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Cancer Res. 2008 Jul 1;68(13):5040-8. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-6575.

15-Hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase is a target of hepatocyte nuclear factor 3beta and a tumor suppressor in lung cancer.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.


The forkhead transcription factor hepatocyte nuclear factor 3beta (HNF3beta) is essential in foregut development and the regulation of lung-specific genes. HNF3beta expression leads to growth arrest and apoptosis in lung cancer cells and HNF3beta is a candidate tumor suppressor in lung cancer. In a transcriptional profiling study using a conditional cell line system, we now identify 15-PGDH as one of the major genes induced by HNF3beta expression. 15-PGDH is a critical metabolic enzyme of proliferative prostaglandins, an antagonist to cyclooxygenase-2 and a tumor suppressor in colon cancer. We confirmed the regulation of 15-PGDH expression by HNF3beta in a number of systems and showed direct binding of HNF3beta to 15-PGDH promoter elements. Western blotting of lung cancer cell lines and immunohistochemical examination of human lung cancer tissues found loss of 15-PGDH expression in approximately 65% of lung cancers. Further studies using in vitro cell-based assays and in vivo xenograft tumorigenesis assays showed a lack of in vitro but significant in vivo tumor suppressor activity of 15-PGDH via an antiangiogenic mechanism analogous to its role in colon cancer. In summary, we identify 15-PGDH as a direct downstream effector of HNF3beta and show that 15-PGDH acts as a tumor suppressor in lung cancer.

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