Possible role of Pax-6 in promoting breast cancer cell proliferation and tumorigenesis

  • Zong, Xiangyun (Department of Breast Surgery, Zhejiang Provincial Cancer Hospital) ;
  • Yang, Hongjian (Department of Breast Surgery, Zhejiang Provincial Cancer Hospital) ;
  • Yu, Yang (Department of Breast Surgery, Zhejiang Provincial Cancer Hospital) ;
  • Zou, Dehong (Department of Breast Surgery, Zhejiang Provincial Cancer Hospital) ;
  • Ling, Zhiqiang (Department of Breast Surgery, Zhejiang Provincial Cancer Hospital) ;
  • He, Xiangming (Department of Breast Surgery, Zhejiang Provincial Cancer Hospital) ;
  • Meng, Xuli (Department of Breast Surgery, Zhejiang Provincial Cancer Hospital)
  • Received : 2011.01.28
  • Accepted : 2011.07.15
  • Published : 2011.09.30


Pax 6, a member of the paired box (Pax) family, has been implicated in oncogenesis. However, its therapeutic potential has been never examined in breast cancer. To explore the role of Pax6 in breast cancer development, a lentivirus based short hairpin RNA (shRNA) delivery system was used to knockdown Pax6 expression in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive (MCF-7) and ER-negative (MDA-MB-231) breast cancer cells. Effect of Pax6 silencing on breast cancer cell proliferation and tumorigenesis was analyzed. Pax6-RNAi-lentivirus infection remarkably downregulated the expression levels of Pax6 mRNA and protein in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. Accordingly, the cell viability, DNA synthesis, and colony formation were strongly suppressed, and the tumorigenesis in xenograft nude mice was significantly inhibited. Moreover, tumor cells were arrested at G0/G1 phase after Pax6 was knocked down. Pax6 facilitates important regulatory roles in breast cancer cell proliferation and tumor progression, and could serve as a diagnostic marker for clinical investigation.


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