Upregulation of death-domain-associated protein (Daxx) is strongly associated with diverse cancer types. Among these, the clinicopathological significance and molecular mechanisms of Daxx overexpression in colorectal cancer (CRC) remain unknown. Here, we showed that Daxx expression was increased in both clinical CRC samples and CRC cell lines. Daxx knockdown significantly reduced proliferation activity in CRC cells and tumor growth in a xenograft model. Further studies revealed that Daxx expression could be attenuated by either treatment with the PIK3CA inhibitor PIK-75 or PIK3CA depletion in CRC cells. Conversely, expression of PIK3CA constitutively active mutants could increase Daxx expression. These data suggest that PIK3CA positively regulates Daxx expression. Consistently, the expression levels of PIK3CA and Daxx were positively correlated in sporadic CRC samples. Interestingly, Daxx knockdown or overexpression yielded decreased or increased levels of PIK3CA, respectively, in CRC cells. We further demonstrated that Daxx activates the promoter activity and expression of PIK3CA. Altogether, our results identify a mechanistic pathway of Daxx overexpression in CRC and suggest a reciprocal regulation between Daxx and PIK3CA for CRC cell growth.
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