TCOF1 upregulation in triple-negative breast cancer promotes stemness and tumour growth and correlates with poor prognosis

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-71
Journal / PublicationBritish Journal of Cancer
Volume126
Issue number1
Online published30 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive subtype of breast cancer with poor prognosis. By performing multiomic profiling, we recently uncovered super-enhancer heterogeneity between breast cancer subtypes. Our data also revealed TCOF1 as a putative TNBC-specific super-enhancer-regulated gene. TCOF1 plays a critical role in craniofacial development but its function in cancer remains unclear. 
METHODS: Overall survival and multivariant Cox regression analyses were conducted using the METABRIC data set. The effect of TCOF1 knockout on TNBC growth and stemness was evaluated by in vitro and in vivo assays. RNA-seq and rescue experiments were performed to explore the underlying mechanisms. 
RESULTS: TCOF1 is frequently upregulated in TNBC and its elevated expression correlates with shorter overall survival. TCOF1 depletion significantly inhibits the growth and stemness of basal-like TNBC, but not of mesenchymal-like cells, highlighting the distinct molecular dependency in different TNBC subgroups. RNA-seq uncovers several stem cell molecules regulated by TCOF1. We further demonstrate that KIT is a downstream effector of TCOF1 in mediating TNBC stemness. TCOF1 expression in TNBC is regulated by the predicted super-enhancer. 
CONCLUSIONS: TCOF1 depletion potently attenuates the growth and stemness of basal-like TNBC. Expression of TCOF1 may serve as a TNBC prognostic marker and a therapeutic target.

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TCOF1 upregulation in triple-negative breast cancer promotes stemness and tumour growth and correlates with poor prognosis. / Hu, Jianyang; Lai, Yuni; Huang, Hao et al.
In: British Journal of Cancer, Vol. 126, No. 1, 01.01.2022, p. 57-71.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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