TBX19 is overexpressed in colorectal cancer and associated with lymph node metastasis

Fukushima J Med Sci. 2017 Dec 19;63(3):141-151. doi: 10.5387/fms.2017-08. Epub 2017 Dec 1.


The T-box 19 (TBX19) gene encodes a transcription factor characterized by a highly conserved DNA-binding motif (T-box). Recent studies have revealed that TBX19 has been identified as one of the genes activated by KRAS mutations, and is upregulated in colon adenoma. These results indicate that TBX19 may work as an oncogene in colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the expression and role of TBX19 have yet to be investigated. Here, we investigated TBX19 mRNA and protein expressions in colon cancer cells or surgically resected CRC. We found that TBX19 mRNA expression was significantly increased in tumorous tissues compared to that in non-tumorous tissues, and increased TBX19 mRNA expression was associated with positive lymph node metastasis in our cohort. The expression of TBX19 mRNA was not correlated with that of TBX19 protein in tissue sample taken from the CRC patients. Moreover, TBX19 showed positive staining even in the normal colonic tissues and the adjacent non-tumorous tissues. These results suggest that the expression of TBX19 protein is not correlated with the expression of TBX19 mRNA. In addition, our results promote further investigations into the impact of TBX19 upregulation on colorectal carcinogenesis, as well as the underlying mechanisms.

Keywords: TBX19; colorectal cancer; cytoplasmic granular signal; diagnostic biomarker; lymph node metastasis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Homeodomain Proteins / analysis
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras) / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • T-Box Domain Proteins / analysis
  • T-Box Domain Proteins / genetics
  • T-Box Domain Proteins / physiology*


  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • KRAS protein, human
  • RNA, Messenger
  • T-Box Domain Proteins
  • TBX19 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)