CUX2 functions as an oncogene in papillary thyroid cancer

Onco Targets Ther. 2018 Dec 24;12:217-224. doi: 10.2147/OTT.S185710. eCollection 2019.


Background: In recent years, the incidence of thyroid cancer (TC), the most common endocrine malignancy, has been increasing. Emerging evidence indicates that the CUT/CUX/CDP family of proteins can play an important role in tumor development and progression by regulating many cancer-related functions. However, the molecular functions of CUX2 in TC remain unknown.

Methods: In this study, we used a series of loss-of-function experiments and Western blot analysis to investigate the function of CUX2 in TC and the mechanisms involved.

Results: Our data revealed that CUX2 expression levels were upregulated in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). Functionally, CUX2 silencing significantly inhibited PTC cell line (KTC-1 and BCPAP) proliferation, colony formation, migration, invasion, and apoptosis. Furthermore, CUX2 induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and influenced the phosphorylation of AKT and mTOR in the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathways.

Conclusion: In summary, CUX2 may function as a tumor promoter in TC.

Keywords: CUX2; oncogene; papillary thyroid carcinoma.