FHL1 promotes glioblastoma aggressiveness through regulating EGFR expression

Lili Sun, Lili Chen, Hua Zhu, Yumo Li, Clark C. Chen, Ming Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The four-and-a-half LIM domain protein 1 (FHL1) plays a key role in multiple cancers. Here, we characterized its role in glioblastoma (GBM), the most common and incurable form of brain cancer. Overexpression of FHL1 promotes growth, migration, and invasion of GBM cells in vivo and in vitro. In contrast, FHL1 silencing by RNAi exhibits the opposite effects. FHL1 interacts with the transcription factor SP1 to upregulate epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression and activate the downstream signaling cascades, including Src, Akt, Erk1/2, and Stat3, leading to GBM malignancy. FHL1 is highly expressed and positively correlated with EGFR levels in human GBM, particularly those of the classical subtype. Our results suggest that the FHL1-SP1-EGFR axis plays a tumor-promoting role, and highlight the translational potential of inhibiting FHL1 for GBM treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-98
Number of pages14
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 28 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the Suzhou ‘Science and Education for Health’ Youth Science and Technology Project (KJXW2018013, to SL) and the Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University Youth pre‐Research Fund (SDFEYQN1716, to CL). This work was also supported by the grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81572480 and 81172401).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Federation of European Biochemical Societies


  • EGFR
  • FHL1
  • SP1
  • glioblastoma

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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