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Cell Death Dis. 2014 Jun 5;5:e1285. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2014.244.

CT45A1 acts as a new proto-oncogene to trigger tumorigenesis and cancer metastasis.

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Cyrus Tang Hematology Center, Jiangsu Institute of Hematology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Key Laboratory of Thrombosis and Hemostasis, Ministry of Health, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China.
The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China.


Cancer/testis antigen (CTA)-45 family (CT45) belongs to a new family of genes in phylogenetics and is absent in normal tissues except for testis, but is aberrantly overexpressed in various cancer types. Whether CT45 and other CTAs act as proto-oncogenes has not been determined. Using breast cancer as a model, we found that CT45A1, a representative CT45 family member, alone had a weak tumorigenic effect. However, its neoplastic potency was greatly enhanced in the presence of growth factors. Overexpression of CT45A1 in breast cancer cells markedly upregulated various oncogenic and metastatic genes, constitutively activated ERK and CREB signaling pathways, promoted epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and increased cell stemness, tumorigenesis, invasion, and metastasis, whereas silencing CT45A1 significantly reduced cancer cell migration and invasion. We propose that CT45A1 functions as a novel proto-oncogene to trigger oncogenesis and metastasis. CT45A1 and other CT45 members are therefore excellent targets for anticancer drug discovery and targeted tumor therapy, and valuable genes in the study of a molecular phylogenetic tree.

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