Stathmin (STMN1), a recognized oncoprotein upregulated in various solid tumors, promotes microtubule disassembly and modulates tumor growth and migration activity. However, the mechanisms underlying the genetic regulation of STMN1 have yet to be elucidated. In the current study, we report that thyroid hormone receptor (THR) expression is negatively correlated with STMN1 expression in a subset of clinical hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) specimens. We further identified the STMN1 gene as a target of thyroid hormone (T 3) in the HepG2 hepatoma cell line. An analysis of STMN1 expression profile and mechanism of transcriptional regulation revealed that T 3 significantly suppressed STMN1 mRNA and protein expression, and further showed that THR directly targeted the STMN1 upstream element to regulate STMN1 transcriptional activity. Specific knockdown of STMN1 suppressed cell proliferation and xenograft tumor growth in mice. In addition, T 3 regulation of cell growth arrest and cell cycle distribution were attenuated by overexpression of STMN1. Our results suggest that the oncogene STMN1 is transcriptionally downregulated by T 3 in the liver. This T 3-mediated suppression of STMN1 supports the theory that T 3 plays an inhibitory role in HCC tumor growth, and suggests that the lack of normal THR function leads to elevated STMN1 expression and malignant growth.
ASJC Scopus subject areas