ΔNp63α facilitates proliferation and migration, and modulates the chromatin landscape in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma cells

Anghui Peng et al.

p63 plays a crucial role in epithelia-originating tumours; however, its role in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA) has not been completely explored. Our study revealed the oncogenic properties of p63 in iCCA and identified the major expressed isoform as ΔNp63α. We collected iCCA clinical data from The Cancer Genome Atlas database and analyzed p63 expression in iCCA tissue samples. We further established genetically modified iCCA cell lines in which p63 was overexpressed or knocked down to study the protein function/function of p63 in iCCA. We found that cells overexpressing p63, but not p63 knockdown counterparts, displayed increased proliferation, migration, and invasion. Transcriptome analysis showed that p63 altered the iCCA transcriptome, particularly by affecting cell adhesion-related genes. Moreover, chromatin accessibility decreased at p63 target sites when p63 binding was lost and increased when p63 binding was gained. The majority of the p63 bound sites were located in the distal intergenic regions and showed strong enhancer marks; however, active histone modifications around the Transcription Start Site changed as p63 expression changed. We also detected an interaction between p63 and the chromatin structural protein YY1. Taken together, our results suggest an oncogenic role for p63 in iCCA.

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November, 2022


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