Myoglobin Protects Breast Cancer Cells Due to Its ROS and NO Scavenging Properties

Myoglobin (MB) is an oxygen-binding protein usually found in cardiac myocytes and skeletal muscle fibers. It may function as a temporary storage and transport protein for O2 . To further explore the role of MB in cell survival, we performed RNA-Seq after MB knockdown and NO treatment. 1029 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), including 45 potential HIF-1 target genes, were annotated in regulatory pathways that modulate cellular function and maintenance, cell death and survival, and carbohydrate metabolism. Of these target genes, TMEFF1 , TREX2 , GLUT-1 , MKNK-1 , and RAB8B were significantly altered. Consistently, a decreased expression of GLUT-1 , MKNK-1 , and RAB8B after MB knockdown was confirmed by qPCR. All three genes of interest are often up regulated in cancer and correlate with a poor clinical outcome. Thus, our data indicate that myoglobin might influence the survival of breast cancer cells, possibly due to its ROS and NO scavenging properties and could be a valuable target for cancer therapy.


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