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Oncotarget. 2017 Aug 24;8(56):95256-95269. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.20438. eCollection 2017 Nov 10.

TCTN2: a novel tumor marker with oncogenic properties.

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Department of Pathology and Medical Biology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center, Groningen, The Netherlands.
Externautics SpA, Siena, Italy.
Department of Pathology, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.
Department of Immunology, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.
Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
Present affiliation: European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK.
Istituto Nazionale Genetica Molecolare, Padiglione Romeo ed Enrica Invernizzi, IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.
Department of Oncology and Hemato-Oncology, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.
Centre for Integrative Biology - CIBIO, University of Trento, Trento, Italy.
Contributed equally


Tectonic family member 2 (TCTN2) encodes a transmembrane protein that belongs to the tectonic family, which is involved in ciliary functions. Previous studies have demonstrated the role of tectonics in regulating a variety of signaling pathways at the transition zone of cilia. However, the role of tectonics in cancer is still unclear. Here we identify that TCTN2 is overexpressed in colorectal, lung and ovary cancers. We show that different cancer cell lines express the protein that localizes at the plasma membrane, facing the intracellular milieu. TCTN2 over-expression in cancer cells resulted in an increased ability to form colonies in an anchorage independent way. On the other hand, downregulation of TCTN2 using targeted epigenetic editing in cancer cells significantly reduced colony formation, cell invasiveness, increased apoptosis and impaired assembly of primary cilia. Taken together, our results indicate that TCTN2 acts as an oncogene, making it an interesting cancer-associated protein and a potential candidate for therapeutic applications.


TCTN2; biomarker; cancer; epigenetic editing; oncogene

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST The authors do not disclose any potential conflicts of interest.

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