Journal of Biomedical Science
SOX17 overexpression sensitizes chemoradiation response in esophageal cancer by transcriptional down-regulation of DNA repair and damage response genes
Journal of Biomedical Science201926:20
© The Author(s). 2019
- Published: 18 February 2019
Prognosis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) patients is poor and the concurrent chemoradiation therapy (CCRT) provided to ESCC patients often failed due to resistance. Therefore, development of biomarkers for predicting CCRT response is immensely important. In this study, we evaluated the predicting value of SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 17 (SOX17) protein during CCRT and its dysregulation of transcriptional targets in CCRT resistance in ESCC.
Pyrosequencing methylation, RT-qPCR and immunohistochemistry assays were performed to examine the DNA methylation, mRNA expression and protein expression levels of SOX17 in endoscopic biopsy from a total of 70 ESCC patients received CCRT. Cell proliferation, clonogenic survival and xenograft growth were used to confirm the sensitization of ESCC cell line KYSE510 in response to cisplatin, radiation or CCRT treatment by SOX17 overexpression in vitro and in vivo. Luciferase activity, RT-qPCR and ChIP-qPCR assays were conducted to examine transcription regulation of SOX17 in KYSE510 parental, KYSE510 radio-resistant cells and their derived xenografts.
High DNA methylation coincided with low mRNA and protein expression levels of SOX17 in pre-treatment endoscopic biopsy from ESCC patients with poor CCRT response. SOX17 protein expression exhibited a good prediction performance in discriminating poor CCRT responders from good responder. Overexpression of SOX17 sensitized KYSE510 radio-resistant cells to cisplatin, radiation or CCRT treatment in cell and xenograft models. Importantly, SOX17 transcriptionally down-regulated DNA repair and damage response-related genes including BRCA1, BRCA2, RAD51, KU80 DNAPK, p21, SIRT1, NFAT5 and REV3L in KYSE510 radio-resistant cells to achieve the sensitization effect to anti-cancer treatment. Low expression of BRCA1, DNAPK, p21, RAD51 and SIRT1 was confirmed in SOX17 sensitized xenograft tissues derived from radio-resistant ESCC cells.
Our study reveals a novel mechanism by which SOX17 transcriptionally inactivates DNA repair and damage response-related genes to sensitize ESCC cell or xenograft to CCRT treatment. In addition, we establish a proof-of-concept CCRT prediction biomarker using SOX17 immunohistochemical staining in pre-treatment endoscopic biopsies to identify ESCC patients who are at high risk of CCRT failure and need intensive care.
- Transcription regulation
- DNA repair
- Concurrent chemoradiation therapy
- Esophageal cancer