CHD4-mediated loss of E-cadherin determines metastatic ability in triple-negative breast cancer cells

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Abstract

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a subtype of cancer with aggressive behaviors (high recurrence and metastasis rate) and poor prognosis. Therefore, studying the determining factors that lead to malignant TNBCs is necessary to develop personalized therapy and improve survival rates. In this study, we first analyzed levels of chromodomain helicase DNA binding protein 4 (CHD4) in 60 TNBC patients by immunohistochemical staining. We then clarified the role of CHD4 in TNBC and non-TNBC cell lines. Our clinical data indicated that higher CHD4 expression is positively correlated with metastatic stage, tumor recurrence, and survival status. Consistent with the clinical analytical data, our in vitro data also indicated that high level of CHD4 is positively correlated with malignant behaviors in TNBC cells, such as cell motility and mortality. For further analyses, we found that E-cadherin, N-cadherin and fibronetin are involved in CHD4-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Silencing of CHD4 also increased drug sensitivity to cisplatin and PARP1 inhibitor, especially in TNBC cells. Altogether, our findings showed that CHD4 is not only a potential prognostic biomarker for TNBC patient survival, but is also a powerful candidate in the development of new anti-cancer agents in TNBC.

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