Early B cell factor 1 (EBF1) is a transcription factor involved in the differentiation of several stem cell lineages and it is a negative regulator of estrogen receptors. EBF1 is down-regulated in many tumors, and is believed to play suppressive roles in cancer promotion and progression. However, the functional roles of EBF1 in carcinogenesis are unclear. Liver fluke-infection-associated cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is an oxidative stress-driven cancer of bile duct epithelium. In this study, we investigated EBF1 expression in tissues from CCA patients, CCA cell lines (KKU-213, KKU-214 and KKU-156), cholangiocyte (MMNK1) and its oxidative stress-resistant (ox-MMNK1-L) cell lines. The formation of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) was used as an oxidative stress marker. Our results revealed that EBF1 expression was suppressed in cancer cells compared with the individual normal bile duct cells at tumor adjacent areas of CCA tissues. CCA patients with low EBF1 expression and high formation of 8-oxodG were shown to correlate with poor survival. Moreover, EBF1 was suppressed in the oxidative stress-resistant cell line and all of CCA cell lines compared to the cholangiocyte cell line. This suggests that prolonged oxidative stress suppressed EBF1 expression and the reduced EBF1 level may facilitate CCA genesis. To elucidate the significance of EBF1 suppression in CCA genesis, EBF1 expression of the MMNK1 cell line was down-regulated by siRNA technique, and its effects on stem cell properties (CD133 and Oct3/4 expressions), tumorigenic properties (cell proliferation, wound healing and cell migration), estrogen responsive gene (TFF1), estrogen-stimulated wound healing, and cell migration were examined. The results showed that CD133, Oct3/4 and TFF1 expression levels, wound healing, and cell migration of EBF1 knockdown-MMNK1 cells were significantly increased. Also, cell migration of EBF1-knockdown cells was significantly enhanced after 17β-estradiol treatment. Our findings suggest that EBF1 down-regulation via oxidative stress induces stem cell properties, tumorigenic properties and estrogen responses of cholangiocytes leading to CCA genesis with aggressive clinical outcomes.
Armartmuntree, N., Murata, M., Techasen, A., Yongvanit, P., Loilome, W., Namwat, N., … Thanan, R. (2018). Prolonged oxidative stress down-regulates Early B cell factor 1 with inhibition of its tumor suppressive function against cholangiocarcinoma genesis. Redox Biology, 14, 637–644. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2017.11.011