Oncogenic fibulin-5 promotes nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell metastasis through the FLJ10540/AKT pathway and correlates with poor prognosis

Chung Feng Hwang, Li Yen Shiu, Li Jen Su, Yu Fang Yin, Wei Sheng Wang, Shun Chen Huang, Tai Jan Chiu, Chao Cheng Huang, Yen Yi Zhen, Hsin Ting Tsai, Fu Min Fang, Tai Lin Huang, Chang Han Chen

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42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is known for its high metastatic potential and locoregional recurrence, although the molecular alterations that are driving NPC metastasis remain unclear at this time. This study aimed to examine the expression of fibulin-5 in NPC, correlate the results with clinicopathological variables and survival, and to investigate the role of fibulin-5 in human NPC cell lines. Material and Methods: Standard semi-quantitative-RT-PCR, quantitative-RT-PCR, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry were used to investigate the mRNA and protein expression profiles of fibulin-5 in normal and NPC tissues. Immunohistochemistry of fibulin-5 was correlated with clinicopathological characteristics by univariate analyses. NPC cells overexpressing fibulin-5 or fibulin-5-siRNA cells were generated by stable transfection to characterize the molecular mechanisms of fibulin-5-elicited cell growth and metastasis. Results: Our results demonstrated that fibulin-5 overexpression in NPC specimens and significantly correlated with advanced tumor metastasis indicating a poor 5-year overall survival. Fibulin-5 was mainly expressed in the nucleus in human NPC specimens and cell lines. Functionally, fibulin-5 overexpression yielded fast growth in NPC cells. In addition, fibulin-5 promotes cell metastasis in NPC cells through increased FLJ10540 and phosphor-AKT activity. In contrast, siRNA depletion of fibulin-5 suppressed FLJ10540 expression and phosphor-AKT activity. Suppression of either fibulin-5 or FLJ10540 can cause significant inhibition with regards to cell motility in NPC cells. Finally, immunohistochemical analysis of human aggressive NPC specimens showed a significant and positive correlation between fibulin-5 and FLJ10540 expression. Conclusion: Higher fibulin-5 expression is not only an important indicator of poor survival, but also contributes to the development of new therapeutic strategies in the FLJ10540/AKT pathway for NPC treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere84218
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 27 Dec 2013

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