Inhibition of HOXB7 gene expression in melanoma cells by small interfering RNA

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HOXB7 gene is a kind of transcription regulator over-expressed in malignant melanoma (MM) cell lines. It can specifically up-regulate the expression of angiogenic factors and tumor growth factors such as bFGF, GROa, VEGF and induce angiogenesis in melanoma, resulting in the proliferation and metastasis of tumor cells. We designed and synthesized HOXB7 specific siRNA to study its interfering effect on the expressions of HOXB7 and bFGF genes in melanoma A375 cell line and the biologic characteristics of A375 cells.


Three synthesized siRNA with different sequences were separately transfected into A375 cells by lipofecter 2000. The expression of HOXB7 and bFGF mRNA in transfected cells was detected by RT-PCR 24 and 48 hours after transduction. The expression of bFGF protein in the transfected cells were detected by flowcytometry 48 hours after transfection. MTT assay was used to analyze the cell proliferation rate of siRNA transfected cells. Based on the in vitro experiment results, one effective siRNA sequence was selected for the construction of in vivo siRNA expression vector. Then, a malignant melanoma animal model was established. The siRNA expression plasmid was injected into the tumor foci and its influence on the growth and angiogenesis of tumor was observed.


The mRNA expressions of both HOXB7 and bFGF genes in the A375 cells reduced significantly 24 and 48 hour after transfection of siRNA. Expression level of the protein of angiogenic factor bFGF induced by HOXB7 gene in siRNA transfected cells was significantly lower than that in control cells 48 hours after transduction. Cell proliferation was also suppressed in siRNA transfected cells. Two of the three siRNA strands showed prominent interference effect. The in vivo study indicated that the tumor size and the microvessel density in the tumor both reduced after injection of HOXB7siRNA plasmid.


Down-regulation of HOXB7 gene expression can effectively reduce the expression of angiogenic factor bFGF and the proliferation of MM cells. Besides, the growth and angiogenesis of MM tumor were also inhibited.

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