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Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2011 Aug;26(4):427-36. doi: 10.1089/cbr.2010.0922. Epub 2011 Jul 28.

Efficient inhibition of human colorectal carcinoma growth by RNA interference targeting polo-like kinase 1 in vitro and in vivo.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Hospital and West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Ke-yuan Road 4, No. 1 Gao-peng Street, Chengdu, Sichuan, The People's Republic of China .


Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) showing a high expression in various kinds of tumors is considered a candidate target for cancer therapy. The aim of our study was to explore the effects of silencing PLK1 gene on human colorectal carcinoma cell line HCT-116 in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, the plasmids generating short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-targeting PLK1 were transfected into HCT-116 by using FugeneHD reagent, and the silencing potency was measured by RT-PCR, western blot, flow cytometry, and Caspase-Glo 3/7 assay, respectively. In vivo, the growth inhibition capacity of PLK1-shRNA on HCT-116 xenograft was measured in nude mice. Then, the silencing effect of PLK1 was analyzed by RT-PCR, western blot, and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Apoptosis, angiogenesis, and proliferation in tumor tissues were measured by TUNEL, CD31, and PCNA stain, respectively. The RNA interference targeting PLK1 significantly decreased the expression of PLK1 in vitro. More importantly, anti-PLK1 treatment in HCT-116 xenograft decreased tumor weight by 81.58% compared with the control group (p<0.001), accompanied with decreased PLK1 mRNA and protein expression, increased cell apoptosis, and reduced angiogenesis and proliferation (p<0.001). Our study showed that knockdown of PLK1 by shRNA might be the potential therapeutic approach against human colorectal carcinoma.

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