In the current study, we aimed to comprehensively characterize the genes in the 9p24 amplicon in human breast cancer.
We performed extensive genomic analyses on a panel of cancer cell lines and narrowed the shortest region of overlap to approximately 2 Mb. Based on statistical analysis of copy number increase and overexpression, the 9p24 amplicon contains six candidate oncogenes.
Among these, four genes (GASC1 UHRF2, KIAA1432 and C9orf123) are overexpressed only in the context of gene amplification while two genes (ERMP1 and IL33) are overexpressed independent of the copy number increase.
We then focused our studies on the UHRF2 gene, which has a potential involvement in both DNA methylation and histone modification.
Knocking down UHRF2 expression inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells specifically with 9p24 amplification. Conversely, ectopic overexpression of UHRF2 in non-tumorigenic MCF10A cells promoted cell proliferation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that UHRF2 has the ability to suppress the expression of key cell-cycle inhibitors, such as p16(INK4a), p21(Waf1/Cip1) and p27(Kip1). Taken together, our studies support the notion that the 9p24 amplicon contains multiple oncogenes that may integrate genetic and epigenetic codes and have important roles in human tumorigenesis.
Breast Cancer Program, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.
Oncogene. 2012 Jan;31(3):333-41
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