furthermore, as a tumor suppressor, CBX7 expression is pivotal to reduce tumor invasion and evaluate prognosis.

Forzati F, De Martino M, Esposito F, et al.
miR-155 is positively regulated by CBX7 in mouse embryonic fibroblasts and colon carcinomas, and targets the KRAS oncogene.
BMC Cancer. 2017; 17(1):170 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Loss of CBX7 expression has been described in several malignant neoplasias, including human colon and thyroid carcinomas proposing CBX7 as a tumor suppressor gene with a key role in cancer progression. This role is supported from the development of benign and malignant neoplasias in Cbx7 null mice. The aim of our work has been to investigate the mechanisms underlying the CBX7 oncosuppressor activity by analyzing the microRNAs (miRNAs) regulated by CBX7.
METHODS: The miRNA expression profiles of the mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) null for Cbx7 and the wild-type counterpart were analyzed by the miRNACHIP microarray and then validated by qRT-PCR. To asses KRAS as target of miR-155 we evaluated the protein levels after transfection of the synthetic miR-155. Human colon carcinoma samples have been investigated for the expression of CBX7 and miR-155.
RESULTS: Twenty miRNAs were found upregulated and nine, including miR-155, downregulated in cbx7-null MEFS in comparison with the wild-type ones. Then, we focused on miR-155 since several studies have shown its deregulated expression in several human malignancies and, moreover, was the most downregulated miRNA. Subsequently, we searched for miR-155 target genes demonstrating that KRAS protein levels are directly modulated by miR-155. A direct significant correlation (r = 0.6779) between CBX7 and miR-155 expression levels was found in a set of human colon carcinoma tissue samples.
CONCLUSION: miR-155 is positively regulated by CBX7 in MEFs and colon carcinomas, and has KRAS as one of the target genes likely accounting for the anti-apoptotic activity ascribed to miR-155 in some tissue contexts.

Ni S, Wang H, Zhu X, et al.
CBX7 suppresses cell proliferation, migration, and invasion through the inhibition of PTEN/Akt signaling in pancreatic cancer.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(5):8010-8021 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chromobox protein homolog 7 (CBX7), one of the polycomb group (PcG) proteins, is a transcriptional repressor involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and senescence. In the present study, we showed that CBX7 negatively regulates the proliferation, viability, chemoresistance, and migration of pancreatic cancer cells. Overexpression of CBX7 significantly inhibited the proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Depletion of CBX7 facilitated their growth. CBX7 also impaired the viability and chemoresistance of pancreatic cancer cells. Transwell assays showed that CBX7 reduces the migratory capacity of pancreatic cancer cells. Of note, CBX7 reduced PTEN/Akt signaling in pancreatic cancer cells by increasing PTEN transcription, suggesting involvement of PTEN/Akt pathway in the tumor suppressive activity of CBX7. In addition, immunohistochemical analysis the CBX7 and PTEN expression in 74 surgically resected pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) specimens revealed that CBX7 expression is significantly downregulated in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, compared to normal pancreatic tissues. Reduced expression of CBX7 and PTEN was associated with increased malignancy grade in pancreatic adenocarcinoma, whereas maintenance of CBX7 and PTEN expression showed a trend toward a longer survival. These findings suggest CBX7 is an important tumor suppressor that negatively modulates PTEN/Akt signaling during pancreatic tumorigenesis.

Rand KA, Song C, Dean E, et al.
A Meta-analysis of Multiple Myeloma Risk Regions in African and European Ancestry Populations Identifies Putatively Functional Loci.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016; 25(12):1609-1618 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in European populations have identified genetic risk variants associated with multiple myeloma.
METHODS: We performed association testing of common variation in eight regions in 1,318 patients with multiple myeloma and 1,480 controls of European ancestry and 1,305 patients with multiple myeloma and 7,078 controls of African ancestry and conducted a meta-analysis to localize the signals, with epigenetic annotation used to predict functionality.
RESULTS: We found that variants in 7p15.3, 17p11.2, 22q13.1 were statistically significantly (P < 0.05) associated with multiple myeloma risk in persons of African ancestry and persons of European ancestry, and the variant in 3p22.1 was associated in European ancestry only. In a combined African ancestry-European ancestry meta-analysis, variation in five regions (2p23.3, 3p22.1, 7p15.3, 17p11.2, 22q13.1) was statistically significantly associated with multiple myeloma risk. In 3p22.1, the correlated variants clustered within the gene body of ULK4 Correlated variants in 7p15.3 clustered around an enhancer at the 3' end of the CDCA7L transcription termination site. A missense variant at 17p11.2 (rs34562254, Pro251Leu, OR, 1.32; P = 2.93 × 10
IMPACT: A subset of reported risk loci for multiple myeloma has consistent effects across populations and is likely to be functional. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 25(12); 1609-18. ©2016 AACR.

Pickl JM, Tichy D, Kuryshev VY, et al.
Ago-RIP-Seq identifies Polycomb repressive complex I member CBX7 as a major target of miR-375 in prostate cancer progression.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(37):59589-59603 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Prostate cancer is a heterogeneous disease. MiR-375 is a marker for prostate cancer progression, but its cellular function is not characterized. Here, we provide the first comprehensive investigation of miR-375 in prostate cancer. We show that miR-375 is enriched in prostate cancer compared to normal cells. Furthermore, miR-375 enhanced proliferation, migration and invasion in vitro and induced tumor growth and reduced survival in vivo showing that miR-375 has oncogenic properties in prostate cancer. On the molecular level, we provide the targetome and genome-wide transcriptional changes of miR-375 expression by applying a generalized linear model for Ago-RIP-Seq and RNA-Seq, and show that miR-375 is involved in tumorigenic networks and Polycomb regulation. Integration of tissue and gene ontology data prioritized miR-375 targets and identified the tumor suppressor gene CBX7, a member of Polycomb repressive complex 1, as a major miR-375 target. MiR-375-mediated repression of CBX7 was accompanied by increased expression of its homolog CBX8 and activated transcriptional programs linked to malignant progression in prostate cancer cells. Tissue analysis showed association of CBX7 loss with advanced prostate cancer. Our study indicates that miR-375 exerts its tumor-promoting role in prostate cancer by influencing the epigenetic regulation of transcriptional programs through its ability to directly target the Polycomb complex member CBX7.

Nawaz Z, Patil V, Arora A, et al.
Cbx7 is epigenetically silenced in glioblastoma and inhibits cell migration by targeting YAP/TAZ-dependent transcription.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:27753 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glioblastomas (GBM) are the most malignant form of astrocytomas which are difficult to treat and portend a grave clinical course and poor prognosis. In this study, we identified Chromobox homolog 7 (Cbx7), a member of Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1), as a downregulated gene in GBM owing to its promoter hypermethylation. Bisulphite sequencing and methylation inhibitor treatment established the hypermethylation of Cbx7 in GBM. Exogenous overexpression of Cbx7 induced cell death, inhibited cell proliferation, colony formation and migration/invasion of the glioma cells. GSEA of Cbx7 regulated genes identified Cbx7 as a repressor of transcription co-activators YAP/TAZ, the inhibitory targets of the Hippo signalling pathway. In good correlation, the exogenous expression of Cbx7 repressed the YAP/TAZ-dependent transcription and downregulated CTGF, a bonafide YAP/TAZ target. We also observed reduced levels of phospho-JNK in Cbx7 expressing cells. Additionally, CTGF silencing and pharmacological inhibition of JNK also inhibited glioma cell migration. Further, Cbx7 failed to inhibit cell migration significantly in the presence of exogenously overexpressed CTGF or constitutively active JNK. Thus, our study identifies Cbx7 as an inhibitor of glioma cell migration through its inhibitory effect on YAP/TAZ-CTGF-JNK signalling axis and underscores the importance of epigenetic inactivation of Cbx7 in gliomagenesis.

Meseure D, Vacher S, Alsibai KD, et al.
Expression of ANRIL-Polycomb Complexes-CDKN2A/B/ARF Genes in Breast Tumors: Identification of a Two-Gene (EZH2/CBX7) Signature with Independent Prognostic Value.
Mol Cancer Res. 2016; 14(7):623-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: ANRIL, a long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), has recently been reported to have a direct role in recruiting polycomb repressive complexes PRC2 and PRC1 to regulate the expression of the p15/CDKN2B-p16/CDKN2A-p14/ARF gene cluster. Expression analysis of ANRIL, EZH2, SUZ12, EED, JARID2, CBX7, BMI1, p16, p15, and p14/ARF genes was evaluated in a large cohort of invasive breast carcinomas (IBC, n = 456) by qRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed on CBX7, EZH2, p14, p15, p16, H3K27me3, and H3K27ac. We observed significant overexpression in IBCs of ANRIL (19.7%) and EZH2 (77.0%) and an underexpression of CBX7 (39.7%). Correlations were identified between these genes, their expression patterns, and several classical clinical and pathologic parameters, molecular subtypes, and patient outcomes, as well as with proliferation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and breast cancer stem cell markers. Multivariate analysis revealed that combined EZH2/CBX7 status is an independent prognostic factor (P = 0.001). In addition, several miRNAs negatively associated with CBX7 underexpression and EZH2 overexpression. These data demonstrate a complex pattern of interactions between lncRNA ANRIL, several miRNAs, PRC2/PRC1 subunits, and p15/CDKN2B-p16/CDKN2A-p14/ARF locus and suggest that their expression should be considered together to evaluate antitumoral drugs, in particular the BET bromodomain inhibitors.
IMPLICATIONS: This study suggests that the global pattern of expression rather than expression of individual family members should be taken into account when defining functionality of repressive Polycomb complexes and therapeutic targeting potential. Mol Cancer Res; 14(7); 623-33. ©2016 AACR.

Crea F, Di Paolo A, Liu HH, et al.
Polycomb genes are associated with response to imatinib in chronic myeloid leukemia.
Epigenomics. 2015; 7(5):757-65 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: Imatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that has revolutionized the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Despite its efficacy, about a third of patients discontinue the treatment due to therapy failure or intolerance. The rational identification of patients less likely to respond to imatinib would be of paramount clinical relevance. We have shown that transmembrane transporter hOCT1 genotyping predicts imatinib activity. In parallel, Polycomb group genes (PcGs) are epigenetic repressors implicated in CML progression and in therapy resistance.
PATIENTS & METHODS: We measured the expression of eight PcGs in paired pre- and post-imatinib bone marrow samples from 30 CML patients.
RESULTS: BMI1, PHC3, CBX6 and CBX7 expression was significantly increased during imatinib treatment. Post-treatment levels of CBX6 and CBX7 predicted 3-month response rate. Measurement of post-treatment BMI1 levels improved the predictive power of hOCT1 genotyping.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that the expression levels of PcGs might be useful for a more accurate risk stratification of CML patients.

Cacciola NA, Sepe R, Forzati F, et al.
Restoration of CBX7 expression increases the susceptibility of human lung carcinoma cells to irinotecan treatment.
Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2015; 388(11):1179-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lung cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer-related death worldwide in men and women, and, despite the recent remarkable scientific advances, drug treatment is still unsatisfactory. Polycomb protein chromobox homolog 7 (CBX7) is involved in several biological processes, including development and cancer progression, indeed the lack of CBX7 protein correlates with a highly malignant phenotype and a poor prognosis. However, its role in lung cancer still remains unknown. Since CBX7 is drastically downregulated in human lung carcinomas, we investigated whether restoration of CBX7 expression could affect growth property of lung cancer cells and modulate their sensitivity to treatment with irinotecan and etoposide, two chemoterapy drugs most commonly used in lung cancer therapy. Here, we demonstrate that restoration of CBX7 in two human lung carcinoma cell lines (A549 and H1299), in which this protein is not detectable, leads to a decreased proliferation (at least in part through a downregulation of phosphorylated ERK and phosphorylated p38) and an increased apoptotic cell death after drug exposure (at least in part through the downregulation of Bcl-2, phosphorylated Akt, and phosphorylated JNK). Taken together, these results suggest that the retention of CBX7 expression may play a role in the modulation of chemosensitivity of lung cancer patients to the treatment with irinotecan and etoposide.

Zheng X, Zhou J, Zhang B, et al.
Critical evaluation of Cbx7 downregulation in primary colon carcinomas and its clinical significance in Chinese patients.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:145 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: CBX7 is a Polycomb group protein that shows variable expression changes in various cancers that are often contradictive. A mouse knockout experiment has validated the tumor suppressor role in carcinogenesis. The purpose of this study is to verify the tumor suppressor role of Cbx7 in human colon carcinomas (CC).
METHODS: Frozen CC and the surgical margin (SM) tissue samples from patients (n = 97) were obtained from the Peking University Cancer Hospital. All patients had follow-up data for at least three years. The level of Cbx7 mRNA and protein was determined by quantitative RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry and Western blot, respectively. The association between Cbx7 mRNA level and clinicopathological characteristics of CC patients was then statistically analyzed.
RESULTS: CBX7 expression changes detected through immunohistochemistry and Western blot in 10 pairs of representative CC samples significantly correlated with their corresponding mRNA levels when Alu, but not GAPDH, was used as the endogenous reference control in quantitative RT-PCR. The Alu-normalized Cbx7 mRNA levels were significantly increased in SM tissues when compared with CC tissues or colon biopsies taken from non-cancer patients (Student's t-test, P < 0.036 or 0.007). Furthermore, decreased levels of Cbx7 mRNA positively correlated with lymph metastasis (P = 0.029). Overall survival (OS) of CC patients classified as Cbx7 expression-low was considerably shorter than those classified as Cbx7 expression-high (Hazard ratio = 2.97, 95% CI [1.68 ~ 5.25]; P <0.001). Multiple variant analyses showed that the Cbx7 expression-low was an independent predictor of short OS (Hazard ratio = 3.16, 95% CI [1.58-6.30]; P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Cbx7 is downregulated in CCs, and Cbx7 expression-low tumors correlated with lymph metastasis and poor overall survival of CC patients.

Xie D, Shang C, Zhang H, et al.
Up-regulation of miR-9 target CBX7 to regulate invasion ability of bladder transitional cell carcinoma.
Med Sci Monit. 2015; 21:225-30 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Bladder urothelial carcinoma is the most common genitourinary system cancer in China. The objective of this study was to investigate whether the miR-9 can regulate the invasion ability of human bladder transitional cell carcinoma cells by down-regulation of CBX7.
MATERIAL/METHODS: The expression of miR-9 was detected by quantitative real-time PCR in bladder transitional cell carcinomas (TCC) and normal bladder transitional cell (NBTC) samples. Bioinformatics software was used to predict some potential target genes of miR-9. T24 cells were transfected with pre-miR-9, and the CBX7 protein expression was detected by Western blot. Luciferase activities assay was selected to verify that CBX7 was a direct and specific gene of miR-9. T24 cells were transfected with pcDNA-CBX7, and the expression of CBX7 gene was detected. Then, the transwell assay was used to detect the invasion ability of T24 cells with CBX7 over-expression.
RESULTS: The expression of miR-9 increased significantly in human TCC specimens compared to that in NBTC specimens. TargetScan and PicTar software programs predicted CBX7 gene was a target gene of miR-9. The pre-miR-9 could up-regulate the miR-9 expression and down-regulate CBX7 protein expression. The luciferase activities assay verified that CBX7 gene was a direct and specific target gene of miR-9. The pcDNA-CBX7 transfection could up-regulate the CBX7 protein expression, and the invasion ability of T24 cells with CBX7 over-expression decreased significantly.
CONCLUSIONS: Aberrantly expressed miR-9 contributes to T24 cells invasion, partly through directly down-regulating CBX7 protein expression in TCC. This miRNA signature offers a new potential therapeutic target for TCC.

Sepe R, Formisano U, Federico A, et al.
CBX7 and HMGA1b proteins act in opposite way on the regulation of the SPP1 gene expression.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(5):2680-92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Several recent studies have reported the Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 member CBX7 as a tumor-suppressor gene whose expression progressively decreases in different human carcinomas in relation with tumor grade, malignant stage and poor prognosis. We have previously demonstrated that CBX7 is able to inhibit the expression of the SPP1 gene, encoding the chemokine osteopontin that is over-expressed in cancer and has a critical role in cancer progression. Here, we have analyzed the mechanism by which CBX7 regulates the SPP1 gene expression. We show that the SPP1 transcriptional regulation mechanism involves the CBX7-interacting protein HMGA1b, that acts as a positive regulator of the SPP1 gene. In fact, we demonstrate that, in contrast with the transcriptional activity of CBX7, HMGA1b is able to increase the SPP1 expression by inducing the activity of its promoter. Moreover, we show that CBX7 interferes with HMGA1b on the SPP1 promoter and counteracts the positive transcriptional activity of HMGA1b on the SPP1 expression. Furthermore, since we found that also the NF-κB complex resulted involved in the modulation of the SPP1 expression in thyroid cells, we suppose that CBX7/HMGA1b/NF-κB could take part in the same transcriptional mechanism that finally leads to the regulation of the SPP1 gene expression. Taken together, our data show the important role played by CBX7 in the negative regulation of the SPP1 gene expression, thus contributing to prevent the acquisition of a malignant phenotype.

Sarkar D, Leung EY, Baguley BC, et al.
Epigenetic regulation in human melanoma: past and future.
Epigenetics. 2015; 10(2):103-21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The development and progression of melanoma have been attributed to independent or combined genetic and epigenetic events. There has been remarkable progress in understanding melanoma pathogenesis in terms of genetic alterations. However, recent studies have revealed a complex involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in the regulation of gene expression, including methylation, chromatin modification and remodeling, and the diverse activities of non-coding RNAs. The roles of gene methylation and miRNAs have been relatively well studied in melanoma, but other studies have shown that changes in chromatin status and in the differential expression of long non-coding RNAs can lead to altered regulation of key genes. Taken together, they affect the functioning of signaling pathways that influence each other, intersect, and form networks in which local perturbations disturb the activity of the whole system. Here, we focus on how epigenetic events intertwine with these pathways and contribute to the molecular pathogenesis of melanoma.

Wang W, Lim WK, Leong HS, et al.
An eleven gene molecular signature for extra-capsular spread in oral squamous cell carcinoma serves as a prognosticator of outcome in patients without nodal metastases.
Oral Oncol. 2015; 51(4):355-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Extracapsular spread (ECS) is an important prognostic factor for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and is used to guide management. In this study, we aimed to identify an expression profile signature for ECS in node-positive OSCC using data derived from two different sources: a cohort of OSCC patients from our institution (National Cancer Centre Singapore) and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cohort. We also sought to determine if this signature could serve as a prognostic factor in node negative cancers.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with a histological diagnosis of OSCC were identified from an institutional database and fresh tumor samples were retrieved. RNA was extracted and gene expression profiling was performed using the Affymetrix GeneChip Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 microarray platform. RNA sequence data and corresponding clinical data for the TCGA HNSCC cohort were downloaded from the TCGA Data Portal. All data analyses were conducted using R package and SPSS.
RESULTS: We identified an 11 gene signature (GGH, MTFR1, CDKN3, PSRC1, SMIM3, CA9, IRX4, CPA3, ZSCAN16, CBX7 and ZFP3) which was robust in segregating tumors by ECS status. In node negative patients, patients harboring this ECS signature had a significantly worse overall survival (p=0.04).
CONCLUSIONS: An eleven gene signature for ECS was derived. Our results also suggest that this signature is prognostic in a separate subset of patients with no nodal metastasis Further validation of this signature on other datasets and immunohistochemical studies are required to establish utility of this signature in stratifying early stage OSCC patients.

Kim HY, Park JH, Won HY, et al.
CBX7 inhibits breast tumorigenicity through DKK-1-mediated suppression of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
FASEB J. 2015; 29(1):300-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
Polycomb protein chromobox homolog 7 (CBX7) is involved in several biologic processes including stem cell regulation and cancer development, but its roles in breast cancer remain unknown. Here, we demonstrate that CBX7 negatively regulates breast tumor initiation. CD44(+)/CD24(-)/ESA(+) breast stem-like cells showed diminished CBX7 expression. Furthermore, small hairpin RNA-mediated CBX7 knockdown in breast epithelial and cancer cells increased the CD44(+)/CD24(-)/ESA(+) cell population and reinforced in vitro self-renewal and in vivo tumor-initiating ability. Similarly, CBX7 overexpression repressed these effects. We also found that CBX7 inhibits the Wnt/β-catenin/T cell factor pathway by enhancing the expression of Dickkopf-1 (DKK-1), a Wnt antagonist. In particular, CBX7 increased DKK-1 transcription by cooperating with p300 acetyltransferase and subsequently enhancing the histone acetylation of the DKK-1 promoter. Furthermore, pharmacologic inhibition of DKK-1 in CBX7-overexpressing cells showed recovery of Wnt signaling and consequent rescue of the CD44(+)/CD24(-)/ESA(+) cell population. Taken together, these findings indicate that CBX7-mediated epigenetic induction of DKK-1 is crucial for the inhibition of breast tumorigenicity, suggesting that CBX7 could be a potential tumor suppressor in human breast cancer.

Pallante P, Sepe R, Federico A, et al.
CBX7 modulates the expression of genes critical for cancer progression.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e98295 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We have previously shown that the expression of CBX7 is drastically decreased in several human carcinomas and that its expression progressively decreases with the appearance of a highly malignant phenotype. The aim of our study has been to investigate the mechanism by which the loss of CBX7 expression may contribute to the emergence of a more malignant phenotype.
METHODS: We analyzed the gene expression profile of a thyroid carcinoma cell line after the restoration of CBX7 and, then, analyzed the transcriptional regulation of identified genes. Finally, we evaluated the expression of CBX7 and regulated genes in a panel of thyroid and lung carcinomas.
RESULTS: We found that CBX7 negatively or positively regulates the expression of several genes (such as SPP1, SPINK1, STEAP1, and FOS, FOSB, EGR1, respectively) associated to cancer progression, by interacting with their promoter regions and modulating their transcriptional activity. Quantitative RT-PCR analyses in human thyroid and lung carcinoma tissues revealed a negative correlation between CBX7 and its down-regulated genes, while a positive correlation was observed with up-regulated genes.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, the loss of CBX7 expression might play a critical role in advanced stages of carcinogenesis by deregulating the expression of specific effector genes.

Shinjo K, Yamashita Y, Yamamoto E, et al.
Expression of chromobox homolog 7 (CBX7) is associated with poor prognosis in ovarian clear cell adenocarcinoma via TRAIL-induced apoptotic pathway regulation.
Int J Cancer. 2014; 135(2):308-18 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy, and clear cell adenocarcinoma of the ovary (OCCA), in particular, has a relatively poor prognosis among the ovarian cancer subtypes because of its high chemoresistance. Chromobox (CBX) 7 is a polycomb repressive complex 1 component that prolongs the lifespan of normal human cells by downregulating the INK4a/ARF expression which promotes cell-cycle progression. However, recent reports studying the relationship between CBX7 expression and patient survival have differed regarding the tumor cell origins, and the precise role of CBX7 in human carcinomas remains obscure. In this study, we analyzed CBX7 expression by immunohistochemistry in 81 OCCA patients and evaluated its association with their clinical outcomes. Both the overall and progression-free survival rates of the CBX7-positive patients were significantly shorter than those of the CBX7-negative patients (p < 0.05). CBX7 knockdown experiments using two OCCA cell lines, TOV21G and KOC-7C, revealed that cell viability was significantly reduced compared to the control cells (p < 0.001). Expression microarray analysis revealed that apoptosis-related genes, particularly tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), were significantly upregulated in CBX7 knockdown cells (p < 0.01). We further confirmed that CBX7 knockdown resulted in TRAIL-induced apoptosis in the OCCA cells. Thus, in this study, we showed for the first time that CBX7 was associated with a decreased OCCA prognosis. We also successfully demonstrated that the TRAIL pathway is a novel target for CBX7 expression modulation in these cells, and therapeutic agents utilizing the TRAIL pathway may be particularly effective for targeted OCCA therapy.

Li G, Warden C, Zou Z, et al.
Altered expression of polycomb group genes in glioblastoma multiforme.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(11):e80970 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The Polycomb group (PcG) proteins play a critical role in histone mediated epigenetics which has been implicated in the malignant evolution of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). By systematically interrogating The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), we discovered widespread aberrant expression of the PcG members in GBM samples compared to normal brain. The most striking differences were upregulation of EZH2, PHF19, CBX8 and PHC2 and downregulation of CBX7, CBX6, EZH1 and RYBP. Interestingly, changes in EZH2, PHF19, CBX7, CBX6 and EZH1 occurred progressively as astrocytoma grade increased. We validated the aberrant expression of CBX6, CBX7, CBX8 and EZH2 in GBM cell lines by Western blotting and qRT-PCR, and further the aberrant expression of CBX6 in GBM tissue samples by immunohistochemical staining. To determine if there was functional significance to the diminished CBX6 levels in GBM, CBX6 was overexpressed in GBM cells resulting in decreased proliferative capacity. In conclusion, aberrant expression of PcG proteins in GBMs may play a role in the development or maintenance of the malignancy.

Gargiulo G, Cesaroni M, Serresi M, et al.
In vivo RNAi screen for BMI1 targets identifies TGF-β/BMP-ER stress pathways as key regulators of neural- and malignant glioma-stem cell homeostasis.
Cancer Cell. 2013; 23(5):660-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
In mouse and human neural progenitor and glioblastoma "stem-like" cells, we identified key targets of the Polycomb-group protein BMI1 by combining ChIP-seq with in vivo RNAi screening. We discovered that Bmi1 is important in the cellular response to the transforming growth factor-β/bone morphogenetic protein (TGF-β/BMP) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress pathways, in part converging on the Atf3 transcriptional repressor. We show that Atf3 is a tumor-suppressor gene inactivated in human glioblastoma multiforme together with Cbx7 and a few other candidates. Acting downstream of the ER stress and BMP pathways, ATF3 binds to cell-type-specific accessible chromatin preloaded with AP1 and participates in the inhibition of critical oncogenic networks. Our data support the feasibility of combining ChIP-seq and RNAi screens in solid tumors and highlight multiple p16(INK4a)/p19(ARF)-independent functions for Bmi1 in development and cancer.

Quint K, Tonigold M, Di Fazio P, et al.
Pancreatic cancer cells surviving gemcitabine treatment express markers of stem cell differentiation and epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
Int J Oncol. 2012; 41(6):2093-102 [PubMed] Related Publications
Objective response rates to standard chemotherapeutic regimens remain low in pancreatic cancer. Subpopulations of cells have been identified in various solid tumors which express stem cell-associated markers and are associated with increased resistance against radiochemotherapy. We investigated the expression of stem cell genes and markers of epithelial-mesenchymal transition in pancreatic cancer cells that survived high concentrations of gemcitabine treatment. Capan-1 and Panc-1 cells were continuously incubated with 1 and 10 µM gemcitabine. Surviving cells were collected after 1, 3 and 6 days. Expression of PDX-1, SHH, CD24, CD44, CD133, EpCAM, CBX7, OCT4, SNAIL, SLUG, TWIST, Ki-67, E-cadherin, β-catenin and vimentin were quantified by qPCR or immunocytochemistry. Migration was assessed by wound‑healing assay. SHH was knocked down using RNA interference. Five primary pancreatic cancer cell lines were used to validate the qPCR results. All investigated genes were upregulated after 6 days of gemcitabine incubation. Highest relative expression levels were observed for OCT4 (13.4-fold), CD24 (47.3-fold) and EpCAM (15.9-fold) in Capan-1 and PDX-1 (13.3‑fold), SHH (24.1-fold), CD44 (17.4-fold), CD133 (20.2-fold) and SLUG (15.2-fold) in Panc-1 cells. Distinct upregulation patterns were observed in the primary cells. Migration was increased in Panc-1 cells and changes in the expression of E-cadherin and β-catenin were typical of epithelial-mesenchymal transition in both cell lines. SHH knockdown reduced IC(50) from 30.1 to 27.6 nM in Capan-1 while it strongly inhibited proli-feration in Panc-1 cells. Cells surviving high-dose gemcitabine treatment express increased levels of stem cell genes, show characteristics associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition and retain their proliferative capacity.

Forzati F, Federico A, Pallante P, et al.
Tumor suppressor activity of CBX7 in lung carcinogenesis.
Cell Cycle. 2012; 11(10):1888-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
The generation of knockout mice for the Cbx7 gene validates the tumor suppressor role of CBX7, whose expression is lost in several human malignancies. Indeed, these mice developed liver and lung adenomas and carcinomas. Cyclin E overexpression due to the lack of Cbx7 negative regulation of its expression likely accounts for the phenotype of the Cbx7-KO mice. A similar mechanism is likely involved in human lung carcinogenesis, since cyclin E upregulation associated with the loss of CBX7 expression has been observed in most of the human lung carcinomas analyzed.

Forzati F, Federico A, Pallante P, et al.
CBX7 is a tumor suppressor in mice and humans.
J Clin Invest. 2012; 122(2):612-23 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The CBX7 gene encodes a polycomb group protein that is known to be downregulated in many types of human cancers, although the role of this protein in carcinogenesis remains unclear. To shed light on this issue, we generated mice null for Cbx7. Mouse embryonic fibroblasts derived from these mice had a higher growth rate and reduced susceptibility to senescence compared with their WT counterparts. This was associated with upregulated expression of multiple cell cycle components, including cyclin E, which is known to play a key role in lung carcinogenesis in humans. Adult Cbx7-KO mice developed liver and lung adenomas and carcinomas. In in vivo and in vitro experiments, we demonstrated that CBX7 bound to the CCNE1 promoter in a complex that included HDAC2 and negatively regulated CCNE1 expression. Finally, we found that the lack of CBX7 protein expression in human lung carcinomas correlated with CCNE1 overexpression. These data suggest that CBX7 is a tumor suppressor and that its loss plays a key role in the pathogenesis of cancer.

Hannafon BN, Sebastiani P, de las Morenas A, et al.
Expression of microRNA and their gene targets are dysregulated in preinvasive breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res. 2011; 13(2):R24 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: microRNA (miRNA) are short, noncoding RNA that negatively regulate gene expression and may play a causal role in invasive breast cancer. Since many genetic aberrations of invasive disease are detectable in early stages, we hypothesized that miRNA expression dysregulation and the predicted changes in gene expression might also be found in early breast neoplasias.
METHODS: Expression profiling of 365 miRNA by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay was combined with laser capture microdissection to obtain an epithelium-specific miRNA expression signature of normal breast epithelium from reduction mammoplasty (RM) (n = 9) and of paired samples of histologically normal epithelium (HN) and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) (n = 16). To determine how miRNA may control the expression of codysregulated mRNA, we also performed gene expression microarray analysis in the same paired HN and DCIS samples and integrated this with miRNA target prediction. We further validated several target pairs by modulating the expression levels of miRNA in MCF7 cells and measured the expression of target mRNA and proteins.
RESULTS: Thirty-five miRNA were aberrantly expressed between RM, HN and DCIS. Twenty-nine miRNA and 420 mRNA were aberrantly expressed between HN and DCIS. Combining these two data sets with miRNA target prediction, we identified two established target pairs (miR-195:CCND1 and miR-21:NFIB) and tested several novel miRNA:mRNA target pairs. Overexpression of the putative tumor suppressor miR-125b, which is underexpressed in DCIS, repressed the expression of MEMO1, which is required for ErbB2-driven cell motility (also a target of miR-125b), and NRIP1/RIP140, which modulates the transcriptional activity of the estrogen receptor. Knockdown of the putative oncogenic miRNA miR-182 and miR-183, both highly overexpressed in DCIS, increased the expression of chromobox homolog 7 (CBX7) (which regulates E-cadherin expression), DOK4, NMT2 and EGR1. Augmentation of CBX7 by knockdown of miR-182 expression, in turn, positively regulated the expression of E-cadherin, a key protein involved in maintaining normal epithelial cell morphology, which is commonly lost during neoplastic progression.
CONCLUSIONS: These data provide the first miRNA expression profile of normal breast epithelium and of preinvasive breast carcinoma. Further, we demonstrate that altered miRNA expression can modulate gene expression changes that characterize these early cancers. We conclude that miRNA dysregulation likely plays a substantial role in early breast cancer development.

Li Q, Wang X, Lu Z, et al.
Polycomb CBX7 directly controls trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 at the p16 locus.
PLoS One. 2010; 5(10):e13732 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: H3K9 trimethylation (H3K9me3) and binding of PcG repressor complex-1 (PRC1) may play crucial roles in the epigenetic silencing of the p16 gene. However, the mechanism of the initiation of this trimethylation is unknown.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the present study, we found that upregulating the expression of PRC1 component Cbx7 in gastric cancer cell lines MGC803 and BGC823 led to significantly suppress the expression of genes within the p16-Arf-p15 locus. H3K9me3 formation was observed at the p16 promoter and Regulatory Domain (RD). CBX7 and SUV39H2 binding to these regions were also detectable in the CBX7-stably upregulated cells. CBX7-SUV39H2 complexes were observed within nucleus in bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay (BiFC). Mutations of the chromodomain or deletion of Pc-box abolished the CBX7-binding and H3K9me3 formation, and thus partially repressed the function of CBX7. SiRNA-knockdown of Suv39h2 blocked the repressive effect of CBX7 on p16 transcription. Moreover, we found that expression of CBX7 in gastric carcinoma tissues with p16 methylation was significantly lower than that in their corresponding normal tissues, which showed a negative correlation with transcription of p16 in gastric mucosa.
CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: These results demonstrated for the first time, to our knowledge, that CBX7 could initiate H3K9me3 formation at the p16 promoter.

Zhang XW, Zhang L, Qin W, et al.
Oncogenic role of the chromobox protein CBX7 in gastric cancer.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2010; 29:114 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chromobox 7 (CBX7) is a Polycomb family protein that extends the lifespan of normal human cells via downregulating the expression of INK4a/ARF tumor suppressor locus. It was found that CBX7 expression was upregulated in lymphoma, but downregulated in some other human malignancies. The role of CBX7 in most types of cancer is still not clear. The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of CBX7 in gastric cancer.
METHODS: The expression of CBX7 and its potential target protein p16(INK4a) in gastric cancer cell lines and gastric tumors was assayed by Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry(IHC). The correlations between CBX7 expression and p16(INK4a), clinicopathological characteristics, and prognosis were analyzed. Gastric cancer cell line SGC-7901 was transfected with CBX7 siRNA expressing plasmids, and the expression of various proteins was analyzed by Western blot analysis. Cellular senescence, anchorage independent growth, and cell migration assays were performed to determine the functional role of CBX7 in gastric cancer cells.
RESULTS: CBX7 was found to be overexpressed in gastric cancer cell lines and gastric tumors. Overexpression of CBX7 in gastric cancer tissues correlated with patients' age, clinical stage and lymph node metastasis. Knockdown of CBX7 expression in gastric cancer cells led to increased cellular senescence, decreased cellular proliferation and migration ability, accompanied by upregulation of p16(INK4a).
CONCLUSIONS: CBX7 acts as an oncogene in the carcinogenesis and progression of gastric cancer, and it may regulate tumorigenesis, cell migration and cancer metastasis partially via p16(INK4a) regulatory pathway.

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