Hypoxia-Induced TPM2 Methylation is Associated with Chemoresistance and Poor Prognosis in Breast Cancer
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BACKGROUND/AIMS: Tropomyosin-2 (TPM2) plays important roles in functions of the cytoskeleton, such as cytokinesis, vesicle transport, cell proliferation, migration and apoptosis,and these functions imply that TPM2 also plays a role in cancer development. Indeed, it has been shown that TPM2 plays a critical role in some cancers. However, the role of TPM2 in breast cancer is still poorly characterized. Thus, we explored the role of TPM2 in breast cancer. METHODS: We analysed TPM2 expression and its correlation with the clinicopathological features in breast cancer. Then, we examined the influence of hypoxia on TPM2 expression and methylation status using bisulfite sequencing PCR. Furthermore, we performed TPM2-mediated migration and invasion assays in the context of hypoxia and examined changes in matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP2) expression. Finally, we detected the influence of TPM2 on survival and chemotherapy drug sensitivity. RESULTS: We found that TPM2 expression is down-regulated in breast cancer cells compared to that in normal breast cells. The data from TCGA supported these results. Promoter methylation of TPM2, which could be induced by hypoxia, was responsible for its low expression. Hypoxia might regulate cell invasiveness partly by TPM2 down-regulation-mediated changes of MMP2 expression. Importantly, low TPM2 expression was correlated with lymph node metastasis (P=0.031), tumour node metastasis stage (P=0.01), histological grade (P=0.037), and shorter overall survival (P=0.028). Univariate and multivariate analyses indicated that TPM2 was an independent predictor in breast cancer patients. Paclitaxel chemotherapy did not benefit patients with low TPM2 expression (P<0.0001). TPM2 knockdown significantly reduced cell sensitivity to paclitaxel. CONCLUSION: TPM2 is a potential novel tumour suppressor gene in breast cancer. TPM2 is associated with poor survival and chemoresistance to paclitaxel in breast cancer, and TPM2 may represent a promising therapeutic gene target for breast cancer patients with chemoresistance.
author list (cited authors)
Zhang, J., Zhang, J., Xu, S., Zhang, X., Wang, P., Wu, H., ... Pang, D. a.