DDX17 promotes hepatocellular carcinoma progression via inhibiting Klf4 transcriptional activity

Ying Xue, Xuebing Jia, Changcan Li, Ke Zhang, Lei Li, Jinhuan Wu, Jian Yuan, Qi Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


DEAD box RNA helicase 17 (DDX17) is a transcriptional regulator of several transcription factors, which is more appreciated than its role in RNA metabolism. However, prognostic value and biofunction of DDX17 in HCC remain unclear. Illuminating the mechanism underlying the regulating HCC progression by DDX17 may contribute to therapeutic strategies. In our study, we report for the first time that DDX17 was overexpressed in HCC specimens by using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) and correlated to clinical pathological characteristics and patients’ survival. In vitro, DDX17 was ascertained to alter HCC migratory and invasive capacities after overexpression and knockdown in HCC cell lines. Moreover, by performing co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) and GST-pull down assay, the physical association between DDX17 and Klf4 was discovered and validated. Additionally, DDX17 could modulate expressions of Klf4 target genes including E-cadherin, MMP2 by inhibiting the promoter activity. The potent correlation between DDX17 and Klf4 target gene expressions was further appraised by a same set of 30 HCC tissues. Besides, we discovered that DDX17 could not deploy its function in regulating Klf4 target gene expressions and HCC progression in Klf4-depletion condition. Intriguingly, DDX17 failed to interact with Klf4 once the zinc-finger domain was deleted and inhibited the binding of Klf4 on MMP-2 promoter. Collectively, our study enucleates novel mechanism of DDX17-mediated oncogenesis by suppressing the transcriptional activity of Klf4 thus is likely to be a therapeutic target in HCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number814
JournalCell Death and Disease
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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