Osteopontin Promotes Colorectal Cancer Cell Invasion and the Stem Cell-Like Properties through the PI3K-AKT-GSK/3β-β/Catenin Pathway
Yuanguang Cheng, Gang Wen, Yong Sun, Yang Shen, Yongqing Zeng, Ming Du, Guangyu Zhu, Guanglong Wang, Xiangling Meng
Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, The First Afliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China (mainland)
Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:3014-3025
Osteopontin (OPN) is a molecule expressed in numerous cancers including colorectal cancer (CRC) that correlates disease progression. The interaction of OPN that promotes CRC cell migration, invasion, and cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) have not been elucidated. Hence, we aimed to investigate the mechanisms that might be involved.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Expression of OPN in tumor tissues derived from patients was monitored with real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot. Wound healing and Transwell assay were used to test the differences in migration and invasion in an OPN enriched environment and OPN knockdown condition. Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1) positive stem cells were isolated using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) following the protocol of the ALDEFLUOR™ kit. The expression of protein participation in the PI3K-Akt-GSK/3ß-ß/catenin pathway was detected by western blot.
RESULTS: OPN exhibited increased levels in CRC tumor tissue compared with non-tumor normal tissue and the high level of which correlated with lymphatic metastasis and late TNM stage. Additional rhOPN co-cultured low-expression CRC cells demonstrated more aggressive capability of proliferation, migration, and invasion. For knockdown of OPN in high-expression CRC cells, the bioactivities of proliferation, migration, and invasion were significantly inhibited. Interestingly, the percentage of ALDH1 labeled stem cells was dramatically decreased by OPN inhibition. The phosphorylation of PI3K-Akt-GSK/3ß-ß/catenin pathway was involved in the OPN signaling. Furthermore, Ly294002, a specific PI3K inhibitor, can reverse the promotion of bioactivities and stem cell proportion among rhOPN treated CRC cells.
CONCLUSIONS: OPN promoted cell proliferation, migration, and invasion, and was accompanied by upregulation of ALDH1-positive CSC in CRC through activation of PI3K-Akt-GSK/3ß-ß/catenin pathway.
Keywords: Colorectal Neoplasms, Neoplasm Metastasis, Osteopontin, Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases, Transcellular Cell Migration