Yanxin Liu, Zhang Feng and Huaxia Chen*
Background: As a tumor suppressor or oncogenic gene, abnormal expression of RUNX family transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) has been reported in various cancers.
Introduction: This study aimed to investigate the role of RUNX3 in melanoma.
Methods: The expression level of RUNX3 in melanoma tissues was analyzed by immunohistochemistry and the Oncomine database. Based on microarray datasets GSE3189 and GSE7553, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in melanoma samples were screened, followed by functional enrichment analysis. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) was performed for RUNX3. DEGs that co-expressed with RUNX3 were analyzed, and the transcription factors (TFs) of RUNX3 and its co-expressed genes were predicted. The protein-protein interactions (PPIs) for RUNX3 were analyzed utilizing the GeneMANIA database. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) that could target RUNX3 expression, were predicted.
Results: RUNX3 expression was significantly up-regulated in melanoma tissues. GSEA showed that RUNX3 expression was positively correlated with melanogenesis and melanoma pathways. Eleven DEGs showed significant co-expression with RUNX3 in melanoma, for example, TLE4 was negatively co-expressed with RUNX3. RUNX3 was identified as a TF that regulated the expression of both itself and its co-expressed genes. PPI analysis showed that 20 protein-encoding genes interacted with RUNX3, among which 9 genes were differentially expressed in melanoma, such as CBFB and SMAD3. These genes were significantly enriched in transcriptional regulation by RUNX3, RUNX3 regulates BCL2L11 (BIM) transcription, regulation of I-kappaB kinase/NF-kappaB signaling, and signaling by NOTCH. A total of 31 miRNAs could target RUNX3, such as miR-326, miR-330-5p, and miR-373-3p.
Conclusion: RUNX3 expression was up-regulated in melanoma and was implicated in the development of melanoma.
Melanoma, RUNX family transcription factor 3, microRNAs
Department of Burn and Plastic Surgery, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong First Medical University, Jinan 250021, Department of Burn and Plastic Surgery, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong First Medical University, Jinan 250021, Department of Burn and Plastic Surgery, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong First Medical University, Jinan 250021