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BMB Rep. 2019 Feb;52(2):157-162.

PRR11 and SKA2 gene pair is overexpressed and regulated by p53 in breast cancer.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China.
Laboratory of Birth Defects and Related Diseases of Women and Children, West China Second University Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610000, China.
Department of Clinical Laboratory, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400010, China.
Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, School of Public Health, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China.


Our previous study found that two novel cancer-related genes, PRR11 and SKA2, constituted a classic gene pair that was regulated by p53 and NF-Y in lung cancer. However, their role and regulatory mechanism in breast cancer remain elusive. In this study, we found that the expression levels of PRR11 and SKA2 were upregulated and have a negative prognotic value in breast cancer. Loss-of-function experiments showed that RNAi-mediated knockdown of PRR11 and/or SKA2 inhibited proliferation, migration, and invasion of breast cancer cells. Mechanistic experiments revealed that knockdown of PRR11 and/or SKA2 caused dysregulation of several downstream genes, including CDK6, TPM3, and USP12, etc. Luciferase reporter assays demonstrated that wild type p53 significantly repressed the PRR11-SKA2 bidirectional promoter activity, but not NF-Y. Interestingly, NF-Y was only essential for and correlated with the expression of PRR11, but not SKA2. Consistently, adriamycin-induced (ADR) activation of endogenous p53 also caused significant repression of the PRR11 and SKA2 gene pair expression. Notably, breast cancer patients with lower expression levels of either PRR11 or SKA2, along with wild type p53, exhibited better disease-free survival compared to others with p53 mutations and/or higher expression levels of either PRR11 or SKA2. Collectively, our study indicates that the PRR11 and SKA2 transcription unit might be an oncogenic contributor and might serve as a novel diagnostic and therapeutic target in breast cancer. [BMB Reports 2019; 52(2): 157-162].

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