The histone H3K27 demethylase UTX participates in regulating multiple cancer types. However, less is known about the UTX function in glioblastoma (GBM). This study aims to define the effect of UTX on GBM. GEPIA2 database analysis showed that UTX expression was significantly increased in GBM and inversely correlated with survival. Knockdown UTX inhibited GBM cell proliferation, migration, and invasion while promoting apoptosis. Moreover, knockdown UTX also hampered tumor growth in the heterotopic xenograft model. RNA-seq combined with qRT-PCR and ChIP-qPCR were used to identify the target genes. The results showed that the UTX-mediated genes were strongly associated with tumor progression and the extracellular environment. Protein-protein interaction analysis suggested that periostin (POSTN) interacted with most of the other UTX-mediated genes. POSTN supplement abolished the effect of UTX knockdown in GBM cells. Furthermore, silencing UTX exhibited similar antitumor effect in patient-derived glioblastoma stem-like cells, while UTX functions were partially restored after exposing POSTN. Our findings may reveal a new insight into the onset of gliomagenesis and progression, providing a promising therapeutic strategy for GBM treatment.

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