Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018;46(6):2215-2231. doi: 10.1159/000489590. Epub 2018 May 3.

Downregulated PITX1 Modulated by MiR-19a-3p Promotes Cell Malignancy and Predicts a Poor Prognosis of Gastric Cancer by Affecting Transcriptionally Activated PDCD5.

Author information

Department of Medical Genetics and Developmental Biology, Medical School of Southeast University, The Key Laboratory of Developmental Genes and Human Diseases, Ministry of Education, Southeast University, Nanjing, China.
Department of Prenatal Diagnosis, the Affiliated Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital, Nanjing, China.
Hospital of Integration of Chinese and Western Medicine, Affiliated with Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China.
Department of Pathology, Medical school of Southeast University, Nanjing, China.



PITX1 has been identified as a potential tumor-suppressor gene in several malignant tumors. The molecular mechanism underlying PITX1, particularly its function as a transcription factor regulating gene expression during tumorigenesis, is still poorly understood.


The expression level and location of PITX1 were determined by quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) and immunohistochemical staining in gastric cancer (GC). The effect of PITX1 on the GC cell proliferation and tumorigenesis was analyzed in vitro and in vivo. To explore how PITX1 suppresses cell proliferation, we used PITX1-ChIP-sequencing to measure genome-wide binding sites of PITX1 and assessed global function associations based on its putative target genes. ChIP-PCR, electrophoretic mobility shift assay, and promoter reporter assays examined whether PITX1 bound to PDCD5 and regulated its expression. The function of PDCD5 in GC cell apoptosis was further examined in vitro and in vivo. The relationship between the PITX1 protein level and GC patient prognosis was evaluated by the Kaplan-Meier estimator. Meanwhile, the expression level of miR-19a-3p, which is related to PITX1, was also detected by luciferase reporter assay, qRT-PCR, and western blotting.


The expression level of PITX1 was decreased in GC tissues and cell lines. Elevated PITX1 expression significantly suppressed the cell proliferation of GC cells and tumorigenesis in vitro and in vivo. PITX1 knockdown blocked its inhibition of GC cell proliferation. PITX1 bound to whole genome-wide sites, with these targets enriched on genes with functions mainly related to cell growth and apoptosis. PITX1 bound to PDCD5, an apoptosis-related gene, during tumorigenesis, and cis-regulated PDCD5 expression. Increased PDCD5 expression in GC cells not only induced GC cell apoptosis, but also suppressed GC cell growth in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, PITX1 expression was regulated by miR-19a-3p. More importantly, a decreased level of PITX1 protein was correlated with poor GC patient prognosis.


Decreased expression of PITX1 predicts shorter overall survival in GC patients. As a transcriptional activator, PITX1 regulates apoptosis-related genes, including PDCD5, during gastric carcinogenesis. These data indicate PDCD5 to be a novel and feasible therapeutic target for GC.


Cell apoptosis; Cell proliferation; MiR-19a-3p; PDCD5; Pitx1

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
Loading ...
Support Center