Gene Summary

Gene:RUNX3; runt-related transcription factor 3
Aliases: AML2, CBFA3, PEBP2aC
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the runt domain-containing family of transcription factors. A heterodimer of this protein and a beta subunit forms a complex that binds to the core DNA sequence 5'-PYGPYGGT-3' found in a number of enhancers and promoters, and can either activate or suppress transcription. It also interacts with other transcription factors. It functions as a tumor suppressor, and the gene is frequently deleted or transcriptionally silenced in cancer. Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:runt-related transcription factor 3
Source:NCBIAccessed: 28 February, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (21)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 28 February 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • RUNX3
  • Gene Silencing
  • Gastric Mucosa
  • Mutation
  • Cohort Studies
  • Uveal Neoplasms
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Tumor Burden
  • Messenger RNA
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • DNA Methylation
  • Disease Progression
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Uterine Cancer
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Promoter Regions
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Base Sequence
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Staging
  • Apoptosis
  • Microsatellite Instability
  • CpG Islands
  • Chromosome 1
  • Phenotype
  • Liver Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Eye Cancer
  • Down-Regulation
  • Epigenetics
  • Cancer DNA
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Neoplasm Proteins
Tag cloud generated 28 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

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: RUNX3 (cancer-related)

Ren F, Wang DB, Li T, et al.
Identification of differentially methylated genes in the malignant transformation of ovarian endometriosis.
J Ovarian Res. 2014; 7:73 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Key roles for epigenetic mechanisms in tumorigenesis are well accepted, while the relationship between gene methylation and malignant transformation of ovarian endometriosis (EMS) was seldom reported. In this study, we aimed to screen for aberrantly methylated genes associated with the malignant transformation of ovarian EMS and to preliminarily verify the reliability of screened results by detecting the methylation status and protein expression of the candidate gene in a larger scale of formaldehyde-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples.
METHODS: Methylated CpG island amplification coupled with representational difference analysis (MCA-RDA) was performed on 3 couples of endometriosis-associated ovarian carcinoma (EAOC) fresh samples to identify differentially methylated candidate genes related to malignant transformation of ovarian EMS; Methylation-specific PCR (MSP) and immunohistochemistry were performed in 30 EAOC samples to detected the methylation status and protein expression of RASSF2 gene to verify the reliability of MCA-RDA results.
RESULTS: Nine differentially methylated genes were obtained by MCA-RDA as candidate genes for malignant transformation of EMS; Methylation frequency of RASSF2 in the neoplastic tissues of EAOC group was higher than that in the ectopic endometria (p < 0.05). While protein expression of RASSF2 in the neoplastic tissues was lower than that in the ectopic endometria of the EAOC group (p < 0.05) Absence of protein expression of RASSF2 was significantly correlated with the promoter methylation of the gene (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: RASSF2, RUNX3, GSTZ1, CYP2A, GBGT1, NDUFS1, SPOCK2, ADAM22, and TRIM36 were candidate genes for malignant transformation of ovarian EMS and epigenetic inactivation of RASSF2 by promoter hypermethylation is an early event in malignant transformation of ovarian EMS. The screen results were reliable and worthy of further study.

Yang Y, Ye Z, Zou Z, et al.
Clinicopathological significance of RUNX3 gene hypermethylation in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(10):10333-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Emerging evidence indicates that RUNX3 is a candidate tumor suppressor in several types of human tumors including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the correlation between RUNX3 hypermethylation and incidence of HCC remains unclear. Here, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis aiming to comprehensively assess the potential role of RUNX3 hypermethylation in the pathogenesis of HCC. A detailed literature search was made from PubMed, EMBASE, and ISI web of knowledge to identify studies for related research publications. Methodological quality of the studies was also evaluated. The data were extracted and assessed by two reviewers independently. Analysis of pooled data was performed. Odds ratio (OR) was calculated and summarized, respectively. Final analysis of 821 HCC patients from 14 eligible studies was performed. We observed that RUNX3 hypermethylation was significantly higher in HCC than in normal liver tissue, the pooled OR from eight studies including 382 HCC and 161 normal liver tissue (OR = 39.32, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 13.72-112.7, p < 0.00001). The pooled analysis showed significantly increased OR of RUNX3 hypermethylation (OR = 5.4, 95 % CI = 2.06-14.17, p < 0.00001) in HCC tissues and non-tumor liver tissues. In addition, statistically significant OR of RUNX3 hypermethylation was obtained from non-tumorous liver tissue of HCC patients and normal liver tissue (OR = 12.57, 95 % CI = 3.56-44.35, p < 0.0001). The results of this meta-analysis suggest that RUNX3 hypermethylation may be implicated in the pathogenesis of HCC. Thus, detection of RUNX3 hypermethylation may be a helpful and valuable biomarker for diagnosis of HCC.

Xue LN, Bai FH, Wang XY, et al.
Expression of RUNX3 gene in pancreatic adenocarcinoma and its clinical significance.
Genet Mol Res. 2014; 13(2):3940-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
We investigated the clinical significance of RUNX3 gene expression in human pancreatic carcinoma. Five samples of pancreatic tissues and 30 samples of pancreatic cancer tissues and paracancerous tissues were collected. RUNX3 expression was detected by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. The relationships between clinicopathological findings and the expression of RUNX3 were analyzed. The relative quantification level of RUNX3 mRNA expression in human pancreatic carcinoma tissues and paracancerous tissues was 2.60 (0.42-12.82) and 1.02 (0.19-3.58), respectively (P < 0.05). The percentage of positive cells expressing RUNX3 protein in human pancreatic tissues and paracancerous tissues was 45.5 ± 26.2 and 6.9 ± 6.0%, respectively (P < 0.01). The high RUNX3 group (N = 9) with 45.5% or more of the cancer cells staining for RUNX3 and the low RUNX3 group (N = 21) with less than 45.5% cancer cells staining for RUNX3. Low expression of RUNX3 correlated significantly with an advanced TNM stage (χ(2) = 6.897, P = 0.045), lymph node metastasis (χ(2) = 4.739, P = 0.029) and neural invasion (χ(2) = 5.44, P = 0.020). On the other hand, no association could be found between RUNX3 expression and clinicopathological variables including age, gender, tumor location, tumor size, tumor differentiation or the serum concentration of CEA and CA199. The expression of RUNX3 in pancreatic cancer tissues was obviously higher than that in the paracancerous tissues. Low expression of RUNX3 may have an important role in aggressiveness, lymph node metastasis and neural invasion in pancreatic cancer. In pancreatic carcinoma tissues, low expression of RUNX3 may indicate a poor prognosis.

Shiovitz S, Bertagnolli MM, Renfro LA, et al.
CpG island methylator phenotype is associated with response to adjuvant irinotecan-based therapy for stage III colon cancer.
Gastroenterology. 2014; 147(3):637-45 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: The CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), defined by a high frequency of aberrantly methylated genes, is a characteristic of a subclass of colon tumors with distinct clinical and molecular features. Cohort studies have produced conflicting results on responses of CIMP-positive tumors to chemotherapy. We assessed the association between tumor CIMP status and survival of patients receiving adjuvant fluorouracil and leucovorin alone or with irinotecan (IFL).
METHODS: We analyzed data from patients with stage III colon adenocarcinoma randomly assigned to groups given fluorouracil and leucovorin or IFL after surgery, from April 1999 through April 2001. The primary end point of the trial was overall survival and the secondary end point was disease-free survival. DNA isolated from available tumor samples (n = 615) was used to determine CIMP status based on methylation patterns at the CACNA1G, IGF2, NEUROG1, RUNX3, and SOCS1 loci. The effects of CIMP on survival were modeled using Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards; interactions with treatment and BRAF, KRAS, and mismatch repair (MMR) status were also investigated.
RESULTS: Of the tumor samples characterized for CIMP status, 145 were CIMP positive (23%). Patients with CIMP-positive tumors had shorter overall survival times than patients with CIMP-negative tumors (hazard ratio = 1.36; 95% confidence interval: 1.01-1.84). Treatment with IFL showed a trend toward increased overall survival for patients with CIMP-positive tumors, compared with treatment with fluorouracil and leucovorin (hazard ratio = 0.62; 95% CI: 0.37-1.05; P = .07), but not for patients with CIMP-negative tumors (hazard ratio = 1.38; 95% CI: 1.00-1.89; P = .049). In a 3-way interaction analysis, patients with CIMP-positive, MMR-intact tumors benefited most from the addition of irinotecan to fluorouracil and leucovorin therapy (for the interaction, P = .01). CIMP was more strongly associated with response to IFL than MMR status. Results for disease-free survival times were comparable among all analyses.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with stage III, CIMP-positive, MMR-intact colon tumors have longer survival times when irinotecan is added to combination therapy with fluorouracil and leucovorin.

Bledsoe KL, McGee-Lawrence ME, Camilleri ET, et al.
RUNX3 facilitates growth of Ewing sarcoma cells.
J Cell Physiol. 2014; 229(12):2049-56 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Ewing sarcoma is an aggressive pediatric small round cell tumor that predominantly occurs in bone. Approximately 85% of Ewing sarcomas harbor the EWS/FLI fusion protein, which arises from a chromosomal translocation, t(11:22)(q24:q12). EWS/FLI interacts with numerous lineage-essential transcription factors to maintain mesenchymal progenitors in an undifferentiated state. We previously showed that EWS/FLI binds the osteogenic transcription factor RUNX2 and prevents osteoblast differentiation. In this study, we investigated the role of another Runt-domain protein, RUNX3, in Ewing sarcoma. RUNX3 participates in mesenchymal-derived bone formation and is a context dependent tumor suppressor and oncogene. RUNX3 was detected in all Ewing sarcoma cells examined, whereas RUNX2 was detected in only 73% of specimens. Like RUNX2, RUNX3 binds to EWS/FLI via its Runt domain. EWS/FLI prevented RUNX3 from activating the transcription of a RUNX-responsive reporter, p6OSE2. Stable suppression of RUNX3 expression in the Ewing sarcoma cell line A673 delayed colony growth in anchorage independent soft agar assays and reversed expression of EWS/FLI-responsive genes. These results demonstrate an important role for RUNX3 in Ewing sarcoma.

Chen HX, Wang S, Wang Z, et al.
Overexpression of RUNX3 inhibits malignant behaviour of Eca109 cells in vitro and vivo.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(4):1531-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) is a tumor suppressor gene whose reduced expression may play an important role in the development and progression of esophageal squamous cell cancer (ESCC). The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical relevance of RUNX3 in ESCC patients and effects of overexpression on biological behaviour of Eca109 cells in vitro and in vivo. Immunohistochemistry was performed to detect the clinical relevance of RUNX3 and lymph node metastasis in 80 ESCC tissues and 40 non-cancerous tissues using the SP method. RT-PCR and Western blotting were applied to assess the RUNX3 level and verify the Eca109 cell line with stable overexpression. Localization of RUNX3 proteins was performed by cell immunofluorescence. CCK-8 and Scrape motility assays were used to determine proliferation and migration and the TUNEL assay to analyze cell apoptosis. Invasive potential was assessed in cell transwell invasion experiments. In nude mice, tumorigenesis in vivo was determined. Results showed decreased expression of RUNX3 in esophageal tissue to be significantly related to lymph node metastasis (LNM) (P<0.01). In addition, construction of a recombinant lentiviral vector and transfection into the human ESCC cell line Eca109 demonstrated that overexpression could inhibit cell proliferation, migration and invasion, and induce apoptosis. The in vivo experiments in mice showed tumorigenicity and invasiveness to be significantly reduced. Taken together, our studies indicate that underexpression of RUNX3 in human ESCC tissue is significantly correlated with progression. Restoration of RUNX3 expression significantly inhibits ESCC cells proliferation, migration, invasion and tumorigenesis.

Liu Z, Zhang X, Xu X, et al.
RUNX3 inhibits survivin expression and induces cell apoptosis in gastric cancer.
Eur J Cell Biol. 2014; 93(3):118-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transcription factor RUNX3 is associated with gastric tumorigenesis and progression through regulating the expression of its target genes. Survivin is a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) family and has been shown to inhibit cell apoptosis and promote cell proliferation. Increased survivin expression has been found in various cancer types, including gastric cancer. In this study, we found that restoration of RUNX3 promotes cell apoptosis through inhibiting the survivin expression, while RUNX3 inhibition increases the expression of survivin in gastric cancer cell lines. Moreover, RUNX3 over-expression inhibits,whereas its inhibition increases, the promoter activity of survivin gene, respectively. RUNX3-R122C, a mutation located in the conserved Runt domain, has no effect on the promoter activity of survivin gene. We further identified a RUNX3-binding site in the promoter of survivin gene and the binding of RUNX3 on survivin promoter leads to significantly inhibition of survivin expression. Finally, we confirmed the negative correlation of RUNX3 and survivin expression in clinical specimens of gastric cancer. These findings reveal a novel mechanism of RUNX3 for the induction of cell apoptosis in human gastric cancer.

Wang L, Li D, Liu Y, et al.
Expression of RUNX3 and β-catenin in the carcinogenesis of sporadic colorectal tubular adenoma.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(6):6039-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study is to investigate the possible roles of runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) and β-catenin in the carcinogenesis of sporadic colorectal tubular adenomas. The expression of the RUNX3 and β-catenin proteins was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 23 normal colorectal mucosa (NCM), 81 sporadic colorectal tubular adenomas with different dysplasias (SCTA-D) (mild n=33, moderate n=23, and severe n=25 dysplasia), and 48 sporadic colorectal tubular adenomas with cancerous changes (SCTA-Ca). RUNX3 methylation was assessed by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP), combined with laser capture microdissection (LCM), in 17 NCM, 41 SCTA-D (mild n=15, moderate n=12, and severe n=14 dysplasia), and 17 SCTA-Ca tissues. Compared to NCM (82.6 %), RUNX3 in SCTA-D (54.3 %) and SCTA-Ca (27.1 %) was significantly downregulated (P<0.05). In NCM, SCTA-D, and SCTA-Ca, the incidence of positive expression for β-catenin was 13.0, 60.5, and 79.2 %, respectively. A statistically significant difference was observed (P<0.05). RUNX3 levels were markedly higher in adenoma with mild dysplasia (75.8 %) and moderate dysplasia (60.9 %) than in adenoma with severe dysplasia (20.0 %) (both with P<0.05). Likewise, the expression of β-catenin in severe dysplasia adenoma was 84.0 %, which was significantly higher than that in mild dysplasia adenoma (39.4 %). An inverse correlation was found between the protein expression of RUNX3 and β-catenin in SCTA-D and SCTA-Ca (P<0.05). MSP results showed that RUNX3 methylation in NCM, SCTA-D, and SCTA-Ca was 5.9, 17.1, and 41.2 %, respectively, with a statistically significant difference between NCM and SCTA-Ca (P<0.05). However, no significant difference of RUNX3 methylation was observed among different dysplasia groups. RUNX3 and β-catenin play important roles in the carcinogenesis of sporadic colorectal tubular adenomas. In addition, hypermethylation of RUNX3 can downregulate its expression.

García-Baquero R, Puerta P, Beltran M, et al.
Methylation of tumor suppressor genes in a novel panel predicts clinical outcome in paraffin-embedded bladder tumors.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(6):5777-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
DNA methylation of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) represents a frequent and early epigenetic event with potential applications for cancer detection and disease evolution. Our aim was to examine the stratification and prognostic biomarker role of the methylation of a novel panel of TSGs in bladder cancer. The methylation status of 18 TSGs was evaluated in bladder cancer cells (n=14) and paraffin-embedded primary bladder tumors (n=61), using a methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification assay (MS-MLPA). Recurrence, progression, and disease-specific survival were analyzed using univariate and multivariate Cox models. PRDM2, HLTF, ID4, DLC1, BNIP3, H2AFX, CACNA1G, TGIF, and CACNA1A were discovered methylated in bladder cancer. The methylation of RUNX3 (p=0.026), TWIST1 (p=0.009), SFRP4 (p=0.002), and CCND2 (p=0.027) correlated to tumor stage. Univariate analyses indicated prognostic associations for recurrence (DLC1, SFRP5, H2AFX, CACNA1G), progression (DLC1, SFRP5, CACNA1G), disease-specific (PRDM2, DLC1, SFRP5, CACNA1G, and TIMP3), and overall survival (SFRP5 and TIMP3). In multivariate analyses, several TSGs remained as independent prognosticators for recurrence (SFRP5, H2AFX), progression (CACNA1G), and disease-specific survival (SFRP5). Thus, a novel set of TSGs was identified, frequently methylated in bladder cancer cells and tumors. TSG methylation allowed histopathologic and outcome stratification using paraffin-embedded tumors. This is clinically relevant by offering a strategy for the management of patients affected with uroepithelial neoplasias in pathology routine laboratories.

Wang S, Liu H, Wang Z, Chen HX
Effects of 5-azacytidine on RUNX3 gene expression and the biological behavior of esophageal carcinoma cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2014; 9(4):1259-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
The present study investigated the effects of 5-azacytidine (5-azaC) on the expression level of the human runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) gene and the biological behavior of esophageal carcinoma Eca109 cells. The effect of the demethylation reagent 5-azaC on the viability of Eca109 cells was detected by the MTT assay, which demonstrated that 5-azaC inhibited the viability of Eca109 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Although demethylation of other genes may occur following treatment with 5-azaC, we focused on the RUNX3 gene. When treated with 5-azaC at hypoxic levels, the expression of RUNX3 increased and the methylation degree of the RUNX3 gene was decreased significantly in Eca109 cells. 5-azaC at 50 µM demonstrated the highest RUNX3-induction activity, inducing RUNX3 mRNA and protein expression, and decreasing the degree of methylation of the RUNX3 gene. Methylation specific PCR indicated that 5-azaC induced RUNX3 expression through demethylation. The abilities of migration and invasion of Eca109 cells were inhibited by 5-azaC. The growth of Eca109 cells treated with 5-azaC in vivo was detected by a tumorigenesis experiment. 5-azaC inhibited the growth of Eca109 xenografts in nude mice. Taken together, our findings demonstrated that the RUNX3 gene is hypermethylated in Eca109 cells and that 5-azaC induces the expression of the RUNX3 gene by demethylation, which inhibits the proliferation, migration and invasion of Eca109 cells.

Chen F, Wang M, Bai J, et al.
Role of RUNX3 in suppressing metastasis and angiogenesis of human prostate cancer.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e86917 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
RUNX3 (runt-related transcription factor-3) has been reported to suppress tumor tumorigenesis and metastasis in different human cancers. In this study, we used tissue microarray (TMA) to determine the significance of RUNX3 in prostate cancer progession. Our results showed ectopic expression of RUNX3 in prostate cancer tissues when compared with tumor adjacent normal prostate tissues, and reduced RUNX3 staining was significantly correlated with TNM stage. Moreover, we demonstrated that RUNX3 overexpression inhibited prostate cancer cell migration and invasion resulting from the elevated upregulation of tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2), which subsequently inhibited metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) expression and activity in vitro. Knock down of RUNX3 expression broke up the balance of TIMP-2/MMP-2, whereas silence of TIMP-2 resulted in the inhibition of MMP-2 expression in prostate cells. We also showed that restoration of RUNX3 decreased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion and suppressed endothelial cell growth and tube formation. Strikingly, RUNX3 was demonstrated to inhibit tumor metastasis and angiogenesis in vivo. Altogether, our results support the tumor suppressive role of RUNX3 in human prostate cancer, and provide insights into development of targeted therapy for this disease.

Berg M, Hagland HR, Søreide K
Comparison of CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) frequency in colon cancer using different probe- and gene-specific scoring alternatives on recommended multi-gene panels.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e86657 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In colorectal cancer a distinct subgroup of tumours demonstrate the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP). However, a consensus of how to score CIMP is not reached, and variation in definition may influence the reported CIMP prevalence in tumours. Thus, we sought to compare currently suggested definitions and cut-offs for methylation markers and how they influence CIMP classification in colon cancer.
METHODS: Methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MS-MLPA), with subsequent fragment analysis, was used to investigate methylation of tumour samples. In total, 31 CpG sites, located in 8 different genes (RUNX3, MLH1, NEUROG1, CDKN2A, IGF2, CRABP1, SOCS1 and CACNA1G) were investigated in 64 distinct colon cancers and 2 colon cancer cell lines. The Ogino gene panel includes all 8 genes, in addition to the Weisenberger panel of which only 5 of the 8 genes included were investigated. In total, 18 alternative combinations of scoring of CIMP positivity on probe-, gene-, and panel-level were analysed and compared.
RESULTS: For 47 samples (71%), the CIMP status was constant and independent of criteria used for scoring; 34 samples were constantly scored as CIMP negative, and 13 (20%) consistently scored as CIMP positive. Only four of 31 probes (13%) investigated showed no difference in the numbers of positive samples using the different cut-offs. Within the panels a trend was observed that increasing the gene-level stringency resulted in a larger difference in CIMP positive samples than increasing the probe-level stringency. A significant difference between positive samples using 'the most stringent' as compared to 'the least stringent' criteria (20% vs 46%, respectively; p<0.005) was demonstrated.
CONCLUSIONS: A statistical significant variation in the frequency of CIMP depending on the cut-offs and genes included in a panel was found, with twice as many positives samples by least compared to most stringent definition used.

Ju X, Ishikawa TO, Naka K, et al.
Context-dependent activation of Wnt signaling by tumor suppressor RUNX3 in gastric cancer cells.
Cancer Sci. 2014; 105(4):418-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
RUNX3 is a tumor suppressor for a variety of cancers. RUNX3 suppresses the canonical Wnt signaling pathway by binding to the TCF4/β-catenin complex, resulting in the inhibition of binding of the complex to the Wnt target gene promoter. Here, we confirmed that RUNX3 suppressed Wnt signaling activity in several gastric cancer cell lines; however, we found that RUNX3 increased the Wnt signaling activity in KatoIII and SNU668 gastric cancer cells. Notably, RUNX3 expression increased the ratio of the Wnt signaling-high population in the KatoIII cells. although the maximum Wnt activation level of individual cells was similar to that in the control. As found previously, RUNX3 also binds to TCF4 and β-catenin in KatoIII cells, suggesting that these molecules form a ternary complex. Moreover, the ChIP analyses revealed that TCF4, β-catenin and RUNX3 bind the promoter region of the Wnt target genes, Axin2 and c-Myc, and the occupancy of TCF4 and β-catenin in these promoter regions is increased by the RUNX3 expression. These results suggest that RUNX3 stabilizes the TCF4/β-catenin complex on the Wnt target gene promoter in KatoIII cells, leading to activation of Wnt signaling. Although RUNX3 increased the Wnt signaling activity, its expression resulted in suppression of tumorigenesis of KatoIII cells, indicating that RUNX3 plays a tumor-suppressing role in KatoIII cells through a Wnt-independent mechanism. These results indicate that RUNX3 can either suppress or activate the Wnt signaling pathway through its binding to the TCF4/β-catenin complex by cell context-dependent mechanisms.

Moon JW, Lee SK, Lee JO, et al.
Demethylation of RUNX3 by vincristine in colorectal adenocarcinoma cells.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(1):133-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Methylation-mediated inactivation of tumor-suppressor genes is a critical event during the pathogenesis of many malignancies. Vincristine is a conventional anticancer drug used to treat various types of cancers. However, few studies describe the epigenetic-based effects of vincristine. In this study, changes in the methylation of runt-related transcription factor-3 (RUNX3) were investigated in CCD18Co normal colon cells and DLD-1 colorectal adenocarcinoma cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: CCD18Co and DLD-1 cells were treated with vincristine, and the methylation status was assessed using quantitative methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (QMSP). Eleven normal colon tissues and 105 colorectal cancer tissues were investigated by methylation and mRNA expression of RUNX3 using QMSP and real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (real time-PCR).
RESULTS: RUNX3 was demethylated after vincristine treatment in DLD-1 cells. The expression of RUNX3 mRNA was down-regulated in DLD-1 cells because of DNA hypermethylation, but was restored after vincristine treatment. In addition, hypermethylation of RUNX3 was detected in 70 out of 105 colorectal carcinomas (66.7%). RUNX3 hypermethylation was greater in colon cancer tissues than in rectal cancer tissues. The expression of RUNX3 mRNA was reduced in 68 out of 105 colorectal cancer tissues (64.8%).
CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate that vincristine demethylates RUNX3 in colorectal adenocarcinoma cells, and restores its expression.

Jiang S, Willox B, Zhou H, et al.
Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 3C binds to BATF/IRF4 or SPI1/IRF4 composite sites and recruits Sin3A to repress CDKN2A.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014; 111(1):421-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 3C (EBNA3C) repression of CDKN2A p14(ARF) and p16(INK4A) is essential for immortal human B-lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL) growth. EBNA3C ChIP-sequencing identified >13,000 EBNA3C sites in LCL DNA. Most EBNA3C sites were associated with active transcription; 64% were strong H3K4me1- and H3K27ac-marked enhancers and 16% were active promoters marked by H3K4me3 and H3K9ac. Using ENCODE LCL transcription factor ChIP-sequencing data, EBNA3C sites coincided (±250 bp) with RUNX3 (64%), BATF (55%), ATF2 (51%), IRF4 (41%), MEF2A (35%), PAX5 (34%), SPI1 (29%), BCL11a (28%), SP1 (26%), TCF12 (23%), NF-κB (23%), POU2F2 (23%), and RBPJ (16%). EBNA3C sites separated into five distinct clusters: (i) Sin3A, (ii) EBNA2/RBPJ, (iii) SPI1, and (iv) strong or (v) weak BATF/IRF4. EBNA3C signals were positively affected by RUNX3, BATF/IRF4 (AICE) and SPI1/IRF4 (EICE) cooccupancy. Gene set enrichment analyses correlated EBNA3C/Sin3A promoter sites with transcription down-regulation (P < 1.6 × 10(-4)). EBNA3C signals were strongest at BATF/IRF4 and SPI1/IRF4 composite sites. EBNA3C bound strongly to the p14(ARF) promoter through SPI1/IRF4/BATF/RUNX3, establishing RBPJ-, Sin3A-, and REST-mediated repression. EBNA3C immune precipitated with Sin3A and conditional EBNA3C inactivation significantly decreased Sin3A binding at the p14(ARF) promoter (P < 0.05). These data support a model in which EBNA3C binds strongly to BATF/IRF4/SPI1/RUNX3 sites to enhance transcription and recruits RBPJ/Sin3A- and REST/NRSF-repressive complexes to repress p14(ARF) and p16(INK4A) expression.

Stewart DJ
Wnt signaling pathway in non-small cell lung cancer.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(1):djt356 [PubMed] Related Publications
Wnt/β-catenin alterations are prominent in human malignancies. In non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), β-catenin and APC mutations are uncommon, but Wnt signaling is important in NSCLC cell lines, and Wnt inhibition reduces proliferation. Overexpression of Wnt-1, -2, -3, and -5a and of Wnt-pathway components Frizzled-8, Dishevelled, Porcupine, and TCF-4 is common in resected NSCLC and is associated with poor prognosis. Conversely, noncanonical Wnt-7a suppresses NSCLC development and is often downregulated. Although β-catenin is often expressed in NSCLCs, it was paradoxically associated with improved prognosis in some series, possibly because of E-cadherin interactions. Downregulation of Wnt inhibitors (eg, by hypermethylation) is common in NSCLC tumor cell lines and resected samples; may be associated with high stage, dedifferentiation, and poor prognosis; and has been reported for AXIN, sFRPs 1-5, WIF-1, Dkk-1, Dkk-3, HDPR1, RUNX3, APC, CDX2, DACT2, TMEM88, Chibby, NKD1, EMX2, ING4, and miR-487b. AXIN is also destabilized by tankyrases, and GSK3β may be inactivated through phosphorylation by EGFR. Preclinically, restoration of Wnt inhibitor function is associated with reduced Wnt signaling, decreased cell proliferation, and increased apoptosis. Wnt signaling may also augment resistance to cisplatin, docetaxel, and radiotherapy, and Wnt inhibitors may restore sensitivity. Overall, available data indicate that Wnt signaling substantially impacts NSCLC tumorigenesis, prognosis, and resistance to therapy, with loss of Wnt signaling inhibitors by promoter hypermethylation or other mechanisms appearing to be particularly important. Wnt pathway antagonists warrant exploration clinically in NSCLC. Agents blocking selected specific β-catenin interactions and approaches to increase expression of downregulated Wnt inhibitors may be of particular interest.

Lee YS, Lee JW, Jang JW, et al.
Runx3 inactivation is a crucial early event in the development of lung adenocarcinoma.
Cancer Cell. 2013; 24(5):603-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
Targeted inactivation of Runx3 in mouse lung induced mucinous and nonmucinous adenomas and markedly shortened latency of adenocarcinoma formation induced by oncogenic K-Ras. RUNX3 was frequently inactivated in K-RAS mutated human lung adenocarcinomas. A functional genetic screen of a fly mutant library and molecular analysis in cultured cell lines revealed that Runx3 forms a complex with BRD2 in a K-Ras-dependent manner in the early phase of the cell cycle; this complex induces expression of p14(ARF)/p19(Arf) and p21(WAF/CIP). When K-Ras was constitutively activated, the Runx3-BRD2 complex was stably maintained and expression of both p14(ARF) and p21(WAF/CIP) was prolonged. These results provide a missing link between oncogenic K-Ras and the p14(ARF)-p53 pathway, and may explain how cells defend against oncogenic K-Ras.

Wang S, Liu H, Akhtar J, et al.
Alteration of runt-related transcription factor 3 gene expression and biologic behavior of esophageal carcinoma TE-1 cells after 5-azacytidine intervention.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013; 14(9):5427-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
5-Azacytidine (5-azaC) was originally identified as an anticancer drug (NSC102876) which can cause hypomethylation of tumor suppressor genes. To assess its effects on runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3), expression levels and the promoter methylation status of the RUNX3 gene were assessed. We also investigated alteration of biologic behavior of esophageal carcinoma TE-1 cells. MTT assays showed 5-azaC inhibited the proliferation of TE-1 cells in a time and dose-dependent way. Although other genes could be demethylated after 5-azaC intervention, we focused on RUNX3 gene in this study. The expression level of RUNX3 mRNA increased significantly in TE-1 cells after treatment with 5-azaC at hypotoxic levels. RT-PCR showed 5-azaC at 50 μM had the highest RUNX3-induction activity. Methylation-specific PCR indicated that 5-azaC induced RUNX3 expression through demethylation. Migration and invasion of TE-1 cells were inhibited by 5-azaC, along with growth of Eca109 xenografts in nude mice. In conclusion, we demonstrate that the RUNX3 gene can be reactivated by the demethylation reagent 5-azaC, which inhibits the proliferation, migration and invasion of esophageal carcinoma TE-1 cells.

Kang KA, Piao MJ, Kim KC, et al.
Compound K, a metabolite of ginseng saponin, inhibits colorectal cancer cell growth and induces apoptosis through inhibition of histone deacetylase activity.
Int J Oncol. 2013; 43(6):1907-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the anti-proliferative effects of Compound K, with specific reference to histone modification. Exposure of HT-29 human colon cancer cells to Compound K resulted in time-dependent inhibition of histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity, mRNA and protein expression. Compound K treatment induced unmethylation of the RUNX3 promoter region such as TSA treatment and an accumulation of acetylated histones H3 and H4 within the total cellular chromatin, resulting in an enhanced ability of these histones to bind to the promoter sequences of the tumor suppressor gene Runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3). Treatment of cells with Compound K increased the mRNA and protein expression of RUNX3, as well as p21, a downstream target of RUNX3. These alterations were consistent with cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phases and induction of apoptosis. Our results provide new insights into the mechanisms of Compound K action in human colorectal cancer cells and suggest that HDAC inhibition presents a novel approach to prevent or treat colorectal cancer.

Chen Z, Ma T, Huang C, et al.
MicroRNA-148a: a potential therapeutic target for cancer.
Gene. 2014; 533(1):456-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNA-148a (miR-148a) which suppresses tumor growth by directly decreasing DNMT1 expression has been demonstrated as an important role for cancer therapy. The mechanisms for miR-148a in cancer will become potential future researches.

Jamshidi N, Diehn M, Bredel M, Kuo MD
Illuminating radiogenomic characteristics of glioblastoma multiforme through integration of MR imaging, messenger RNA expression, and DNA copy number variation.
Radiology. 2014; 270(1):1-2 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To perform a multilevel radiogenomics study to elucidate the glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging radiogenomic signatures resulting from changes in messenger RNA (mRNA) expression and DNA copy number variation (CNV).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Radiogenomic analysis was performed at MR imaging in 23 patients with GBM in this retrospective institutional review board-approved HIPAA-compliant study. Six MR imaging features-contrast enhancement, necrosis, contrast-to-necrosis ratio, infiltrative versus edematous T2 abnormality, mass effect, and subventricular zone (SVZ) involvement-were independently evaluated and correlated with matched genomic profiles (global mRNA expression and DNA copy number profiles) in a significant manner that also accounted for multiple hypothesis testing by using gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA), resampling statistics, and analysis of variance to gain further insight into the radiogenomic signatures in patients with GBM.
RESULTS: GSEA was used to identify various oncogenic pathways with MR imaging features. Correlations between 34 gene loci were identified that showed concordant variations in gene dose and mRNA expression, resulting in an MR imaging, mRNA, and CNV radiogenomic association map for GBM. A few of the identified gene-to-trait associations include association of the contrast-to-necrosis ratio with KLK3 and RUNX3; association of SVZ involvement with Ras oncogene family members, such as RAP2A, and the metabolic enzyme TYMS; and association of vasogenic edema with the oncogene FOXP1 and PIK3IP1, which is a member of the PI3K signaling network.
CONCLUSION: Construction of an MR imaging, mRNA, and CNV radiogenomic association map has led to identification of MR traits that are associated with some known high-grade glioma biomarkers and association with genomic biomarkers that have been identified for other malignancies but not GBM. Thus, the traits and genes identified on this map highlight new candidate radiogenomic biomarkers for further evaluation in future studies.

Kang KA, Kim KC, Bae SC, Hyun JW
Oxidative stress induces proliferation of colorectal cancer cells by inhibiting RUNX3 and activating the Akt signaling pathway.
Int J Oncol. 2013; 43(5):1511-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
We recently reported that the tumor suppressor Runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) is silenced in colorectal cancer cells via oxidative stress-induced hypermethylation of its promoter. The resulting downregulation of RUNX3 expression influences cell proliferation. Activation of the Akt signaling pathway is also associated with cell survival and proliferation; however, the effects of oxidative stress on the relationship between RUNX3 and Akt signaling are largely unknown. Therefore, this study investigated the mechanisms involved in cell proliferation caused by oxidative stress-induced silencing of RUNX3. The levels of RUNX3 mRNA and protein were downregulated in response to treatment of the human colorectal cancer cell line SNU-407 with H2O2. Treatment of the cells with H2O2 also upregulated Akt mRNA and protein expression, and inhibited the binding of RUNX3 to the Akt promoter. The inverse correlation between the expression levels of RUNX3 and Akt in H2O2-treated cells was also associated with nuclear translocation of β-catenin and upregulation of cyclin D1 expression, which induced cell proliferation. H2O2 treatment also increased the binding of β-catenin to the cyclin D1 promoter. The results presented here demonstrate that reactive oxygen species silence the tumor suppressor RUNX3, enhance the Akt-mediated signaling pathway, and promote the proliferation of colorectal cancer cells.

Boone SD, Baumgartner KB, Baumgartner RN, et al.
Associations between genetic variants in the TGF-β signaling pathway and breast cancer risk among Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013; 141(2):287-97 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
The TGF-β signaling pathway has a significant role in breast cancer initiation and promotion by regulating various cellular processes. We evaluated whether genetic variation in eight genes (TGF-β1, TGF-β2, TGF-βR1, TGF-βR2, TGF-βR3, RUNX1, RUNX2, and RUNX3) is associated with breast cancer risk in women from the Breast Cancer Health Disparities Study. A total of 3,524 cases (1,431 non-Hispanic whites (NHW); 2,093 Hispanics/Native Americans(NA)) and 4,209 population-based controls (1,599 NHWs; 2,610 Hispanics/NAs) were included in analyses. Genotypes for 47 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were determined. Additionally, 104 ancestral informative markers estimated proportion of NA ancestry. Associations with breast cancer risk overall, by menopausal status, NA ancestry, and estrogen receptor (ER)/progesterone receptor tumor phenotype were evaluated. After adjustment for multiple comparisons, two SNPs were significantly associated with breast cancer risk: RUNX3 (rs906296 ORCG/GG = 1.15 95 % CI 1.04-1.26) and TGF-β1 (rs4803455 ORCA/AA = 0.89 95 % CI 0.81-0.98). RUNX3 (rs906296) and TGF-βR2 (rs3773644) were associated with risk in pre-menopausal women (p adj = 0.002 and 0.02, respectively) and in those with intermediate to high NA ancestry (p adj = 0.04 and 0.01, respectively). Self-reported race was strongly correlated with NA ancestry (r = 0.86). There was a significant interaction between NA ancestry and RUNX1 (rs7279383, p adj = 0.04). Four RUNX SNPs were associated with increased risk of ER- tumors. Results provide evidence that genetic variation in TGF-β and RUNX genes are associated with breast cancer risk. This is the first report of significant associations between genetic variants in TGF-β and RUNX genes and breast cancer risk among women of NA ancestry.

Bai J, Yong HM, Chen FF, et al.
RUNX3 is a prognostic marker and potential therapeutic target in human breast cancer.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2013; 139(11):1813-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To evaluate the role of RUNX3 in breast cancer pathogenesis, we examined the RUNX3 expression in breast cancer tissues and analyzed the correlation between RUNX3 expression and clinicopathologic variables and patients survival.
METHODS: We evaluated the RUNX3 expression by immunohistochemistry using a tissue microarray containing 256 specimens of breast cancer patients. We also studied the role of RUNX3 in cell migration and invasion by performing cell migration and invasion assay. Differential expression of metastasis-related genes after RUNX3 restoration was analyzed using the Human Tumor Metastasis PCR Array.
RESULTS: The RUNX3 expression was significantly correlated with breast cancer histology grade (P = 0.000), and low RUNX3 expression strongly correlated with worse 5-year overall and disease-specific survival rates (P = 0.000 and P = 0.001, respectively). Furthermore, we found that RUNX3 restoration suppressed breast cancer metastasis by controlling cell migration and invasion capacity. Finally, gene expression profiles of RUNX3-549 and Ctrl-549 cells showed matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) was the most significant gene among the 84 metastasis-related genes influenced by RUNX3 reintroduction.
CONCLUSIONS: Reduced RUNX3 expression is significantly correlated with breast cancer progression and predicts worse survival. RUNX3 regulates breast cancer cell migration and invasion through the MMP-2 pathway.

Zhou L, Zhao X, Han Y, et al.
Regulation of UHRF1 by miR-146a/b modulates gastric cancer invasion and metastasis.
FASEB J. 2013; 27(12):4929-39 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epigenetic changes play significant roles in the development of cancer. UHRF1, as an epigenetic regulator, has been shown to be overexpressed and to coordinate tumor suppressor gene silencing in several cancers. However, the role and underlying mechanism of UHRF1 in gastric cancer (GC) progression remain largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the expression and function of UHRF1 in GC metastasis and explored its upstream regulatory mechanisms at the microRNA level. UHRF1 was overexpressed in GC tissues, especially in metastatic ones, and a high level of UHRF1 expression predicted poor survival. The down-regulation of UHRF1 suppressed GC invasion and metastasis in vitro and in vivo. We identified and verified miR-146a and miR-146b as direct upstream regulators of UHRF1. Furthermore, the restoration of miR-146a/b dramatically reduced the expression of UHRF1 through the direct targeting of its 3'-UTR, and this effect in turn reactivated the slit homologue 3 (Slit3), cadherin 4 (CDH4), and runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) genes via promoter demethylation. Finally, analyses of miR-146a/b and UHRF1 levels in human GC tissues revealed that miR-146a/b correlated inversely with UHRF1 expression. These findings describe a new mechanism for the regulation of UHRF1 and aberrant DNA hypermethylation in GC. The newly identified miR-146a/b/UHRF1 axis provides insight into the GC metastasis process, and targeting this novel axis represents a therapeutic approach to blocking GC metastasis.

Nadarajan N, Balasubramanian LK, Kuppannan S, et al.
Runt-related transcription factor 3: single nucleotide polymorphism rs760805, gene expression, and methylation status in Helicobacter pylori -infected patients for determination of gastric cancer risk.
J Gastrointest Cancer. 2013; 44(4):444-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Repression of Runt-related transcription factor 3 (Runx3) gene, a tumor suppressor, has been known to be involved in Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)-associated gastric carcinogenesis and cancer development. The present study was undertaken to study the Runx3 intronic T/A polymorphism (rs760805) in H. pylori-infected patients and uninfected controls of Tamil Nadu region, South India. Also, Runx3 gene expression, HK alpha (H,K-ATPase) gene expression and the methylation status of the Runx3 CpG island was determined.
METHODS: In a prospective study, tissue biopsies were collected from 40 H. pylori-infected patients and 40 infection negative controls. Single nucleotide polymorphism analysis was carried out by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-single-strand conformational polymorphism, and DNA sequencing. Gene expression analysis of Runx3 and HK alpha was carried out using semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR. Methylation analysis of Runx3 CpG island was undertaken using methylationspecific restriction digestion-PCR.
RESULTS: The homozygous TT genotype was found to be the predominant genotype in positive samples and negative controls. No significant variation in gene expression was observed in positive samples and controls with respect to Runx3 and Hk alpha genes. Methylation analysis suggested that there was a lack of methylation except in a few subjects studied.
CONCLUSION: The present study, first from this region, could neither detect significant repression of the Runx3 and HK alpha genes nor methylation in positive patients studied suggesting a lack of involvement of this tumor suppressor as a risk factor in the H. pylori-associated gastric carcinogenesis in the South Indian population studied.

Avci CB, Dodurga Y, Susluer SY, et al.
Promoter hypermethylation-mediated down-regulation of RUNX3 gene in human brain tumors.
Ir J Med Sci. 2014; 183(2):259-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The Runx family proteins, including RUNX3, are tissue-restricted transcription factors and play role in neuronal development and tumorigenesis. RUNX3 has an important role in glioblastoma (GBM) tumorigenesis because of its promoter hypermethylation.
AIM: We aimed to evaluate the methylation-mediated expression regulation of RUNX3 gene in brain tumors.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Cases of meningiomas WHO grade III (3), anaplastic astrocytomas (3), diffuse astrocytoma (3), and GBM (12) were recruited into this study. Real-time quantitative PCR was performed for analyses of DNA promoter methylation and analyses of methylation-mediated expression status of RUNX3 gene was performed by real-time quantitative RT-PCR.
RESULTS: There was no significant difference between methylated and unmethylated quantitative ratio of RUNX3 gene promoter region and also no significant difference in relative ratio of RUNX3 gene expression in brain tumor groups. Methylated and unmethylated ratio in anaplastic astrocytoma, diffuse astrocytoma, GBM, meningioma (WHO grade III) and in all groups were; 1.44, 1.09, 1.51, 1.52 and 1.43, respectively. One allele was found methylated necessarily. No methylation was detected in one case of GBM group and one case of anaplastic astrocytoma group. There was no unmethylated promoter in one of the GBM cases. There were significant differences between relative ratio of RUNX3 gene expression and methylated/unmethylated ratio rates for all cases (p = 0.001) and GBM groups (p = 0.041).
CONCLUSION: This study overemphasized the RUNX3 gene importance in brain tumors, due to the existence of at least one methylated allele.

Zhang Y, Lu Q, Cai X
MicroRNA-106a induces multidrug resistance in gastric cancer by targeting RUNX3.
FEBS Lett. 2013; 587(18):3069-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multidrug resistance (MDR) is the main barrier to the success of chemotherapy for gastric cancer (GC). miR-106a, which is highly expressed in GC, influences a variety of aspects of GC. However, the function of miR-106a in MDR of GC still remains unclear. In the present study, we found that miR-106a is elevated in MDR cell lines. miR-106a promotes chemo-resistance of GC cells, accelerates ADR efflux, and suppresses drug-induced apoptosis. Finally, we show that runt-related trans factor 3 (RUNX3) is the functional target of miR-106a. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that miR-106a may promote MDR in GC cells by targeting RUNX3.

Xu Y, Wang K, Gao W, et al.
MicroRNA-106b regulates the tumor suppressor RUNX3 in laryngeal carcinoma cells.
FEBS Lett. 2013; 587(19):3166-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our study focuses on a set of laryngeal tumors that show reduced RUNX3 expression in the absence of transcriptional silencing of tumor suppressor gene RUNX3 by aberrant methylation of CpG islands. We report that the loss of expression of RUNX3 correlates with up-regulation of miR-106b in human laryngeal carcinoma tissue. The downregulation of RUNX3 is mediated by miR-106b through binding of its 3'UTR. Moreover, miR-106b can promote the proliferation and invasion of laryngeal carcinoma cells by directly targeting RUNX3, and RUXN3 knockdown can abolish this phenotype. These results shed a new insight into the mechanism of miRNA regulation in laryngeal carcinoma.

Zheng Y, Wang R, Song HZ, et al.
Epigenetic downregulation of RUNX3 by DNA methylation induces docetaxel chemoresistance in human lung adenocarcinoma cells by activation of the AKT pathway.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2013; 45(11):2369-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
The RUNX3 gene has been shown to function as a tumor suppressor gene implicated in various cancers, but its association with tumor chemoresistance has not been fully understood. Here, we investigated the effect of epigenetic downregulation of RUNX3 in docetaxel resistance of human lung adenocarcinoma and its possible molecular mechanisms. RUNX3 was found to be downregulated by hypermethylation in docetaxel-resistant lung adenocarcinoma cells. Its overexpression could resensitize cells to docetaxel both in vitro and in vivo by growth inhibition, enhancement of apoptosis and G1 phase arrest. Conversely, knockdown of RUNX3 could lead to the decreased sensitivity of parental human lung adenocarcinoma cells to docetaxel by enhancing proliferative capacity. Furthermore, we showed that overexpression of RUNX3 could inactivate the AKT/GSK3β/β-catenin signaling pathway in the docetaxel-resistant cells. Importantly, co-transfection of RUNX3 and constitutively active Akt1 could reverse the effects of RUNX3 overexpression, while treatment with the MK-2206 (AKT inhibitor) mimicked the effects of RUNX3 overexpression in docetaxel-resistant human lung adenocarcinoma cells. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that decreased RUNX3 expression was correlated with high expression of Akt1 and decreased sensitivity of patients to docetaxel-based chemotherapy. Taken together, our results suggest that epigenetic downregulation of RUNX3 can induce docetaxel resistance in human lung adenocarcinoma cells by activating AKT signaling and increasing expression of RUNX3 may represent a promising strategy for reversing docetaxel resistance in the future.

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