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Toll-like receptor-4 is a target for suppression of proliferation and chemoresistance in HepG2 hepatoblastoma cells.

Cancer letters (2015-08-16)
Chih-Cheng Hsiao, Po-Han Chen, Cheng-I Cheng, Ming-Shian Tsai, Chih-Yang Chang, Shang-Chieh Lu, Ming-Chu Hsieh, Yu-Chun Lin, Po-Huang Lee, Ying-Hsien Kao
ABSTRACT

Toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4) is known to influence growth and migration of hepatocellular tumors; however, its role in hepatoblastoma remains poorly understood. This study investigated the regulatory role of TLR4 in proliferation and chemoresistance of HepG2 hepatoblastoma cells. Treatment with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a TLR4 agonist, was found to significantly upregulate TLR4 expression in HepG2 cells, but not in malignant Huh-7 and Sk-Hep1 hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Additionally, IL-6 enhanced LPS-induced TLR4 upregulation. LPS-stimulated TLR4 activation increased proliferation, nitric oxide synthase (NOS) expression, and NO production in HepG2 cells. Chemotherapeutic agents, cisplatin and doxorubicin, effectively inhibited TLR4 expression in HepG2 cells. Characterization of LPS-induced signaling activation and blockade with kinase inhibitors revealed the involvement of Akt and MAPK pathways in LPS-enhanced NO release from, and proliferation of HepG2 cells. Mechanistically, gene modifications as a result of TLR4 transfection and siRNA-mediated knockdown further demonstrated a crucial role for TLR4 in the regulation of NOS expression, cell proliferation, and chemoresistance in HepG2 cells. These findings suggest that targeting TLR4 expression and its cognate signaling may modulate proliferation and chemosensitivity in hepatoblastoma cells and serve as a potential therapeutic target.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

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