• Title, Summary, Keyword: Hiwi

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Overexpression of Hiwi Promotes Growth of Human Breast Cancer Cells

  • Wang, Da-Wei;Wang, Zhao-Hui;Wang, Ling-Ling;Song, Yang;Zhang, Gui-Zhen
    • Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
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    • v.15 no.18
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    • pp.7553-7558
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    • 2014
  • The Piwi subfamily comprises two argonaute (Ago) family proteins, which are defined by the presence of PAZ and Piwi domains, with well known roles in RNA silencing. Hiwi, a human Piwi subfamily member, has been shown to play essential roles in stem cell self-renewal and gametogenesis. Recently, accumulating reports have indicated that abnormal hiwi expression is associated with poorer prognosis of multiple types of human cancers, including examples in the breast. However, little is known about details of the oncogenic role of hiwi in breast cancers. In present study, we confirmed overexpression of hiwi in breast cancer specimens and breast cancer cell lines at both mRNA and protein levels. Thus both RT-qPCR and Western blot data revealed significantly higher hiwi in intratumor than peritumor specimens, overexpression being associated with tumor size, lymph node metastasis and histological grade. Hiwi overexpression was also identified in breast cancer cell lines, MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7, and gain-of-function and loss-of-function strategies were adopted to identify the role of hiwi in the MCF-7 cell growth. Results demonstrated that hiwi expression in MCF-7 cells was significantly up- or down-regulated by the two strategies. We next evaluated the influence of hiwi overexpression or knockdown on the growth of breast cancer cells. Both cell count and colony formation assays confirmed promoting roles of hiwi in MCF-7 cells, which could be inhibited by hiwi specific blockage by siRNAs. In summary, the present study confirmed overexpression of hiwi in breast cancer specimens and breast cancer cell lines, and provided e vidence of promotion by hiwi of cell growth. The results imply an oncogenic role of hiwi in breast cancers.

Hiwi Knockdown Inhibits the Growth of Lung Cancer in Nude Mice

  • Liang, Dong;Dong, Min;Hu, Lin-Jie;Fang, Ze-Hui;Xu, Xia;Shi, En-Hui;Yang, Yi-Ju
    • Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
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    • v.14 no.2
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    • pp.1067-1072
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    • 2013
  • Hiwi, a human homologue of the Piwi family, plays an important role in stem cell self-renewal and is overexpressed in various human tumors. This study aimed to determine whether an RNA interference-based strategy to suppress Hiwi expression could inhibit tumor growth in a xenograft mouse model. A rare population of $SSC^{lo}\;Alde^{br}$ cells was isolated and identified as lung cancer stem cells in our previous study. Plasmids containing U6 promoter-driven shRNAs against Hiwi or control plasmids were successfully established. The xenograft tumor model was generated by subcutaneously inoculating with lung cancer stem cell $SSC^{lo}\;Alde^{br}$ cells. After the tumor size reached about 8 mm in diameter, shRNA plasmids were injected into the mice via the tail vein three times a week for two weeks, then xenograft tumor growth was assessed. In nude mice, intravenously delivery of Hiwi shRNA plasmids significantly inhibited tumor growth compared to treatment with control scrambled shRNA plasmids or the vehicle PBS. No mice died during the experiment and no adverse events were observed in mice administered the plasmids. Moreover, delivery of Hiwi shRNA plasmids resulted in a significant suppressed expression of Hiwi and ALDH-1 in xenograft tumor samples, based on immunohistochemical analysis. Thus, shRNA-mediated Hiwi gene silencing in lung cancer stem cells by an effective in vivo gene delivery strategy appeared to be an effective therapeutic approach for lung cancer, and may provide some useful clues for RNAi gene therapy in solid cancers.