MTA2 promotes the metastasis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma via EIF4E-Twist feedback loop

Su Li Dai, Si Si Wei, Cong Zhang, Xiao Ya Li, Yue Ping Liu, Ming Ma, Hui Lai Lv, Zhenzhen Zhang, Lian Mei Zhao, Bao En Shan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Metastasis-associated protein 2 (MTA2) is frequently amplified in many types of cancers; however, the role and underlying molecular mechanism of MTA2 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) remain unknown. Here, we reported that MTA2 is highly expressed in ESCC tissue and cells, and is closely related to the malignant characteristics and poor prognosis of patients with ESCC. Through in vitro and in vivo experiments, we demonstrated that MTA2 significantly promoted ESCC growth, metastasis, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) progression. This integrative analysis combined with expression microarray showed that MTA2 could interact with eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (EIF4E), which positively regulates the expression of Twist, known as a master regulator of EMT. Moreover, the results of chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed that MTA2 was recruited to the E-cadherin promoter by Twist, which reduced the acetylation level of the promoter region and thus inhibited expression of E-cadherin, and subsequently promoted the aggressive progression of ESCC. Collectively, our study provided novel evidence that MTA2 plays an aggressive role in ESCC metastasis by a novel EIF4E-Twist positive feedback loop, which may provide a potential therapeutic target for the management of ESCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1060-1074
Number of pages15
JournalCancer Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • EIF4E
  • ESCC
  • MTA2
  • Twist
  • metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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