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Kim, Hajin
Single Molecule Biophysics Lab.
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Tonicity-responsive enhancer-binding protein promotes stemness of liver cancer and cisplatin resistance

Lee, Jun HoSuh, Jae HeeKang, Hyun JeChoi, Soo YounJung, Seok WonLee-Kwon, WhaseonPark, Soo-AhKim, HajinYe, Byeong JinYoo, Eun JinJeong, Gyu WonPark, Neung HwaKwon, Hyug Moo
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Background: High recurrence and chemoresistance drive the high mortality in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Although cancer stem cells are considered to be the source of recurrent and chemoresistant tumors, they remain poorly defined in HCC. Tonicity-responsive enhancer binding protein (TonEBP) is elevated in almost all HCC tumors and associated with recurrence and death. We aimed to identify function of TonEBP in stemness and chemoresistance of liver cancer. Methods: Tumors obtained from 280 HCC patients were analyzed by immunohistochemical analyses. Stemness and chemoresistance of liver CSCs (LCSCs) were investigated using cell culture. Tumor-initiating activity was measured by implanting LCSCs into BALB/c nude mice. Findings: Expression of TonEBP is higher in LCSCs in HCC cell lines and correlated with markers of LCSCs whose expression is significantly associated with poor prognosis of HCC patients. TonEBP mediates ATM-mediated activation of NF-kappa B, which stimulates the promoter of a key stem cell transcription factor SOX2. As expected, TonEBP is required for the tumorigenesis and self-renewal of LSCSs. Cisplatin induces the recruitment of the ERCC1/XPF dimer to the chromatin in a TonEBP-dependent manner leading to DNA repair and cisplatin resistance. The cisplatin-induced inflammation in LSCSs is also dependent on the TonEBP-ERCC1/XPF complex, and leads to enhanced stemness via the ATM-NF-kappa B-SOX2 pathway. In HCC patients, tumor expression of ERCC1/XPF predicts recurrence and death in a TonEBP-dependent manner. Interpretation: TonEBP promotes stemness and cisplatin resistance of HCC via ATM-NF-kappa B. TonEBP is a key regulator of LCSCs and a promising therapeutic target for HCC and its recurrence. (c) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license. (
Keyword (Author)
Hepatocellular carcinoma recurrenceSOX2ERCC1/XPFNF-kappa B


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