Colon cancer is a major malignant neoplasm with a low survival rate for late-stage patients. Therefore, the investigation of molecules regulating colon cancer progression and the discovery of novel therapeutic targets is critical. Mitochondria play a vital role in maintaining the homeostasis of cells. Abnormal mitochondrial metabolism alterations and the induction of glycolysis can facilitate tumor growth; therefore, targeting mitochondrial molecules is suggested to be a promising strategy for cancer treatment. In this study, we investigated the role of this largely unknown mitochondrial factor, chromosome 20 open reading frame 7 (C20orf7), in colon cancer progression. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) technology was utilized for C20orf7 depletion, and functional assays were performed to examine the regulation of C20orf7 in colon cancer cells. We demonstrated that C20orf7 facilitates epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-mediated cell migration and promotes the proliferation of colon cancer. The anti-cancer drug 5-fluorouracil (5FU) was also applied, and C20orf7 was targeted with a combination of 5FU treatment, which could further enhance the anti-cancer effect in the colon cancer cell line and the xenograft mice model. In summary, this study demonstrated, for the first time, that C20orf7 plays a promotional role in cancer tumorigenesis and could be a promising therapeutic target in colon cancer treatment.
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