Gene Summary

Gene:REST; RE1 silencing transcription factor
Aliases: WT6, XBR, HGF5, NRSF, DFNA27, GINGF5
Summary:This gene was initially identified as a transcriptional repressor that represses neuronal genes in non-neuronal tissues. However, depending on the cellular context, this gene can act as either an oncogene or a tumor suppressor. The encoded protein is a member of the Kruppel-type zinc finger transcription factor family. It represses transcription by binding a DNA sequence element called the neuron-restrictive silencer element. The protein is also found in undifferentiated neuronal progenitor cells and it is thought that this repressor may act as a master negative regulator of neurogenesis. Alternatively spliced transcript variants have been described. [provided by RefSeq, May 2018]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:RE1-silencing transcription factor
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (8)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: REST (cancer-related)

Deng P, Zuo Y, Feng S, et al.
Knockdown of NRSF inhibits cell proliferation of ovarian cancer via activating Hippo pathway.
Life Sci. 2018; 215:73-79 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Ovarian cancer is the most leading cause of deaths among gynecologic malignancies, and Neuron-restrictive silencer factor (NRSF) can be upregulated or downregulated according to the type of tumor. However, the expression and function of NRSF in ovarian cancer is still unknown.
MAIN METHODS: Expression of NRSF in normal ovary and ovarian cancer cells were evaluated by quantitative PCR (qPCR). NRSF expression in normal ovary and ovarian cancer tissue samples were examined by qPCR, western blotting and immunohistochemistry (IHC). MTT, colony formation, anchorage-independent growth assay were applied to examine the effect of NRSF on ovarian cancer cell proliferation. Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdUrd) labeling and flow cytometry assay were carried out to investigate the role of NRSF on cell cycle of ovarian cancer cells. Luciferase reporter assay and western blotting, immunofluorescence labeling were devoted to explore the mechanism by which NRSF contributes to proliferation of ovarian cancer cells.
KEY FINDINGS: The results demonstrated that NRSF is significantly upregulated in ovarian cancer cells and tissues and negatively related with the survival of patients with ovarian cancer, and knockout of NRSF inhibit proliferation of ovarian cancer cells. Further analysis showed that NRSF can influence G1/S transition of cell cycle via regulating the transcription of Hippo pathway.
SIGNIFICANCE: Herein, our study suggest that NRSF is associated with the progression of ovarian cancer, and NRSF may be a valuable early detection marker of ovarian cancer and inhibiting NRSF expression may be an effective method to treat ovarian cancer.

Jinesh GG, Flores ER, Brohl AS
Chromosome 19 miRNA cluster and CEBPB expression specifically mark and potentially drive triple negative breast cancers.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(10):e0206008 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs) are known to express low PGR, ESR1, and ERBB2, and high KRT5, KRT14, and KRT17. However, the reasons behind the increased expressions of KRT5, KRT14, KRT17 and decreased expressions of PGR, ESR1, and ERBB2 in TNBCs are not fully understood. Here we show that, expression of chromosome 19 miRNA cluster (C19MC) specifically marks human TNBCs. Low REST and high CEBPB correlate with expression of C19MC, KRT5, KRT14, and KRT17 and enhancers of these genes/cluster are regulated by CEBPB and REST binding sites. The C19MC miRNAs in turn can potentially target REST to offer a positive feedback loop, and might target PGR, ESR1, ERBB2, GATA3, SCUBE2, TFF3 mRNAs to contribute towards TNBC phenotype. Thus our study demonstrates that C19MC miRNA expression marks TNBCs and that C19MC miRNAs and CEBPB might together determine the TNBC marker expression pattern.

Callegari K, Maegawa S, Bravo-Alegria J, Gopalakrishnan V
Pharmacological inhibition of LSD1 activity blocks REST-dependent medulloblastoma cell migration.
Cell Commun Signal. 2018; 16(1):60 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant brain tumor in children. Current problems in the clinic include metastasis, recurrence, and treatment-related sequelae that highlight the need for targeted therapies. Epigenetic perturbations are an established hallmark of human MB and expression of Lysine Specific Demethylase 1 (LSD1) is elevated in MBs compared to normal tissue, suggesting that LSD1 inhibitors may have efficacy against human MB tumors.
METHODS: Expression of LSD1 was examined across a publicly-available database and correlated with patient outcomes. Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) MB samples were clustered based on expression of LSD1 and LSD1-associated RE-1 silencing transcription factor (REST) target genes as well as genes involved in metastasis. Resulting clusters were examined for patient outcomes associated with LSD1 and REST expression. Human SHH MB cell lines were transduced with a REST-transgene to create isogenic cell pairs. In vitro viability and cell migration assays were used to examine the effect of LSD1 knockdown or inhibition on these parameters.
RESULTS: We demonstrate that subsets of SHH MB tumors have elevated LSD1 expression coincident with increased expression of its deubiquitylase, USP7, and REST. Patients with co-elevation of USP7, REST, and LSD1 have poorer outcomes compared to those with lower expression of these genes. In SHH MB cell lines, REST elevation increased cell growth and LSD1 protein levels. Surprisingly, while genetic loss of LSD1 reduced cell viability, pharmacological targeting of its activity using LSD1 inhibitors did not affect cell viability. However, a reduction in REST-dependent cell migration was seen in wound healing, suggesting that REST-LSD1 interaction regulates cell migration. Ingenuity pathway analyses validated these findings and identified Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1 alpha (HIF1A) as a potential target. In line with this, ectopic expression of HIF1A rescued the loss of migration seen following LSD1 inhibition.
CONCLUSIONS: A subset of SHH patients display increased levels of LSD1 and REST, which is associated with poor outcomes. REST elevation in MB in conjunction with elevated LSD1 promotes MB cell migration. LSD1 inhibition blocks REST-dependent cell migration of MB cells in a HIF1A-dependent manner.

Wang R, Degirmenci V, Xin H, et al.
PEI-Coated Fe₃O₄ Nanoparticles Enable Efficient Delivery of Therapeutic siRNA Targeting REST into Glioblastoma Cells.
Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 19(8) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glioblastomas (GBM) are the most frequent brain tumors lacking efficient treatment. The increasingly elucidated gene targets make siRNA-based gene therapy a promising anticancer approach, while an efficient delivery system is urgently needed. Here, polyethyleneimine (PEI)-coated Fe₃O₄ nanoparticles (NPs) have been developed and applied for siRNA delivery into GBM cells to silence repressor element 1-silencing transcription factor (REST). The prepared PEI-coated Fe₃O₄ NPs were characterized as magnetic nanoparticles with a positive charge, by transmission electronic microscopy, dynamic light-scattering analysis and a magnetometer. By gel retardation assay, the nanoparticles were found to form complexes with siRNA and the interaction proportion of NP to siRNA was 2.8:1. The cellular uptake of NP/siRNA complexes was verified by prussian blue staining, fluorescence labeling and flow cytometry in U-87 and U-251 GBM cells. Furthermore, the REST silencing examined by realtime polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Western blotting presented significant reduction of REST in transcription and translation levels. Upon the treatment of NP/siRNA targeting REST, the GBM cell viabilities were inhibited and the migration capacities were repressed remarkably, analyzed by cell counting kit-8 and transwell assay separately. In this study, we demonstrated the PEI-coated Fe₃O₄ nanoparticle as a vehicle for therapeutic siRNA delivery, at an appropriate NP/siRNA weight ratio for REST silencing in GBM cells, inhibiting cell proliferation and migration efficiently. These might represent a novel potential treatment strategy for GBM.

Chang YT, Lin TP, Tang JT, et al.
HOTAIR is a REST-regulated lncRNA that promotes neuroendocrine differentiation in castration resistant prostate cancer.
Cancer Lett. 2018; 433:43-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as novel diagnostic markers of prostate cancer (PCa) and new determinants of castration-resistant PCa (CRPC), an aggressive and metastatic form of PCa. In addition to androgen receptor (AR) signaling, neuroendocrine differentiation (NED) is associated with CRPC. Recent reports demonstrate that the downregulation of repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor (REST) protein is a key step in NED of PCa cells. Here, we report HOTAIR as a novel REST-repressed lncRNA that is upregulated in NED PCa cells and in CRPC. HOTAIR overexpression is sufficient to induce, whereas knockdown of HOTAIR suppressed NED of PCa cells. Gene ontology (GO) analysis of differentially expressed genes under HOTAIR overexpression and in CRPC versus benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) suggests that HOTAIR may participate in PCa progression. Taken together, our results provide the first evidence of lncRNA HOTAIR as a driver for NED of PCa cells.

Li C, Zou H, Wang Z, et al.
Drug Des Devel Ther. 2018; 12:1363-1371 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background/aim: Repressor element silencing transcription factor (

Ci X, Hao J, Dong X, et al.
Heterochromatin Protein 1α Mediates Development and Aggressiveness of Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer.
Cancer Res. 2018; 78(10):2691-2704 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC) is a lethal subtype of prostate cancer arising mostly from adenocarcinoma via neuroendocrine transdifferentiation following androgen deprivation therapy. Mechanisms contributing to both NEPC development and its aggressiveness remain elusive. In light of the fact that hyperchromatic nuclei are a distinguishing histopathologic feature of NEPC, we utilized transcriptomic analyses of our patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models, multiple clinical cohorts, and genetically engineered mouse models to identify 36 heterochromatin-related genes that are significantly enriched in NEPC. Longitudinal analysis using our unique, first-in-field PDX model of adenocarcinoma-to-NEPC transdifferentiation revealed that, among those 36 heterochromatin-related genes, heterochromatin protein 1α (HP1α) expression increased early and steadily during NEPC development and remained elevated in the developed NEPC tumor. Its elevated expression was further confirmed in multiple PDX and clinical NEPC samples.

Li C, Wang Z, Tang X, et al.
Molecular mechanisms and potential prognostic effects of REST and REST4 in glioma (Review).
Mol Med Rep. 2017; 16(4):3707-3712 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioma refers to a tumor of the brain and central nervous system, which is characterized by high incidence, high mortality and high recurrence rate. Although the association between glioma and the repressor element silencing transcription factor (REST) has been reported by numerous studies, the complicated regulatory mechanisms underlying REST remain unknown. REST is a transcriptional repressor that undergoes alternative splicing to produce splicing variants when transcribed. Previous studies have demonstrated that alternative splicing may serve a role in the outcome of glioma. The present review discussed the mutual relationship among REST, REST4 and glioma. It was concluded that increased REST expression in glioma may be associated with poor prognosis; and REST4, an AS variant of REST, also functions to regulate glioma by suppressing REST. In addition, the present review discussed the regulation of REST and its target genes in glioma, and identified factors that induce REST alternative splicing, particularly in glioma. These findings suggest that REST may be considered a prognostic factor, which can be predictive of patient outcome.

Saha D, Singh A, Hussain T, et al.
Epigenetic suppression of human telomerase (
J Biol Chem. 2017; 292(37):15205-15215 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Transcriptional activation of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (

Lim JS, Ibaseta A, Fischer MM, et al.
Intratumoural heterogeneity generated by Notch signalling promotes small-cell lung cancer.
Nature. 2017; 545(7654):360-364 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The Notch signalling pathway mediates cell fate decisions and is tumour suppressive or oncogenic depending on the context. During lung development, Notch pathway activation inhibits the differentiation of precursor cells to a neuroendocrine fate. In small-cell lung cancer, an aggressive neuroendocrine lung cancer, loss-of-function mutations in NOTCH genes and the inhibitory effects of ectopic Notch activation indicate that Notch signalling is tumour suppressive. Here we show that Notch signalling can be both tumour suppressive and pro-tumorigenic in small-cell lung cancer. Endogenous activation of the Notch pathway results in a neuroendocrine to non-neuroendocrine fate switch in 10-50% of tumour cells in a mouse model of small-cell lung cancer and in human tumours. This switch is mediated in part by Rest (also known as Nrsf), a transcriptional repressor that inhibits neuroendocrine gene expression. Non-neuroendocrine Notch-active small-cell lung cancer cells are slow growing, consistent with a tumour-suppressive role for Notch, but these cells are also relatively chemoresistant and provide trophic support to neuroendocrine tumour cells, consistent with a pro-tumorigenic role. Importantly, Notch blockade in combination with chemotherapy suppresses tumour growth and delays relapse in pre-clinical models. Thus, small-cell lung cancer tumours generate their own microenvironment via activation of Notch signalling in a subset of tumour cells, and the presence of these cells may serve as a biomarker for the use of Notch pathway inhibitors in combination with chemotherapy in select patients with small-cell lung cancer.

Dobson THW, Hatcher RJ, Swaminathan J, et al.
Regulation of
Mol Cancer Res. 2017; 15(8):1073-1084 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The deubiquitylase (DUB) USP37 is a component of the ubiquitin system and controls cell proliferation by regulating the stability of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B, (CDKN1B/p27Kip1). The expression of USP37 is downregulated in human medulloblastoma tumor specimens. In the current study, we show that USP37 prevents medulloblastoma growth in mouse orthotopic models, suggesting that it has tumor-suppressive properties in this neural cancer. Here, we also report on the mechanism underlying

Zhu C, Tang J, Ding T, et al.
Neuron-restrictive silencer factor-mediated downregulation of μ-opioid receptor contributes to the reduced morphine analgesia in bone cancer pain.
Pain. 2017; 158(5):879-890 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Bone cancer pain has been reported to have unique mechanisms and is resistant to morphine treatment. Recent studies have indicated that neuron-restrictive silencer factor (NRSF) plays a crucial role in modulating the expression of the μ-opioid receptor (MOR) gene. The present study elucidates the regulatory mechanisms of MOR and its ability to affect bone cancer pain. Using a sarcoma-inoculated murine model, pain behaviors that represent continuous or breakthrough pain were evaluated. Expression of NRSF in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and spinal dorsal horn was quantified at the transcriptional and translational levels, respectively. Additionally, chromatin immunoprecipitation assays were used to detect NRSF binding to the promoter of MOR. Furthermore, NRSF was genetically knocked out by antisense oligodeoxynucleotide, and the expression of MOR and the effect of morphine were subsequently analyzed. Our results indicated that in a sarcoma murine model, NRSF expression is upregulated in dorsal root ganglion neurons, and the expression of NRSF mRNA is significantly negatively correlated with MOR mRNA expression. Additionally, chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that NRSF binding to the neuron-restrictive silencer element within the promoter area of the MOR gene is promoted with a hypoacetylation state of histone H3 and H4. Furthermore, genetically knocking down NRSF with antisense oligodeoxynucleotide rescued the expression of MOR and potentiated the systemic morphine analgesia. The present results suggest that in sarcoma-induced bone cancer pain, NRSF-induced downregulation of MOR is involved in the reduction of morphine analgesia. Epigenetically, up-regulation of MOR could substantially improve the effect of system delivery of morphine.

Lin YC, Chang YT, Campbell M, et al.
MAOA-a novel decision maker of apoptosis and autophagy in hormone refractory neuroendocrine prostate cancer cells.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7:46338 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Autophagy and apoptosis are two well-controlled mechanisms regulating cell fate. An understanding of decision-making between these two pathways is in its infancy. Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) is a mitochondrial enzyme that is well-known in psychiatric research. Emerging reports showed that overexpression MAOA is associated with prostate cancer (PCa). Here, we show that MAOA is involved in mediating neuroendocrine differentiation of PCa cells, a feature associated with hormone-refractory PCa (HRPC), a lethal type of disease. Following recent reports showing that NED of PCa requires down-regulation of repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor (REST) and activation of autophagy; we observe that MAOA is a novel direct target gene of REST. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by overexpressed MAOA plays an essential role in inhibiting apoptosis and activating autophagy in NED PCa cells. MAOA inhibitors significantly reduced NED and autophagy activation of PCa cells. Our results here show MAOA as a new decision-maker for activating autophagy and MAOA inhibitors may be useful as a potential therapy for neuroendocrine tumors.

Chang YT, Lin TP, Campbell M, et al.
REST is a crucial regulator for acquiring EMT-like and stemness phenotypes in hormone-refractory prostate cancer.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7:42795 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Castration-resistance prostate cancer (CRPC), also known as hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC), requires immediate attention since it is not only resistant to androgen ablation, chemo- and radiotherapy, but also highly metastatic. Increasing evidence suggests that enrichment of neuroendocrine (NE) cells is associated with CRPC. Here, combined RNA-seq and ChIP-seq analysis reveals that REST is involved in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and stemness acquisition in NE differentiated prostate cancer (PCa) cells via direct transcriptional repression of Twist1 and CD44. Specifically we show that short-term knockdown of REST induces NE differentiation of LNCaP cells. Long-term REST knockdown enhanced the expression of Twist1 and CD44, cell migration and sphere formation. Overexpression of REST in hormone-refractory CWR22Rv1 PCa cells significantly reduces Twist1 and CD44 expression, cell migration and sphere formation. Collectively, our study uncovers REST in regulating EMT and stemness properties of NE PCa cells and suggests that REST is a potential therapeutic target for CRPC.

Marisetty AL, Singh SK, Nguyen TN, et al.
REST represses miR-124 and miR-203 to regulate distinct oncogenic properties of glioblastoma stem cells.
Neuro Oncol. 2017; 19(4):514-523 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background: Glioblastoma (GBM) is one of the most common, aggressive, and invasive human brain tumors. There are few reliable mechanism-based therapeutic approaches for GBM patients. The transcriptional repressor RE1 silencing transcriptional factor (REST) regulates the oncogenic properties of a class of GBM stem-like cells (high-REST [HR]-GSCs) in humans. However, it has been unclear whether REST represses specific targets to regulate specific oncogenic functions or represses all targets with overlapping functions in GSCs.
Methods: We used genome-wide, biochemical, and mouse intracranial tumorigenic assays to identify and determine functions of microRNA (miR) targets of REST in 2 independent HR-GSC lines.
Results: Here we show that REST represses 2 major miR gene targets in HR-GSCs: miR-203, a new target, and miR-124, a known target. Gain of function of miR-124 or miR-203 in HR-GSCs increased survival in tumor-bearing mice. Importantly, the increased survival of tumor-bearing mice caused by knockdown of REST in HR-GSCs was reversed by double knockdown of REST and either miR-203 or miR-124, indicating that these 2 miRs are critical tumor suppressors that are repressed in REST-mediated tumorigenesis. We further show that while miR-124 and the REST-miR-124 pathways regulate self-renewal, apoptosis and invasion, miR-203 and the REST-miR-203 pathways regulate only invasion. We further identify and validate potential mRNA targets of miR-203 and miR-124 in REST-mediated HR-GSC tumor invasion.
Conclusions: These findings indicate that REST regulates its miR gene targets with overlapping functions and suggest how REST maintains oncogenic competence in GSCs. These mechanisms could potentially be utilized to block REST-mediated GBM tumorigenesis.

Campa D, Capurso G, Pastore M, et al.
Common germline variants within the CDKN2A/2B region affect risk of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:39565 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) are heterogeneous neoplasms which represent only 2% of all pancreatic neoplasms by incidence, but 10% by prevalence. Genetic risk factors could have an important role in the disease aetiology, however only a small number of case control studies have been performed yet. To further our knowledge, we genotyped 13 SNPs belonging to the pleiotropic CDKN2A/B gene region in 320 PNET cases and 4436 controls, the largest study on the disease so far. We observed a statistically significant association between the homozygotes for the minor allele of the rs2518719 SNP and an increased risk of developing PNET (OR

Sugeno N, Jäckel S, Voigt A, et al.
α-Synuclein enhances histone H3 lysine-9 dimethylation and H3K9me2-dependent transcriptional responses.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:36328 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
α-Synuclein (αS) is a protein linked to Parkinson's disease (PD) and related neurodegenerative disorders. It is mostly localized within synapses, but αS has also been suggested to play a role in the nucleus. We used transgenic Drosophila and inducible SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells to investigate the effects of αS on chromatin with a particular focus on histone modifications. Overexpression of αS in male flies as well as in retinoic acid pre-treated neuroblastoma cells led to an elevation of histone H3K9 methylations, mostly mono- (H3K9me1) and di- (H3K9me2). The transient increase of H3K9 methylation in αS-induced SH-SY5Y cells was preceded by mRNA induction of the euchromatic histone lysine N-methyltransferase 2 (EHMT2). EHMT2 and H3K9me2 can function within the REST complex. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analyses of selected candidate, REST regulated genes showed significantly increased H3K9me2 promoter occupancy of genes encoding the L1CAM cell adhesion molecule and the synaptosomal-associated protein SNAP25, whose reduced expression levels were confirmed by RT-qPCR in αS induced cells. Treatment with EHMT inhibitor UNC0638 restored the mRNA levels of L1CAM and SNAP25. Thus, αS overexpression enhances H3K9 methylations via ΕΗΜΤ2 resulting in elevated H3K9me2 at the SNAP25 promoter, possibly affecting SNARE complex assembly and hence synaptic vesicle fusion events regulated by αS.

Jiang B, Gao L, Lei D, et al.
Decreased expression of miR‑9 due to E50K OPTN mutation causes disruption of the expression of BDNF leading to RGC‑5 cell apoptosis.
Mol Med Rep. 2016; 14(5):4901-4905 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aims of the present study were to investigate the effect of E50K optineurin (OPTN) mutation on RGC‑5 cells and to define the role of microRNA‑9 (miR‑9) in this system. Transfected RGC‑5 cells were used to evaluate the effects of E50K OPTN on the expression of miR‑9 and subsequent disruption of RGC‑5 cell apoptosis was analyzed using western blotting. The results showed that the expression of E50K OPTN was associated with a marked reduction in the levels of miR‑9 in the E50K OPTN‑transfected RGC‑5 cells. The E50K OPTN‑dependent reductions in miR‑9 led to increased expression of the transcriptional repressor, RE1‑silencing transcription factor and decreased the expression of brain‑derived neurotrophic factor. Thus, E50K OPTN may disrupt the expression of miR‑9, suggesting a potential mechanism by which E50K OPTN mutation may lead to RGC‑5 cell apoptosis.

Zhou H, Li J, Zhang Z, et al.
RING1 and YY1 binding protein suppresses breast cancer growth and metastasis.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 49(6):2442-2452 [PubMed] Related Publications
Evidence suggests that RING1 and YY1 binding protein (RYBP) functions as a tumor suppressor. However, its role in breast cancer remains unclear. In the present study, the expression of RYBP was assessed in breast cancer patients and cell lines. Disease-free survival durations of breast cancer patients with high RYBP expression were determined based on the ATCG dataset. The effects of RYBP overexpression on cell growth, migration and invasive potency were also assessed. Nude mouse xenograft and lung metastasis models were also used to confirm the role of RYBP. The involvement of SRRM3 in RYBP-mediated breast cancer suppression was explored using SRRM3 siRNA. The potential relationship between RYBP, SRRM3, and REST-003 was examined by qPCR. The results showed that RYBP was downregulated in breast cancer patients and in several breast cancer cell lines. Breast cancer patients with high expression levels of RYBP displayed better disease-free survival. Overexpression of RYBP in MDA-MB-231 and SK-BR-3 cells significantly decreased cell proliferation, migration, and invasion ability, and increased the proportion of cells arrested in S-phase compared with the negative control cells. Additionally, upregulation of proliferation-related cell cycle proteins (cyclin A and cyclin B1) and E-cadherin, and downregulation of snail were observed in RYBP-overexpressing cells. Overexpression of RYBP reduced tumor volume and weight as well as metastatic foci in the lungs of nude mice. SRRM3 knockdown by siRNA, which is downregulated after RYBP overexpression, suppressed cell growth and metastasis in MDA-MB-231 and SK-BR-3 cells. Furthermore, qPCR analysis revealed that REST-003 ncRNA was downregulated in cells overexpressing RYBP and in SRRM3-inhibited cells. Moreover, cell invasion ability and growth were increased after SRRM3 upregulation in RYBP-overexpressing cells, but they were decreased following si-REST-003 transfection. In conclusion, overexpression of RYBP suppresses breast cancer growth and metastasis both in vitro and in vivo. SRRM3 and REST-003, which are downregulated in cells overexpressing RYBP, may be involved in RYBP-mediated breast cancer progression.

Wang D, Yu J
Negative regulation of REST on NR2B in spinal cord contributes to the development of bone cancer pain in mice.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(51):85564-85572 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In this study, C3H/HeNCrlVr mice are implanted with sarcoma NCTC 2472 cells into the intramedullary space of the femur to induce ongoing bone cancer-related pain behaviors. During the progress of the bone cancer pain, the down-regulation in spinal REST (Neuron-restrictive silencer factor, NRSF/REST) with concomitant up-regulation in spinal NR2B (2B subunit of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, NR2B) protein expression are observed at days 5, 7, 10 and 14 post-inoculation. Immunofluorescence assay shows that almost all of REST and NR2B-positive signals encompass NeuN (neuron-specific nuclear protein, a neuronal marker)-positive signals in spinal cord of sham and tumor-bearing mice. Different from previous researches involved in the main distribution of REST in neural progenitors, the expression of REST in mature neurons in spinal cord of adult mice is observed. Intrathecal administration of AS-ODN of REST at days 0, 2, 4 and 6 post-inoculation further enhances expression of spinal NR2B at day 7 post-inoculation, which suggests the reduced suppression of spinal REST on NR2B during the development of bone cancer pain. In summary, our study provides the evidence that the negative regulation of REST on NR2B in spinal cord takes part in the exacerbation of bone cancer pain.

Liang J, Meng Q, Zhao W, et al.
An expression based REST signature predicts patient survival and therapeutic response for glioblastoma multiforme.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:34556 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Proper regulation of neuronal gene expression is crucial for the development and differentiation of the central nervous system. The transcriptional repressor REST (repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor) is a key regulator in differentiation of pluripotent stem cells to neuronal progenitors and mature neurons. Dysregulated REST activity has been implicated in various diseases, among which the most deadly is glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Here we have developed an expression-based REST signature (EXPREST), a device providing quantitative measurements of REST activity for GBM tumors. EXPREST robustly quantifies REST activity (REST score) using gene expression profiles in absence of clinic-pathologic assessments of REST. Molecular characterization of REST activity identified global alterations at the DNA, RNA, protein and microRNA levels, suggesting a widespread role of REST in GBM tumorigenesis. Although originally aimed to capture REST activity, REST score was found to be a prognostic factor for overall survival. Further, cell lines with enhanced REST activity was found to be more sensitive to IGF1R, VEGFR and ABL inhibitors. In contrast, cell lines with low REST score were more sensitive to cytotoxic drugs including Mitomycin, Camptothecin and Cisplatin. Together, our work suggests that therapeutic targeting of REST provides a promising opportunity for GBM treatment.

Liu Y, Lv H, Wu X, et al.
Demethylation of Repressor Element-1 Silencing Transcription (REST) Suppresses the Malignant Phenotype of Breast Cancer via MMP9.
Oncol Res. 2017; 25(3):445-454 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in females all over the world, mainly resulting from metastasis. Previous studies have revealed that repressor element-1 (RE-1) silencing transcription (REST) acted as a tumor suppressor in breast cancer. However, the mechanism by which REST is regulated remains unknown, and its role in the metastasis in breast cancer cells remains unclear. In the present study, we showed that the expression of REST was lower in breast cancer samples than that of adjacent samples by immunohistochemical analysis, which may be due to hypermethylation of the REST promoter. Low REST levels are significantly associated with malignant progression in breast cancer patients. Additionally, we elucidated the functions of REST on proliferation and invasion in breast cancer cells. Lentivirus transfection was used to overexpress REST in human breast MDA-MB-231 cells. Then the biologic consequences of overexpressing REST in regard to cell proliferation, apoptosis, and invasion were determined. Furthermore, we also determined matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9) as a target of REST. These results demonstrate that downregulation of REST, a tumor suppressor in breast cancer, is associated with hypermethylation. Induced REST expression is capable of attenuating invasion ability of breast cancer cells, which may be a novel strategy for metastatic breast cancer treatment.

Yucebas M, Yilmaz Susluer S, Onur Caglar H, et al.
Expression profiling of RE1-silencing transcription factor (REST), REST corepressor 1 (RCOR1), and Synapsin 1 (SYN1) genes in human gliomas.
J BUON. 2016 Jul-Aug; 21(4):964-972 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The repressor element 1 (RE-1) silencing transcription factor (REST) is a transcription factor which represses the expression of neuronal differentiation-related genes including SYN1 gene. CoREST, encoded by RCOR1 gene, binds to the REST protein for remodeling of chromatin structure. Although there is a relation among REST, RCOR1, and SYN1 genes, the role of these genes in glioma tumors is still unclear. In this study, expressions of REST, RCOR1, and SYN1 genes were detected in primary cultures derived from tumor samples of diffuse astrocytoma (DA), anaplastic oligodendroglioma (AO), and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cases.
METHODS: Expression profiles were analysed by RT-qPCR and the copy number variations were examined with qPCR in primary cultures. ChIP assay was performed to show binding characteristics of REST and CoREST proteins on promoter region of SYN1 gene.
RESULTS: Means of relative expression for REST were as follows: 0.7898, 0.7606, and 0.7318 in DA, AO, and GBM groups, respectively. For RCOR1, expression means in DA, AO, and GBM groups were 0.7203, 0.7334, and 0.7230, respectively. SYN1 expression means were as follows: 0.3936, 0.3192, and 0.3197 in DA, AO, and GBM groups, respectively. Neither gain nor loss of copy numbers were detected for REST and RCOR1 genes in all groups. Copy loss for SYN1 was detected in primary culture of a DA case. REST and CoREST presented positive precipitation pattern on promoter region of SYN1 gene.
CONCLUSIONS: Expressions of REST and RCOR1 genes may downregulate SYN1 expression in gliomas. Low expression pattern of SYN1 may maintain cancer stem-like phenotype which contributes to development of gliomas.

Li Y, Donmez N, Sahinalp C, et al.
SRRM4 Drives Neuroendocrine Transdifferentiation of Prostate Adenocarcinoma Under Androgen Receptor Pathway Inhibition.
Eur Urol. 2017; 71(1):68-78 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC) is an aggressive subtype of castration-resistant prostate cancer that typically does not respond to androgen receptor pathway inhibition (ARPI), and its diagnosis is increasing.
OBJECTIVE: To understand how NEPC develops and to identify driver genes to inform therapy for NEPC prevention.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Whole-transcriptome sequencing data were extracted from prostate tumors from two independent cohorts: The Beltran cohort contained 27 adenocarcinoma and five NEPC patient samples, and the Vancouver Prostate Centre cohort contained three patient samples and nine patient-derived xenografts.
INTERVENTION: A novel bioinformatics tool, comparative alternative splicing detection (COMPAS), was invented to analyze alternative RNA splicing on RNA-sequencing data.
OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: COMPAS identified potential driver genes for NEPC development. Biochemical and biological validations were performed in both prostate cell and tumor models.
RESULTS AND LIMITATION: More than 66% of the splice events were predicted to be regulated by the RNA splicing factor serine/arginine repetitive matrix 4 (SRRM4). In vitro and in vivo evidence confirmed that one SRRM4 target gene was the RE1 silencing transcription factor (REST), a master regulator of neurogenesis. Moreover, SRRM4 strongly stimulated adenocarcinoma cells to express NEPC biomarkers, and this effect was exacerbated by ARPI. ARPI combined with a gain of SRRM4-induced adenocarcinoma cells to assume multicellular spheroid morphology and was essential in establishing progressive NEPC xenografts. These SRRM4 actions were further enhanced by loss of function of TP53.
CONCLUSIONS: SRRM4 drives NEPC progression. This knowledge may guide the development of novel therapeutics aimed at NEPC.
PATIENT SUMMARY: Using next-generation RNA sequencing and our newly developed bioinformatics tool, we identified a neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC)-specific RNA splicing signature that is predominantly controlled by serine/arginine repetitive matrix 4 (SRRM4). We confirmed that SRRM4 drives NEPC progression, and we propose SRRM4 as a potential therapeutic target for NEPC.

Zhang D, Li Y, Wang R, et al.
Inhibition of REST Suppresses Proliferation and Migration in Glioblastoma Cells.
Int J Mol Sci. 2016; 17(5) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common primary brain tumor, with poor prognosis and a lack of effective therapeutic options. The aberrant expression of transcription factor REST (repressor element 1-silencing transcription factor) had been reported in different kinds of tumors. However, the function of REST and its mechanisms in GBM remain elusive. Here, REST expression was inhibited by siRNA silencing in U-87 and U-251 GBM cells. Then CCK-8 assay showed significantly decreased cell proliferation, and the inhibition of migration was verified by scratch wound healing assay and transwell assay. Using cell cycle analysis and Annexin V/PI straining assay, G1 phase cell cycle arrest was found to be a reason for the suppression of cell proliferation and migration upon REST silencing, while apoptosis was not affected by REST silencing. Further, the detection of REST-downstream genes involved in cytostasis and migration inhibition demonstrated that CCND1 and CCNE1 were reduced; CDK5R1, BBC3, EGR1, SLC25A4, PDCD7, MAPK11, MAPK12, FADD and DAXX were enhanced, among which BBC3 and DAXX were direct targets of REST, as verified by ChIP (chromatin immunoprecipitation) and Western blotting. These data suggested that REST is a master regulator that maintains GBM cells proliferation and migration, partly through regulating cell cycle by repressing downstream genes, which might represent a potential target for GBM therapy.

Lin TP, Chang YT, Lee SY, et al.
REST reduction is essential for hypoxia-induced neuroendocrine differentiation of prostate cancer cells by activating autophagy signaling.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(18):26137-51 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Prostate cancer (PCa) with neuroendocrine differentiation (NED) is tightly associated with hormone refractory PCa (HRPC), an aggressive form of cancer that is nearly impossible to treat. Determining the mechanism of the development of NED may yield novel therapeutic strategies for HRPC. Here, we first demonstrate that repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor (REST), a transcriptional repressor of neuronal genes that has been implicated in androgen-deprivation and IL-6 induced NED, is essential for hypoxia-induced NED of PCa cells. Bioinformatics analysis of transcriptome profiles of REST knockdown during hypoxia treatment demonstrated that REST is a master regulator of hypoxia-induced genes. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) of hypoxia and REST knockdown co-upregulated genes revealed their correlation with HRPC. Consistently, gene ontology (GO) analysis showed that REST reduction potential associated with hypoxia-induced tumorigenesis, NE development, and AMPK pathway activation. Emerging reports have revealed that AMPK activation is a potential mechanism for hypoxia-induced autophagy. In line with this, we demonstrate that REST knockdown alone is capable of activating AMPK and autophagy activation is essential for hypoxia-induced NED of PCa cells. Here, making using of in vitro cell-based assay for NED, we reveal a new role for the transcriptional repressor REST in hypoxia-induced NED and characterized a sequential molecular mechanism downstream of REST resulting in AMPK phosphorylation and autophagy activation, which may be a common signaling pathway leading to NED of PCa.

Xiong J, Su T, Qu Z, et al.
Triptolide has anticancer and chemosensitization effects by down-regulating Akt activation through the MDM2/REST pathway in human breast cancer.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(17):23933-46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Triptolide has been shown to exhibit anticancer activity. However, its mechanism of action is not clearly defined. Herein we report a novel signaling pathway, MDM2/Akt, is involved in the anticancer mechanism of triptolide. We observed that triptolide inhibits MDM2 expression in human breast cancer cells with either wild-type or mutant p53. This MDM2 inhibition resulted in decreased Akt activation. More specifically, triptolide interfered with the interaction between MDM2 and the transcription factor REST to increase expression of the regulatory subunit of PI3-kinase p85 and consequently inhibit Akt activation. We further showed that, regardless of p53 status, triptolide inhibited proliferation, induced apoptosis, and caused G1 phase cell cycle arrest. Triptolide also enhanced the cytotoxic effect of doxorubicin. MDM2 inhibition plays a causative role in these effects. The inhibitory effect of triptolide on MDM2-mediated Akt activation was eliminated with MDM2 overexpression. MDM2-overexpressing tumor cells, in turn, were less susceptible to the anticancer and chemosensitization effects of triptolide than control cells. Triptolide also exhibited anticancer and chemosensitization effects in nude mouse xenograft model. When it was administered to tumor-bearing nude mice, triptolide inhibited tumor growth and enhanced the antitumor effects of doxorubicin. In summary, triptolide has anticancer and chemosensitization effects by down-regulating Akt activation through the MDM2/REST pathway in human breast cancer. Our study helps to elucidate the p53-independent regulatory function of MDM2 in Akt signaling, offering a novel view of the mechanism by which triptolide functions as an anticancer agent.

Ikram F, Ackermann S, Kahlert Y, et al.
Transcription factor activating protein 2 beta (TFAP2B) mediates noradrenergic neuronal differentiation in neuroblastoma.
Mol Oncol. 2016; 10(2):344-59 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Neuroblastoma is an embryonal pediatric tumor that originates from the developing sympathetic nervous system and shows a broad range of clinical behavior, ranging from fatal progression to differentiation into benign ganglioneuroma. In experimental neuroblastoma systems, retinoic acid (RA) effectively induces neuronal differentiation, and RA treatment has been therefore integrated in current therapies. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying differentiation are still poorly understood. We here investigated the role of transcription factor activating protein 2 beta (TFAP2B), a key factor in sympathetic nervous system development, in neuroblastoma pathogenesis and differentiation. Microarray analyses of primary neuroblastomas (n = 649) demonstrated that low TFAP2B expression was significantly associated with unfavorable prognostic markers as well as adverse patient outcome. We also found that low TFAP2B expression was strongly associated with CpG methylation of the TFAP2B locus in primary neuroblastomas (n = 105) and demethylation with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine resulted in induction of TFAP2B expression in vitro, suggesting that TFAP2B is silenced by genomic methylation. Tetracycline inducible re-expression of TFAP2B in IMR-32 and SH-EP neuroblastoma cells significantly impaired proliferation and cell cycle progression. In IMR-32 cells, TFAP2B induced neuronal differentiation, which was accompanied by up-regulation of the catecholamine biosynthesizing enzyme genes DBH and TH, and down-regulation of MYCN and REST, a master repressor of neuronal genes. By contrast, knockdown of TFAP2B by lentiviral transduction of shRNAs abrogated RA-induced neuronal differentiation of SH-SY5Y and SK-N-BE(2)c neuroblastoma cells almost completely. Taken together, our results suggest that TFAP2B is playing a vital role in retaining RA responsiveness and mediating noradrenergic neuronal differentiation in neuroblastoma.

Mahamdallie SS, Hanks S, Karlin KL, et al.
Mutations in the transcriptional repressor REST predispose to Wilms tumor.
Nat Genet. 2015; 47(12):1471-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
Wilms tumor is the most common childhood renal cancer. To identify mutations that predispose to Wilms tumor, we are conducting exome sequencing studies. Here we describe 11 different inactivating mutations in the REST gene (encoding RE1-silencing transcription factor) in four familial Wilms tumor pedigrees and nine non-familial cases. Notably, no similar mutations were identified in the ICR1000 control series (13/558 versus 0/993; P < 0.0001) or in the ExAC series (13/558 versus 0/61,312; P < 0.0001). We identified a second mutational event in two tumors, suggesting that REST may act as a tumor-suppressor gene in Wilms tumor pathogenesis. REST is a zinc-finger transcription factor that functions in cellular differentiation and embryonic development. Notably, ten of 11 mutations clustered within the portion of REST encoding the DNA-binding domain, and functional analyses showed that these mutations compromise REST transcriptional repression. These data establish REST as a Wilms tumor predisposition gene accounting for ∼2% of Wilms tumor.

Zhang X, Coleman IM, Brown LG, et al.
SRRM4 Expression and the Loss of REST Activity May Promote the Emergence of the Neuroendocrine Phenotype in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 21(20):4698-708 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: The neuroendocrine phenotype is associated with the development of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Our objective was to characterize the molecular features of the neuroendocrine phenotype in CRPC.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Expression of chromogranin A (CHGA), synaptophysin (SYP), androgen receptor (AR), and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) was analyzed by IHC in 155 CRPC metastases from 50 patients and in 24 LuCaP prostate cancer patient-derived xenografts (PDX). Seventy-one of 155 metastases and the 24 LuCaP xenograft lines were analyzed by whole-genome microarrays. REST splicing was verified by PCR.
RESULTS: Coexpression of CHGA and SYP in >30% of cells was observed in 22 of 155 metastases (9 patients); 11 of the 22 metastases were AR(+)/PSA(+) (6 patients), 11/22 were AR-/PSA- (4 patients), and 4/24 LuCaP PDXs were AR(-)/PSA(-). By IHC, of the 71 metastases analyzed by whole-genome microarrays, 5 metastases were CHGA(+)/SYP(+)/AR(-), and 5 were CHGA(+)/SYP(+)/AR(+). Only CHGA(+)/SYP(+) metastases had a neuroendocrine transcript signature. The neuronal transcriptional regulator SRRM4 transcript was associated with the neuroendocrine signature in CHGA(+)/SYP(+) metastases and all CHGA(+)/SYP(+) LuCaP xenografts. In addition, expression of SRRM4 in LuCaP neuroendocrine xenografts correlated with a splice variant of REST that lacks the transcriptional repressor domain.
CONCLUSIONS: (i) Metastatic neuroendocrine status can be heterogeneous in the same patient, (ii) the CRPC neuroendocrine molecular phenotype can be defined by CHGA(+)/SYP(+) dual positivity, (iii) the neuroendocrine phenotype is not necessarily associated with the loss of AR activity, and (iv) the splicing of REST by SRRM4 could promote the neuroendocrine phenotype in CRPC.

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