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Cell Prolif. 2019 Mar;52(2):e12553. doi: 10.1111/cpr.12553. Epub 2018 Nov 28.

FOXM1c promotes oesophageal cancer metastasis by transcriptionally regulating IRF1 expression.

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Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Department of Radiation Oncology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Department of Colorectal Surgery, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Key Laboratory of Functional Protein Research of Guangdong Higher Education, Institute of Life and Health Engineering, College of Life Science and Technology, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.



We aimed to elucidate the role and molecular mechanisms of FOXM1 in regulating metastasis in oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) as well as its clinical implications.


The expression levels of four isoforms of FOXM1 were analysed by real-time PCR. Next, genetically modification using overexpression and RNAi systems and transwell were employed to examine FOXM1c function in invasion and migration. Dual luciferase and ChIP assays were performed to decipher the underlying mechanism for transcriptional regulation. The expression levels of FOXM1 and IRF1 were determined by immunohistochemistry staining in ESCC specimens.


The FOXM1c was predominantly overexpressed in ESCC cell lines compared to the other FOXM1 isoforms. Ectopic expression of FOXM1c promoted invasion and migration of ESCC cells lines, whereas downregulation of FOXM1c inhibited these processes. Moreover, FOXM1c expression was positively correlated with IRF1 expression in ESCC cell lines and tumour specimens. IRF1 is, at least in part, responsible for FOXM1c-mediated invasion and migration. Mechanistically, we identified IRF1 as a transcriptional target of FOXM1c and found a FOXM1c-binding site in the IRF1 promoter region. Furthermore, high expression levels of both FOXM1c and IRF1 were positively associated with low survival rate and predicted a poor prognosis of oesophageal cancer patients.


FOXM1c promotes the metastasis by transcriptionally targeting IRF1 and may serve as a potential prognostic predictor for oesophageal cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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