Tumor Biology

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 1081–1089 | Cite as

The tumor-promoting function of ECRG4 in papillary thyroid carcinoma and its related mechanism

  • Jiayu Chen
  • Chibo Liu
  • Lihui Yin
  • Wei Zhang
Research Article


This study aimed to explore the tumor-promoting function of esophageal cancer-related gene 4 (ECRG4) in the papillary thyroid cancer and its related mechanism. ECRG4 Messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein expression analysis in papillary thyroid cancer tissues was performed by quantitative real-time PCR (Q-RT-PCR), Western blot, and immunohistochemistry methods. Ten pairs of fresh samples from the papillary thyroid carcinoma patients were analyzed for ECRG4 promoter CpG island methylation status by bisulfite sequencing analysis. We also transfected ECRG4 into papillary thyroid cancer cell lines W3 and K1 with lentivirus and analyzed ECRG4 functions through evaluating the changes of the proliferation activity, the cell cycle, and the cell apoptosis rate of these transformed cells. We found that ECRG4 expression was upregulated in most papillary thyroid cancer samples (70.0 %, 28 out of 40 papillary thyroid cancer samples) on the protein level, and the ECRG4 mRNA level was also enhanced in tumor tissues compared to their matched nontumor tissues. CpG islands around the ECRG4 promoter region were demethylated in the papillary thyroid cancer samples. At the same time, the upregulated expression of ECRG4 in papillary thyroid cancer cell lines W3 and K1 could promote both the proliferation activity and the cell cycle transition from the G1 phase into the G2 but could not affect the cell apoptosis rate. The expression of ECRG4 is frequently upregulated in a papillary thyroid carcinoma through the demethylation mechanism of CpG islands in the gene promoter region, and the ECRG4 has a tumor-promoting function through inducing the cell cycle transition from the G1 phase to the G2 in papillary thyroid carcinoma cells.


ECRG4 Papillary thyroid carcinoma Methylation Tumor-promoting gene 



This study was supported by grants from the Natural Science Foundation of China (81272214 and 81402979), Foundation of Zhejiang Natural Science Foundation (Y2100248), Foundation of Department of Science and Technology of Zhejiang Province (2009C33155 and 2014C33155), Foundation of Zhejiang Health Department (2009A218 and 2014KYA230), Taizhou Science and Technology Bureau (102KY15), and Zhejiang Province Chinese Medicine Study Foundation (2011ZA113).

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Laboratory Medicine, School of MedicineTaizhou UniversityTaizhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Clinical LaboratoryTaizhou Municipal HospitalTaizhouChina
  3. 3.Blood Center of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  4. 4.Department of Pathology, School of MedicineZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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