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Cervical Cancer Cell Growth, Drug Resistance, and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition Are Suppressed by γ-Secretase Inhibitor RO4929097

Lu Wang, Guo Dai, Jian Yang, Wanrong Wu, Wei Zhang

(Department of Gynecology, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:4046-4053

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.909452

BACKGROUND: The Notch signaling pathway has been reported to play a pivotal role in tumorigenesis. Emerging evidence has demonstrated that the Notch signaling pathway regulates several cellular processes. The present study investigated the effect of the Notch signaling pathway on cell growth, invasiveness, and drug resistance, as well as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), of cervical cancer cells.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We used quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot analysis to measure the expression level of Notch2. CCK-8, clonality, wound healing, and Transwell assays were used to evaluate the effect of γ-secretase inhibitor (GSI) RO4929097 on cervical cancer cell lines HeLa and Caski. To explore the role of the Notch signaling pathway in EMT, the epithelial and mesenchymal markers were detected by qRT-PCR and Western blot after cervical cancer cell lines were treated with GSI RO4929097.
RESULTS: The expression of Notch2 was found to increase in cervical cancer cell lines compared with the normal immortalized human cervical epithelial cells. GSI RO4929097 was confirmed to inhibit the Notch signaling pathway and impaired the proliferation, drug resistance, migration, and invasion abilities of cervical cancer cells. The protein expression levels of the mesenchymal biomarkers Snail, Twist, and neural cadherin (N-cadherin) decreased; however, the expression of the epithelial biomarker epithelial cadherin (E-cadherin) increased in the cervical cancer cells treated with GSI RO4929097.
CONCLUSIONS: Notch signaling pathway plays an important role in the development and progression of cervical cancer. Blockade of the Notch pathway using GSI RO4929097 inhibited cell growth and reduced chemoresistance, invasion, metastasis, and EMT in cervical cancer cells.

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