Overexpressed HDAC4 is associated with poor survival and promotes tumor progression in esophageal carcinoma

Li Si Zeng, Xian Zi Yang, Yue Feng Wen, Shi Juan Mai, Meng He Wang, Mei Yin Zhang, X. F. Steven Zheng, Hui Yun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Histone deacetylases (HDACs) mediate histone deacetylation, leading to transcriptional repression, which is involved in many diseases, including age-related tissue degeneration, heart failure and cancer. In this study, we were aimed to investigate the expression, clinical significance and biological function of HDAC4 in esophageal carcinoma (EC). We found that HDAC4 mRNA and protein are overexpressed in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) tissues and cell lines. HDAC4 overexpression is associated with higher tumor grade, advanced clinical stage and poor survival. Mechanistically, HDAC4 promotes proliferation and G1/S cell cycle progression in EC cells by inhibiting cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors p21 and p27 and up-regulating CDK2/4 and CDK-dependent Rb phosphorylation. HDAC4 also enhances ESCC cell migration. Furthermore, HDAC4 positively regulates epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by increasing the expression of Vimentin and decreasing the expression of E-Cadherin/a-Catenin. Together, our study shows that HDAC4 overexpression is important for the oncogenesis of EC, which may serve as a useful prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target for this malignancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1236-1248
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


  • Cell cycle
  • Cell proliferation
  • Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
  • Esophageal carcinoma
  • Histone deacetylase 4


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