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Acta Histochem. 2012 Dec;114(8):755-62. doi: 10.1016/j.acthis.2012.01.002. Epub 2012 Feb 11.

FOXM1 expression correlates with tumor invasion and a poor prognosis of colorectal cancer.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Jinling Hospital, School of Medicine, Nanjing University, Jiangsu, China.


FOXM1, a member of the Forkhead Box (Fox) family of transcription factors, plays a critical role in tumor development and metastasis. The aim of this study was to elucidate its role in colorectal cancer (CRC), particularly prognosis and metastasis. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot assays were used to measure the expression levels of FOXM1 mRNA and protein in 15 CRC and adjacent normal mucosa tissues. Immunohistochemical assay was performed to detect FOXM1 protein expression in 112 CRC tissues and further determine its clinicopathological and prognostic significance. RNA interference (RNAi) was used to knockdown endogenous FOXM1 expression in CRC cell lines and to analyze the effects of FOXM1 knockdown on migration and invasion of CRC cells. The relative expression levels of FOXM1 mRNA and protein were significantly higher in CRC tissues than in adjacent normal mucosa tissues (P<0.01). In addition, the immunostaining of FOXM1 protein was stronger in CRC tissues than in adjacent normal mucosa tissues. By statistical analysis, we showed that high FOXM1 expression was closely correlated with the presence of lymph node metastasis, incidence of liver metastasis, and advanced TNM stage. Moreover, the cumulative 5-year survival rate of CRC patients with high FOXM1 expression was lower than that of those with low FOXM1 expression (P=0.0047). Multivariate analysis showed that the status of FOXM1 expression was an independent prognostic factor for CRC patients (P=0.025). Furthermore, RNAi-mediated FOXM1 knockdown could significantly inhibit growth, migration and invasion of CRC cells. Our results showed that FOXM1 over-expression is a molecular marker predicting increased invasive/metastatic potential of CRC and a poorer prognosis.

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