Gynecological endocrinology : the official journal of the International Society of Gynecological Endocrinology

Vascular endothelial growth factor C enhances cervical cancer cell invasiveness via upregulation of galectin-3 protein.

PMID 24650367


Vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) promotes cervical cancer metastasis, while the detailed mechanism remains obscure. Recent evidence shows that galectin-3 (Gal-3), a glycan binding protein, interacts with the VEGF receptors and reinforces their signal transduction. In this study, we investigated the role of Gal-3 in VEGF-C-induced cervical cancer cell invasion. On cervical carcinoma cell line SiHa cells, silencing of Gal-3 expression with specific siRNA largely impaired VEGF-C-enhanced cell invasion. Treatment with VEGF-C for 12-48 h enhanced Gal-3 protein expression, which was inhibited by the addition of NF-κB inhibitor pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC). Moreover, the silencing of NF-κB subunit p65 expression with specific siRNA attenuated VEGF-C-enhanced Gal-3 expression, suggesting that NF-κB is the key intermediate. Under VEGF-C stimulation, an enhanced interaction between VEGF receptor-3 (VEGF-R3) and Gal-3 was found, which may possibly lead to VEGF-R3 activation since exogenous Gal-3 induced VEGF-R3 phosphorylation in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In conclusion, our findings implied that VEGF-C enhanced cervical cancer invasiveness via upregulation of Gal-3 protein through NF-κB pathway, which may shed light on potential therapeutic strategies for cervical cancer therapy.