Upregulation of cleavage and polyadenylation specific factor 4 in lung adenocarcinoma and its critical role for cancer cell survival and proliferation

PLoS One. 2013 Dec 16;8(12):e82728. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082728. eCollection 2013.


Cleavage and polyadenylation specific factor 4 (CPSF4), a member of CPSF complex, plays a key role in mRNA polyadenylation and mRNA 3' ends maturation. However, its possible role in lung cancer pathogenesis is unknown. In this study, we investigated the biological role and clinical significance of CPSF4 in lung cancer growth and survival and elucidated its underlying molecular mechanisms. We found that CPSF4 was highly expressed in lung adenocarcinoma cell lines and tumor tissue but was undetectable in 8 normal human tissues. We also found that CPSF4 overexpression was correlated with poor overall survival in patients with lung adenocarcinomas (P<0.001). Multivariate survival analyses revealed that higher CPSF4 expression was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival of the patients with lung adenocarcinomas. Suppression of CPSF4 by siRNA inhibited lung cancer cells proliferation, colony formation, and induced apoptosis. Mechanism studies revealed that these effects were achieved through simultaneous modulation of multiple signaling pathways. Knockdown of CPSF4 expression by siRNA markedly inhibited the phosphorylation of PI3K, AKT and ERK1/2 and JNK proteins. In contrast, the ectopic expression of CPSF4 had the opposite effects. Moreover, CPSF4 knockdown also induced the cleavage of caspase-3 and caspse-9 proteins. Collectively, these results demonstrate that CPSF4 plays a critical role in regulating lung cancer cell proliferation and survival and may be a potential prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target for lung adenocarcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics*
  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cell Survival / genetics
  • Cleavage And Polyadenylation Specificity Factor / genetics*
  • Cleavage And Polyadenylation Specificity Factor / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Up-Regulation
  • mRNA Cleavage and Polyadenylation Factors / genetics*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cleavage And Polyadenylation Specificity Factor
  • mRNA Cleavage and Polyadenylation Factors

Grant support

This research was supported by funds from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81272195, 81071687, 81071687, 81372133), the State “863 Program” of China (SS2012AA020403), the State “973 Program” of China (2014CB542005), the Doctoral Programs Foundation of Ministry of Education of China (20110171110077), and the State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.