Journal Article

STK31 Maintains the Undifferentiated State of Colon Cancer Cells

Kin Lam Fok, Chin Man Chung, Shao Qiong Yi, Xiaohua Jiang, Xiao Sun, Hao Chen, Yang Chao Chen, Hsiang-Fu Kung, Qian Tao, Ruiying Diao, Henry Chan, Xiao Hu Zhang, Yiu Wa Chung, Zhiming Cai and Hsiao Chang Chan

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 33, issue 11, pages 2044-2053
Published in print November 2012 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online July 2012 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgs246
STK31 Maintains the Undifferentiated State of Colon Cancer Cells

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The expression of serine/threonine kinase (STK) family is frequently altered in human cancers. However, the functions of these kinases in cancer development remain elusive. Here, we report that STK31 is robustly and heterogeneously expressed in colon cancer tissues and plays a critical role in determining the differentiation state of colon cancer cells. Knockdown or overexpression of STK31 induced or inhibited differentiation of colon cancer cells, respectively. Deletion of the STK domain abolished the inhibiting effect of STK31. Associated with differentiation, knockdown of STK31 resulted in significant suppression of tumorigenicity both in vitro and in vivo. Genome microarray analysis showed that knockdown of STK31 altered the expression profile of genes that are known to be involved in germ cell and cancer differentiation. Taken together, these results suggest that STK31 is able to control the differentiation state of colon cancer cells, which critically depends on its STK domain. The present findings may shed light on the new therapeutic approach against cancer by targeting STK31 and cancer differentiation.

Journal Article.  5931 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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