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PubMed | Tianjin Medical University and The Key Laboratory of Tianjin Cancer Prevention and Treatment
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2016

Several fibroblast growth factor (FGF) isoforms act to stimulate epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) during cancer progression. FGF4 and FGF7 are two ligands of FGF receptor 2 (FGFR2). Using two lung adenocarcinoma (ADC) cell lines, A549 and H1299, we showed that FGF4, but not FGF7, altered cell morphology, promoted EMT-associated protein expression, and enhanced cell proliferation, migration/invasion and colony initiation. In addition, FGF4 increased store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) and expression of the calcium signal-associated protein Orai1. The SOCE inhibitor 2,5-di-tert-butylhydroquinone (BHQ) or Orai1 knockdown reversed all of the EMT-promoting effects of FGF4. BHQ also inhibited FGF4-induced EMT in a mouse xenograft model. Finally, 60 human lung ADC samples and 21 sets of matched specimens (primary and metastatic foci in lymph nodes from one patient) were used to confirm the clinicopathologic significance of FGF4 and its correlation with E-cadherin, Vimentin and Orai1 expression. Our study thus shows that FGF4 induces EMT by elevating SOCE in lung ADC.


Qi L.,Tianjin Medical University | Qi L.,The Key Laboratory of Tianjin Cancer Prevention and Treatment | Qi L.,National Clinical Research Center for Cancer | Song W.,Tianjin Medical University | And 12 more authors.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2015

Our previous study provided evidence that non-canonical Wnt signaling is involved in regulating vasculogenic mimicry (VM) formation. However, the functions of canonical Wnt signaling in VM formation have not yet been explored. In this study, we found the presence of VM was related to colon cancer histological differentiation (p < 0.001), the clinical stage (p < 0.001), and presence of metastasis and recurrence (p < 0.001). VM-positive colon cancer samples showed increased Wnt3a expression (p < 0.001) and P-catenin nuclear expression (p < 0.001) compared with the VM-negative samples. In vitro, over-regulated Wnt3a expression in HT29 colon cancer cells promoted the capacity to form tube-like structures in the three-dimensional (3-D) culture together with increased expression of endothelial phenotype-associated proteins such as VEGFR2 and VE-cadherin. The mouse xenograft model showed that Wnt3a-overexpressing cells grew into larger tumor masses and formed more VM than the control cells. In addition, the Wnt/P-catenin signaling antagonist Dickkopf-1(Dkk1) can reverse the capacity to form tube-like structures and can decrease the expressions of VEGFR2 and VE-cadherin in Wnt3a-overexpressing cells. Taken together, our results suggest that Wnt/β-catenin signaling is involved in VM formation in colon cancer and might contribute to the development of more accurate treatment modalities aimed at VM. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Liu Z.,Tianjin Medical University | Liu Z.,The Key Laboratory of Tianjin Cancer Prevention and Treatment | Sun B.,Tianjin Medical University | Sun B.,The Key Laboratory of Tianjin Cancer Prevention and Treatment | And 6 more authors.
Cancer Science | Year: 2012

Our previous studies have shown that epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) may be involved in the vasculogenic mimicry (VM) formation in hepatocellular carcinoma. Here, we hypothesize that zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1) promotes VM formation in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) by inducing EMT. We identified VM in 39 (19.2%) out of 203 CRC patients. The presence of VM was associated with aggressive biological behavior and was an unfavorable prognostic indicator. By immunohistochemical analysis, we found that the VM-positive CRC samples showed increased ZEB1 expression compared with the VM-negative samples and the ZEB1 expression occurred concomitantly with features of EMT. In vitro, knockdown of ZEB1 in poorly differentiated HCT116 CRC cells destroyed the vessel-like structures in the 3-D culture, a property associated with VM formation. Knockdown of ZEB1 resulted in restoration of epithelial phenotypes and significantly inhibited the ability to migrate and invade. In addition, ZEB1 underexpression decreased the expression of vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin and Flk-1, which are characteristics of endothelial cells. Taken together, our results suggest that ZEB1 can promote VM formation by inducing EMT in CRC and might represent an important target in CRC. © 2011 Japanese Cancer Association.


Qi L.,Tianjin Medical University | Sun B.,Tianjin Medical University | Sun B.,The Key Laboratory of Tianjin Cancer Prevention and Treatment | Liu Z.,Tianjin Medical University | And 3 more authors.
Cancer Science | Year: 2012

This study aimed to determine the expression pattern of dickkopf-1 (Dkk1), a potent inhibitor of Wnt signaling, in colon cancer and to assess the function and mechanism of Dkk1 in tumor progression in vitro and in vivo. We detected the protein expression of Dkk1 and some epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-associated markers (E-cadherin, vimentin and β-catenin) in 217 tissue samples of human colon cancer, upregulated Dkk1 expression in HCT116 colon cancer cells, and established a nude mouse xenograft model. Dkk1 protein overexpression was inversely related to tumor grade and the presence of metastasis and recurrence of colon cancer. Notably, the expression of Dkk1 was concomitant with reduced immunohistochemical features of EMT (e.g. increased expression of epithelial marker E-cadherin, decreased expression of mesenchymal marker vimentin, and cytoplasmic distribution of β-catenin). Furthermore, Dkk1 overexpression resulted in restoration of the epithelial phenotype, decreased expression of EMT transcription factors Snail and Twist, and decreased expression of markers suggestive of intestinal stem cells (e.g. cluster of differentiation 133 [CD133] and leucine-rich-repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor 5 [Lgr5]). Functional analysis showed overexpression of Dkk1 reduced proliferation, migration, and invasion of colon cancer cells. Moreover, upregulation of Dkk1 led to decreased tumor-initiating ability and suppressed colon tumor growth in nude mice. Our findings indicate that Dkk1 can suppress the progression of colon cancer, possibly through EMT inhibition, and could therefore serve as a target for tumor therapy. © 2012 Japanese Cancer Association.

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