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Knockdown of ZNF233 suppresses hepatocellular carcinoma cell proliferation and tumorigenesis

Xie, Wenjuan, Qiao, Xiaojing, Shang, Lingyue, Dou, Jianming, Yang, Xi, Qiao, Shouyi, Wu, Yanhua
Gene 2018
amino acids, biomarkers, carcinogenesis, cell growth, cell proliferation, disease course, gene expression regulation, genome, hepatoma, immunohistochemistry, liver, messenger RNA, neoplasm cells, patients, prognosis, proteins, staining, therapeutics, tissues, zinc finger motif
Zinc finger proteins (ZNFs) are one of the most abundant proteins in eukaryotic genomes with extraordinarily diverse functions. ZNF233 is located on 19q13.31 and encodes a 670-amino acid protein belonging to the Krüppel C2H2-type ZNF family. However, little is known about the role of ZNF233 in cancer progression. In this study, we reported for the first time that ZNF233 mRNA was remarkably up-regulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues in comparison with corresponding non-tumorous normal liver tissues. ZNF233 expression level was correlated with tumor grade, tumor stage and prognosis of HCC patients. We further investigated the effect of ZNF233 on HCC cell growth. It is found that overexpression of ZNF233 in SMMC-7721 could promote G1/S transition and thus accelerate cell growth ratio. Consistently, knockdown of ZNF233 in QGY-7701 cells successfully suppressed cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Further immunohistochemical staining revealed a reduced Ki-67-positive cell percentage in xenografted tumor derived from ZNF233-knocking down cells. Taken together, these results demonstrate a positive role of ZNF233 in regulating HCC cell growth. ZNF233 might be developed as a novel biomarker and a potential therapeutic target for HCC.