Impact of NOX4 knockout by CRISPR/Cas9 on the MCF-7, HCA-7 and UM-RC-6 cancer cells

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Shahrekord Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahrekord, Iran.

2 Biotechnology Research Center, Shahrekord Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahrekord, Iran.


Background: The second most common cause of mortality is cancer. Increased NOX4 expression is linked to cancer development and metastasis. However, the significance of NOX4 in cell growth and assault, remains unclear.
Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of NOX4 knockouts in MCF7, UM-RC-6, HCA-7 cell lines.
Materials and Methods: The NOX4 gene was knocked out in MCF7, UM-RC-6, and HCA-7 cell lines through using CRISPR Cas-9 genetic engineering techniques. After transfection, the CRISPR Cas-9 cassette, the T7 endonuclease I, qPCR, and western blotting assay detected the NOX4 knockouts. MTT and Annexin assessed the percentage of cell proliferation and apoptosis. Real-time PCR was used to measure the expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic genes.
Results: Occurrence of NOX4 gene knockout in the examined cell lines, was confirmed by q-PCR and Western blot (P<0.001). The NOX4-deleted cell lines with increased sub-G1 caused lowered cell proliferation and population at S / G2/ M phases. In Vitro, NOX4 silencing caused lowered expressions of anti-apoptosis genes BCL-2 and SURVIVIN (P<0.0001), leading to increased tendency of apoptosis in the cell lines (P<0.0001) of the apoptotic genes BAX, P53, FAS. Additionally, the MTT and Annexin results of the target gene NOX4 knockout inhibited proliferation, increased mortality rates (P<0.01), and increased apoptosis.
Conclusion: The findings of this study indicate that using NOX4 as a target can have therapeutic value for creating potential treatments against breast, colorectal, and kidney cancers which shows a need for a deeper understanding of the biology of these cancers with direct clinical outcomes for developing novel treatment strategies.


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