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Involvement of c-Myc in the proliferation of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells induced by bHLH transcription factor DEC2



Involvement of c-Myc in the proliferation of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells induced by bHLH transcription factor DEC2



International Journal of Molecular Medicine 35(3): 815-820



Differentiated embryonic chondrocyte expressed gene 1 (DEC1; BHLHE40/Stra13/Sharp2) and differentiated embryonic chondrocyte expressed gene 2 (DEC2; BHLHE41/Sharp1) are basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcriptional factors that are involved in the regulation of cell differentiation, circadian rhythms, response to hypoxia and carcinogenesis. Previous studies have demonstrated that the expression of DECs is induced under hypoxic conditions in various normal and cancer cell lines. In the present study, using RT-qPCR and western blot analysis, we demonstrated that hypoxia induced the expression of DEC1 and DEC2 in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells; their expression levels reached a peak at different time points. In particular, we found that the expression pattern of the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α protein was similar to DEC1, and that of the HIF-2α protein was identical to that of DEC2. The knockdown of HIF-2α using siRNA suppressed the phosphorylation of Akt, as well as the expression of DEC2 and c-Myc. Hypoxia failed to affect the expression of DEC2 and c-Myc when the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway was blocked. In addition, the overexpression of DEC1 and DEC2 was induced by transfecting the cells with a pcDNA vector. The overexpression of DEC2, but not that of DEC1, increased the proliferation of the MCF-7 cells under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Concomitantly, the expression of c-Myc was upregulated by exposure to hypoxia and by the overexpression of DEC2. In conclusion, DEC2 participates in hypoxia-induced cell proliferation by functioning as a target gene of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway and regulating the expression of c-Myc.

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Accession: 058161309

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PMID: 25524285

DOI: 10.3892/ijmm.2014.2042


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