CTCF genetic alterations in endometrial carcinoma are pro-tumorigenic.

Oncogene. 2017 Mar 20. doi: 10.1038/onc.2017.25.


CTCF is a haploinsufficient tumour suppressor gene with diverse normal functions in genome structure and gene regulation. However the mechanism by which CTCF haploinsufficiency contributes to cancer development is not well understood. CTCF is frequently mutated in endometrial cancer. Here we show that most CTCF mutations effectively result in CTCF haploinsufficiency through nonsense-mediated decay of mutant transcripts, or loss-of-function missense mutation. Conversely, we identified a recurrent CTCF mutation K365T, which alters a DNA binding residue, and acts as a gain-of-function mutation enhancing cell survival. CTCF genetic deletion occurs predominantly in poor prognosis serous subtype tumours, and this genetic deletion is associated with poor overall survival. In addition, we have shown that CTCF haploinsufficiency also occurs in poor prognosis endometrial clear cell carcinomas and has some association with endometrial cancer relapse and metastasis. Using shRNA targeting CTCF to recapitulate CTCF haploinsufficiency, we have identified a novel role for CTCF in the regulation of cellular polarity of endometrial glandular epithelium. Overall, we have identified two novel pro-tumorigenic roles (promoting cell survival and altering cell polarity) for genetic alterations of CTCF in endometrial cancer.Oncogene advance online publication, 20 March 2017; doi:10.1038/onc.2017.25.


Marshall AD, Bailey CG, Champ K, Vellozzi M, O'Young P, Metierre C, Feng Y, Thoeng A, Richards AM, Schmitz U, Biro M, Jayasinghe R, Ding L, Anderson L, Mardis ER, Rasko J

Institute Authors

Li Ding, Ph.D., Aaron Maule