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Chu W.,Nanjing Medical University | Song X.,Nanjing Medical University | Yang X.,Stomatological Hospital of Jiangsu Province | Ma L.,Nanjing Medical University | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Background: The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key process in carcinogenesis, invasion, and metastasis of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). In our previous studies, we found that neuropilin-1 (NRP1) is overexpressed in tongue squamous cell carcinoma and that this overexpression is associated with cell migration and invasion. Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) plays an essential role both in the induction and the maintenance of EMT and tumor metastasis. Therefore, we hypothesized that NRP1 induces EMT, and that NRP1-induced migration and invasion may be an important mechanism for promoting invasion and metastasis of OSCC through NF-κB activation. Methods/Results: The variations in gene and protein expression and the changes in the biological behavior of OSCC cell lines transfected with a vector encoding NRP1, or the corresponding vector control, were evaluated. NRP1 overexpression promoted EMT and was associated with enhanced invasive and metastatic properties. Furthermore, the induction of EMT promoted the acquisition of some cancer stem cell (CSC)-like characteristics in OSCC cells. We addressed whether selective inhibition of NF-κB suppresses the NRP1-mediated EMT by treating cells with pyrrolidinedithiocarbamate ammonium (PDTC), an inhibitor of NF-κB. Immunohistochemical analysis of NRP1 in OSCC tissue samples further supported a key mediator role for NRP1 in tumor progression, lymph node metastasis, and indicated that NRP1 is a predictor for poor prognosis in OSCC patients. Conclusion: Our results indicate that NRP1 may regulate the EMT process in OSCC cell lines through NF-κB activation, and that higher NRP1 expression levels are associated with lymph node metastasis and poor prognosis in OSCC patients. Further investigation of the role of NRP1 in tumorigenesis may help identify novel targets for the prevention and therapy of oral cancers. © 2014 Chu et al. Source

Zhu J.,Nanjing Medical University | Wu Y.-N.,Stomatological Hospital of Jiangsu Province | Zhang W.,Stomatological Hospital of Jiangsu Province | Zhang X.-M.,Stomatological Hospital of Jiangsu Province | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Monocarboxylate transporter 4 (MCT4) is a cell membrane transporter of lactate. Recent studies have shown that MCT4 is over-expressed in various cancers; however, its role in cancer maintenance and aggressiveness has not been fully demonstrated. This study investigated the role of MCT4 in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), and found that it is highly expressed in OSCC patients by using immunohistochemistry. Moreover, this over-expression of MCT4 was closely associated with tumor size, TNM classification, lymphatic metastasis, distant metastasis and tumor recurrence, and also poor prognosis. To further study mechanisms of MCT4 in vitro, we used small-interfering RNA to silence its expression in OSCC cell lines. The results showed that knock-down of MCT4 decreased cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. The inhibition of proliferation was associated with down-regulation of p-AKT and p-ERK1/2, while decreased cell migration and invasion may be caused by down-regulation of integrin β4-SRC-FAK and MEK-ERK signaling. Together, these findings provide new insight into the critical role of MCT4 in cell proliferation and metastasis in OSCC. © 2014 Zhu et al. Source

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