Open Access Research

TFAP2B overexpression contributes to tumor growth and a poor prognosis of human lung adenocarcinoma through modulation of ERK and VEGF/PEDF signaling

Lingyi Fu1, Ke Shi2, Jingshu Wang1, Wangbing Chen1, Dingbo Shi1, Yun Tian1, Wei Guo3, Wendan Yu3, Xiangsheng Xiao1, Tiebang Kang1, Shusen Wang1*, Wenlin Huang14* and Wuguo Deng134*

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Colaborative Innovation Center of Cancer Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, 651 Dongfeng East Road, Guangzhou 510060, China

2 Department of Geratology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China

3 Institute of Cancer Stem Cell, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China

4 State Key Laboratory of Targeted Drug for Tumors of Guangdong Province, Guangzhou Double Bioproduct Inc., Guangzhou, China

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Molecular Cancer 2014, 13:89  doi:10.1186/1476-4598-13-89

Published: 26 April 2014



TFAP2B is a member of the AP2 transcription factor family, which orchestrates a variety of cell processes. However, the roles of TFAP2B in regulating carcinogenesis remain largely unknown. Here, we investigated the regulatory effects of TFAP2B on lung adenocarcinomas growth and identified the underlying mechanisms of actions in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells.


We first examined the expression of TFAP2B in lung cancer cell lines and tumor tissues. We also analyzed the prognostic predicting value of TFAP2B in lung adenocarcinomas. Then we investigated the molecular mechanisms by which TFAP2B knockdown or overexpression regulated lung cancer cell growth, angiogenesis and apoptosis, and further confirmed the role of TFAP2B in tumor growth in a lung cancer xenograft mouse model.


TFAP2B was highly expressed in NSCLC cell lines and tumor tissues. Strong TFAP2B expression showed a positive correlation with the poor prognoses of patients with lung adenocarcinomas (P < 0.001). TFAP2B knockdown by siRNA significantly inhibited cell growth and induced apoptosis in NSCLC cells in vitro and in a lung cancer subcutaneous xenograft model, whereas TFAP2B overexpression promoted cell growth. The observed regulation of cell growth was accompanied by the TFAP2B-mediated modulation of the ERK/p38, caspase/cytochrome-c and VEGF/PEDF-dependent signaling pathways in NSCLC cells.


These results indicate that TFAP2B plays a critical role in regulating lung adenocarcinomas growth and could serve as a promising therapeutic target for lung cancer treatment.

Lung cancer; TFAP2B; ERK; VEGF; Caspase