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Cancer Res. 2007 Oct 1;67(19):9568-76.

SND1, a component of RNA-induced silencing complex, is up-regulated in human colon cancers and implicated in early stage colon carcinogenesis.

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  • 1Biochemistry Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, 5-1-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


Colon cancers have been shown to develop after accumulation of multiple genetic and epigenetic alterations with changes in global gene expression profiles, contributing to the establishment of widely diverse phenotypes. Transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression by small RNA species, such as the small interfering RNA and microRNA and the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), is currently drawing major interest with regard to cancer development. SND1, also called Tudor-SN and p100 and recently reported to be a component of RISC, is among the list of highly expressed genes in human colon cancers. In the present study, we showed remarkable up-regulation of SND1 mRNA in human colon cancer tissues, even in early-stage lesions, and also in colon cancer cell lines. When mouse Snd1 was stably overexpressed in IEC6 rat intestinal epithelial cells, contact inhibition was lost and cell growth was promoted, even after the cells became confluent. Intriguingly, IEC6 cells with high levels of Snd1 also showed an altered distribution of E-cadherin from the cell membrane to the cytoplasm, suggesting loss of cellular polarity. Furthermore, the adenomatous polyposis coli (Apc) protein was coincidentally down-regulated, with no significant changes in the Apc mRNA level. Immunohistochemical analysis using chemically induced colonic lesions developed in rats revealed overexpression of Snd1 not only in colon cancers but also in aberrant crypt foci, putative precancerous lesions of the colon. Up-regulation of SND1 may thus occur at a very early stage in colon carcinogenesis and contribute to the posttranscriptional regulation of key players in colon cancer development, including APC and beta-catenin.

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