Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

iASPP is over-expressed in human non-small cell lung cancer and regulates the proliferation of lung cancer cells through a p53 associated pathway

Jinfeng Chen12, Fei Xie1, Lijian Zhang1* and Wen G Jiang2*

Author Affiliations

1 Key laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education) Department of Thoracic Surgery Peking University School of Oncology and Beijing Cancer Hospital & Institute Beijing 100142 PR China

2 Metastasis & Angiogenesis Research Group Cardiff University School of Medicine Heath Park Cardiff CF14 4XN UK

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BMC Cancer 2010, 10:694  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-694

Published: 30 December 2010



iASPP is a key inhibitor of tumour suppressor p53 and is found to be up-regulated in certain malignant conditions. The present study investigated the expression of iASPP in clinical lung cancer, a leading cancer type in the world, and the biological impact of this molecule on lung cancer cells.


iASPP protein levels in lung cancer tissues were evaluated using an immunohistochemical method. In vitro, iASPP gene expression was suppressed with a lentvirus-mediated shRNA method and the biological impact after knocking down iASSP on lung cancer cell lines was investigated in connection with the p53 expression status.


We showed here that the expression of iASPP was significantly higher in lung cancer tissues compared with the adjacent normal tissues. iASPP shRNA treatment resulted in a down-regulation of iASPP in lung cancer cells. There was a subsequent reduction of cell proliferation of the two lung tumour cell lines A459 and 95D both of which had wild-type p53 expression. In contrast, reduction of iASPP in H1229 cells, a cell with little p53 expression, had no impact on its growth rate.


iASPP regulates the proliferation and motility of lung cancer cells. This effect is intimately associated with the p53 pathway. Together with the pattern of the over-expression in clinical lung cancers, it is concluded that iASPP plays an pivotal role in the progression of lung cancer and is a potential target for lung cancer therapy.