A novel 19q13 nucleolar zinc finger protein suppresses tumor cell growth through inhibiting ribosome biogenesis and inducing apoptosis but is frequently silenced in multiple carcinomas

Yingduan Cheng, Pei Liang, Hua Geng, Zhaohui Wang, Lili Li, Suk Hang Cheng, Jianming Ying, Xianwei Su, Ka Man Ng, Margaret H.L. Ng, Tony S.K. Mok, Anthony T.C. Chan, Qian Tao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Epigenetic disruption of tumor suppressor genes is frequently involved in tumorigenesis. We identified a novel 19q13 KRAB domain-containing zinc finger protein, ZNF545/ZFP82, broadly expressed in normal tissues but downregulated in multiple tumor cell lines. The ZNF545 promoter contains a CpG island, which is frequently methylated in cell lines. The transcriptional silencing of ZNF545 could be reversed by pharmacologic or genetic demethylation, indicating direct epigenetic silencing. ZNF545 was also frequently methylated in multiple primary tumors of nasopharyngeal, esophageal, lung, gastric, colon, and breast, but rarely in normal epithelial tissues and paired normal tissues. ZNF545 is located in the nucleus and mainly sequestered in nucleoli, functioning as a repressor. ZNF545 is able to repress NF-κB and AP-1 signaling pathways, whereas ectopic expression of ZNF545 in silenced tumor cells significantly inhibited their growth and induced apoptosis. Functional studies showed that ZNF545 was involved in ribosome biogenesis through inhibiting the activity of rDNA promoter and decreasing cellular protein translation efficiency. Thus, we identified ZNF545 as a novel tumor suppressor inducing tumor cell apoptosis, repressing ribosome biogenesis and target gene transcription. The tumor-specific methylation of ZNF545 could be an epigenetic biomarker for cancer diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-936
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Volume10
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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