Although we have identified two putative targets, ATF3 and CENPF, for a frequently gained/amplified region around 1q32-41 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), it is possible that other amplification targets remain to be identified. In this study, we tested whether SET and MYND domain-containing protein 2 (SMYD2), located between those two genes and encoding a lysine methyltransferase for histone H3K36 and p53K370 that regulates transcription and inhibits transactivation activity, respectively, acts as a cancer-promoting gene through activation/ overexpression in ESCC. Frequent overexpression of SMYD2 messenger RNA and protein was observed in KYSE150 cells with remarkable amplification at 1q32-41.1 and other ESCC cell lines (11/43 lines, 25.6%). Overexpression of SMYD2 protein was frequently detected in primary tumor samples of ESCC (117/153 cases, 76.5%) as well and significantly correlated with gender, venous invasion, the pT category in the tumor-lymph node-metastases classification and status of recurrence. Patients with SMYD2-overexpressing tumors had a worse overall rate of survival than those with non-expressing tumors, and SMYD2 positivity was independently associated with a worse outcome in the multivariate analysis. Knockdown of SMYD2 expression inhibited and ectopic overexpression of SMYD2 promoted the proliferation of ESCC cells in a TP53 mutation-independent but SMYD2 expression-dependent manner. These findings suggest that SMYD2 plays an important role in tumor cell proliferation through its activation/overexpression and highlight its usefulness as a prognosticator and potential therapeutic target in ESCC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research