Polo-like kinase and survivin are esophageal tumor-specific promoters

Fumiaki Sato, John M. Abraham, Jing Yin, Takatsugu Kan, Tetsuo Ito, Yuriko Mori, James P. Hamilton, Zhe Jin, Yulan Cheng, Bogdan Paun, Agnes T. Berki, Suna Wang, Yutaka Shimada, Stephen J. Meltzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For developing successful cancer gene therapy strategies, tumor-specific gene delivery is essential. In this study, we used esophageal cancer (EC) cells to identify and evaluate esophageal tumor-specific gene promoters. Four genes (polo-like kinase-1/PLK, survivin/BIRC5, karyopherin α 2/KPNA2, and pituitary tumor transforming gene protein 1/PTTG1) were identified by a microarray analysis as highly expressed in EC cell lines vs. five normal organ tissues (liver, lung, kidney, brain, and heart). By quantitative RT-PCR, the average mRNA expression levels of these four genes in 20 primary ECs were 2.7-fold (PLK), 6.1-fold (survivin), 2.6-fold (KPNA2), and 2.4-fold (PTTG1) higher than that of each gene in 24 different normal organs. By dual luciferase assay, the promoter activity of PLK and survivin in EC cell lines was 18.9-fold and 28.5-fold higher, respectively, than in normal lung and renal cells. The promoters of PLK and survivin could be useful tools for developing EC-specific gene therapy vectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-471
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 7 2006


  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gene therapy
  • Microarray
  • Tumor-specific promoter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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