Journal of experimental & clinical cancer research : CR 2018 03 2237(1) 65 doi 10.1186/s13046-018-0736-0
PHD-finger domain protein 5A (PHF5A) is a highly conserved small transcriptional regulator also involved in pre-mRNA splicing; however, its biological functions and molecular mechanisms in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have not yet been investigated. The purpose of this study was to determine the functional relevance and therapeutic potential of PHF5A in lung adenocarcinoma (LAC).
The expression of PHF5A in LAC tissues and adjacent non-tumor (ANT) tissues was investigated using immunohistochemistry of a tissue microarray, qRT-PCR, western blot and bioinformatics. The function of PHF5A was determined using several in vitro assays and also in vivo assay by lentiviral vector-mediated PHF5A depletion in LAC cell lines.
PHF5A was highly upregulated in LAC tissues compared with the ANT counterparts, and closely associated with tumor progression and poor patient prognosis. These results were further confirmed by findings of the TCGA database. Moreover, functional studies demonstrated that PHF5A knockdown not only resulted in reduced cell proliferation, increased cell apoptosis, and cell cycle arrest, but also suppressed migration and invasion in LAC cells. PHF5A silencing was also found to inhibit LAC tumor growth in nude mice. Microarray and bioinformatics analyses revealed that PHF5A depletion led to dysregulation of multiple tumor signaling pathways; selected factors in key signaling pathways were verified in vitro.
The data suggest for the first time that PHF5A is an oncoprotein that contributes to LAC progression by regulating multiple signaling pathways, and may constitute a prognostic factor and potential new therapeutic target in NSCLC.