In vitro Study of Nucleostemin as a Potential Therapeutic Target in Human Breast Carcinoma SKBR-3 Cells

  • Guo, Yu (Bioscience Department, Department of laboratory medicine, Bengbu Medical College) ;
  • Liao, Ya-Ping (Bioscience Department, Department of laboratory medicine, Bengbu Medical College) ;
  • Zhang, Ding (Bioscience Department, Department of laboratory medicine, Bengbu Medical College) ;
  • Xu, Li-Sha (Bioscience Department, Department of laboratory medicine, Bengbu Medical College) ;
  • Li, Na (Bioscience Department, Department of laboratory medicine, Bengbu Medical College) ;
  • Guan, Wei-Jun (Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science) ;
  • Liu, Chang-Qing (Bioscience Department, Department of laboratory medicine, Bengbu Medical College)
  • Published : 2014.03.01


Although nucleolar protein nucleostemin (NS) is essential for cell proliferation and early embryogenesis and expression has been observed in some types of human cancer and stem cells, the molecular mechanisms involved in mediation of cell proliferation and cell cycling remains largely elusive. The aim of the present study was to evaluate NS as a potential target for gene therapy of human breast carcinoma by investigating NS gene expression and its effects on SKBR-3 cell proliferation and apoptosis. NS mRNA and protein were both found to be highly expressed in all detected cancer cell lines. The apoptotic rate of the pcDNA3.1-NS-Silencer group ($12.1-15.4{\pm}3.8%$) was significantly higher than those of pcDNA3.1-NS ($7.2-12.0{\pm}1.7%$) and non-transfection groups ($4.1-6.5{\pm}1.8%$, P<0.01). MTT assays showed the knockdown of NS expression reduced the proliferation rate of SKBR-3 cells significantly. Matrigel invasion and wound healing assays indicated that the number of invading cells was significantly decreased in the pcDNA3.1-NS-siRNA group (P<0.01), but there were no significant difference between non-transfected and over-expression groups (P>0.05). Moreover, RNAi-mediated NS down-regulation induced SKBR-3 cell G1 phase arrest, inhibited cell proliferation, and promoted p53 pathway-mediated cell apoptosis in SKBR-3 cells. NS might thus be an important regulator in the G2/M check point of cell cycle, blocking SKBR-3 cell progression through the G1/S phase. On the whole, these results suggest NS might be a tumor suppressor and important therapeutic target in human cancers.


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