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Sci Rep. 2016 May 18;6:26136. doi: 10.1038/srep26136.

SOX7 co-regulates Wnt/β-catenin signaling with Axin-2: both expressed at low levels in breast cancer.

Liu H1,2,3,4, Mastriani E1, Yan ZQ1, Yin SY1, Zeng Z1, Wang H5, Li QH1, Liu HY6, Wang X1, Bao HX1, Zhou YJ1, Kou JJ1,2, Li D1,2, Li T1,2, Liu J1, Liu Y1,2, Yin L1,2, Qiu L1,2, Gong L1,2, Liu SL1,3,7.

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Genomics Research Centre, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, 150081, China.
Collage of Pharmacy, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, 150081, China.
HMU-UCFM Centre for Infection and Genomics, Harbin, 150081, China.
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Calgary, Calgary, T2N 4N1, Canada.
College of Bioinformatics Science and Technology, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, 150086, China.
Pathology Department, The First Hospital of Qiqihaer City, Qiqihaer, 161006, China.
Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, University of Calgary, Calgary, T2N 4N1, Canada.


SOX7 as a tumor suppressor belongs to the SOX F gene subfamily and is associated with a variety of human cancers, including breast cancer, but the mechanisms involved are largely unclear. In the current study, we investigated the interactions between SOX7 and AXIN2 in their co-regulation on the Wnt/β-catenin signal pathway, using clinical specimens and microarray gene expression data from the GEO database, for their roles in breast cancer. We compared the expression levels of SOX7 and other co-expressed genes in the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and found that the expression of SOX7, SOX17 and SOX18 was all reduced significantly in the breast cancer tissues compared to normal controls. AXIN2 had the highest co-relativity with SOX7 in the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Clinicopathological analysis demonstrated that the down-regulated SOX7 was significantly correlated with advanced stages and poorly differentiated breast cancers. Consistent with bioinformatics predictions, SOX7 was correlated positively with AXIN2 and negatively with β-catenin, suggesting that SOX7 and AXIN2 might play important roles as co-regulators through the Wnt-β-catenin pathway in the breast tissue to affect the carcinogenesis process. Our results also showed Smad7 as the target of SOX7 and AXIN2 in controlling breast cancer progression through the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.

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