Cancer Res Treat.  2020 Oct;52(4):1067-1083. 10.4143/crt.2020.187.

Elevated Expression of RIOK1 Is Correlated with Breast Cancer Hormone Receptor Status and Promotes Cancer Progression

  • 1Medical School of Nantong University, Nantong, China
  • 2Department of Clinical Research Center, Nantong First People’s Hospital, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China
  • 3Department of General Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China
  • 4Research Center of Clinical Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China


RIOK1 has been proved to play an important role in cancer cell proliferation and migration in various types of cancers—such as colorectal and gastric cancers. However, the expression of RIOK1 in breast cancer (BC) and the relationship between RIOK1 expression and the development of BC are not well characterized. In this study, we assessed the expression of RIOK1 in BC and evaluated the mechanisms underlying its biological function in this disease context.
Materials and Methods
We used immunohistochemistry, western blot and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to evaluate the expression of RIOK1 in BC patients. Then, knockdown or overexpression of RIOK1 were used to evaluate the effect on BC cells in vitro and in vivo. Finally, we predicted miR-204-5p could be a potential regulator of RIOK1.
We found that the expression levels of RIOK1 were significantly higher in hormone receptor (HR)–negative BC patients and was associated with tumor grades (p=0.010) and p53 expression (p=0.008) and survival duration (p=0.011). Kaplan-Meier analysis suggested a tendency for the poor prognosis. In vitro, knockdown of RIOK1 could inhibit proliferation, invasion, and induced apoptosis in HR-negative BC cells and inhibited tumorigenesis in vivo, while overexpression of RIOK1 promoted HR-positive tumor progression. MiR-204-5p could regulate RIOK1 expression and be involved in BC progression.
These findings indicate that RIOK1 expression could be a biomarker of HR-negative BC, and it may serve as an effective prognostic indicator and promote BC progression.


Breast neoplasms; Hormone receptor; RIOK1; Prognosis; miR-204; PI3K
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