SOX18 Affects Cell Viability, Migration, Invasiveness, and Apoptosis in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) Cells by Participating in Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) Progression and Adenosine Monophosphate Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK)/Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR)
Yanni Sun, Bo Lei, Qingxian Huang
(Department of Hepatology, Yantai City Hospital for Infectious Diseases, Yantai, Shandong, China (mainland))
Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:6244-6254
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common malignancies around the world. It has been verified that the expression of SOX18 is correlated to poor clinical prognosis in patients with ovarian cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, or breast invasive ductal carcinoma. However, the expression pattern and biological function of SOX18 in HCC tissues remains unclear. In this study, we set out to investigate the associated biological function and potential molecular mechanism of the SOX18 gene in HCC cells.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The mRNA and protein expression levels of experimental related genes were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blotting assay, respectively. The MTT method was used to assess cell viability, and cell apoptosis analysis was performed by means of FACScan flow cytometry. Wound-healing assay and Transwell analysis were performed to evaluate the ability of cell migration and invasiveness, respectively.
RESULTS: SOX18 was highly expressed in various HCC cell lines. In addition, SOX18 promoted cell viability, migration, and invasion and simultaneously induce cell apoptosis. SOX18 promoted epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) progression, and SOX18 downregulation activated the autophagy signaling pathway AMPK/mTOR in HCC cells.
CONCLUSIONS: SOX18 downregulation in HCC cells suppressed cell viability and metastasis, induced cell apoptosis and hindered the occurrence and progression of tumor cells by participating in the EMT process and regulating the autophagy signaling pathway AMPK/mTOR.
Keywords: Apoptosis, Carcinoma, Hepatocellular, Cell Survival, Neoplasm Metastasis, SOXF Transcription Factors