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Clin Cancer Res. 2000 Feb;6(2):493-7.

Enhanced GBX2 expression stimulates growth of human prostate cancer cells via transcriptional up-regulation of the interleukin 6 gene.

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  • 1University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.


Previous studies demonstrated that the GBX2 homeobox gene is consistently overexpressed in cultured human prostate cancer cell lines. In this study, the human GBX2 cDNA was cloned and a quantitative reverse transcription-PCR method used to demonstrate that GBX2 mRNA expression is enhanced in approximately 70% of human prostate cancer tissues compared with normal human prostate tissues. Purified recombinant GBX2 protein binds specifically to an ATTA motif within the promoter of the interleukin 6 (IL-6) gene. Using an antisense approach, down-regulation of the expression of GBX2 correlated with decreased expression of IL-6 and an inhibition of tumorigenicity of PC3 human prostate cancer cells. In addition, in vitro growth of the antisense clones was partially restored by exogenous addition of recombinant IL-6 protein to the culture media. These data demonstrated that enhanced GBX2 expression results in a stimulation of malignant growth of prostate cancer cells and that part of this stimulation involves up-regulation in the transcription of the IL-6 gene.

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