MRPL35 Is Up-Regulated in Colorectal Cancer and Regulates Colorectal Cancer Cell Growth and Apoptosis

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Mitochondrial ribosome proteins (MRPs), which are encoded by the nuclear genomic DNA, are important for mitochondrial-encoded protein synthesis and mitochondrial function. Emerging evidence suggests that several MRPs also exhibit important extra-mitochondrial functions, such as involvement in apoptosis, protein biosynthesis, and signal transduction. In this study, we demonstrate a significant role of MRP L35 (MRPL35) in colorectal cancer (CRC). The expression of MRPL35 was higher in CRC tissues than in matched cancer-adjacent tissues and higher in CRC cells than in normal mucosal epithelial cells. Higher MRPL35 expression in CRC tissue correlated with shorter overall survival for CRC patients. In vitro, down-regulation of MRPL35 led to increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) together with DNA damage, loss of cell proliferation, G2/M arrest, a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential, apoptosis, and autophagy induction. MRPL35 knockdown inhibited tumor proliferation in a CRC xenograft nude mouse model. Furthermore, overexpression of MRPL35 or treatment of cells with the ROS scavenger, N-acetyl cysteine, abrogated ROS production, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis in vitro. These findings suggest that MRPL35 plays an essential role in the development of CRC and may be a potential therapeutic target for CRC.

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American Journal of Pathology





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