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#36923538 2023/02/22 To Up
FGF19-mediated ELF4 overexpression promotes colorectal cancer metastasis through transactivating FGFR4 and SRC.Metastasis accounts for the high lethality of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Unfortunately, the molecular mechanism manipulating metastasis in CRC is still elusive. Here, we investigated the function of E74-like factor 4 (ELF4), an ETS family member, in facilitating CRC progression. The expression of ELF4 in human CRC samples and CRC cell lines was determined by quantitative real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting. The migratory and invasive phenotypes of CRC cells were evaluated by transwell assays and metastatic models. The RNA sequencing was used to explore the downstream targets of ELF4. The luciferase reporter assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays were used to ascertain the transcriptional regulation related to ELF4. We found elevated ELF4 was positively correlated with distant metastasis, advanced AJCC stages, and dismal outcomes in CRC patients. ELF4 expression was also an independent predictor of poor prognosis. Overexpression of ELF4 boosted CRC metastasis via transactivating its downstream target genes, fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) and SRC proto-oncogene, non-receptor tyrosine kinase, . Fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) upregulated ELF4 expression through the ERK1/2/SP1 axis. Clinically, ELF4 expression had a positive correlation with FGF19, FGFR4 and SRC, and CRC patients who positively coexpressed FGF19/ELF4, ELF4/FGFR4, or ELF4/SRC exhibited the worst clinical outcomes. Furthermore, the combination of the FGFR4 inhibitor BLU-554 and the SRC inhibitor KX2-391 dramatically suppressed ELF4-mediated CRC metastasis. We demonstrated the essentiality of ELF4 in the metastatic process of CRC, and targeting the ELF4-relevant positive feedback circuit might represent a novel therapeutic strategy.
Xilang Chen, Jie Chen, Weibo Feng, Wenjie Huang, Guodong Wang, Mengyu Sun, Xiangyuan Luo, Yijun Wang, Yongzhan Nie, Daiming Fan, Kaichun Wu, Limin Xia