Journal of experimental & clinical cancer research : CR

SPOP suppresses tumorigenesis by regulating Hedgehog/Gli2 signaling pathway in gastric cancer.

PMID 25204354


Recent evidence suggests that aberrant activation of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling by Gli transcription factors is characteristic of a variety of aggressive human carcinomas including gastric cancer. Speckle-type POZ protein, SPOP, is an E3 ubiquitin ligase adaptor, and it is found to inhibit oncogenic signaling. However, the molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. In this study, we characterized the expression of SPOP in 88 pairs of gastric cancer tissues and adjacent tissues by immunohistochemical staining and Western blotting. The relationship between SPOP expression and clinical pathologic factors was analyzed. Transfected gastric cancer cell lines were used in cell viability, wound healing and colony formation assays. The interaction of SPOP with Gli2 and other related apoptotic proteins was assessed by immunoprecipitation, Western blotting, real-time PCR and dual luciferase reporter assays. Intracellular interaction of SPOP and Gli2 was visualized by immunofluorescent staining in gastric cancer cells. Immunohistochemical staining of SPOP can be detected in gastric cancer tissues but much less than adjacent gastric tissues (P < 0.01). High SPOP expression is negatively correlated with lymph node metastasis, poor histological differentiation, and tumor malignancy according to TNM staging. In vitro experiments revealed that over-expression of SPOP prevented tumor cells from proliferation, migration and colony formation in gastric cancer cell lines. Likewise, repression of SPOP promoted cell viability, migration, proliferation, and attenuated apoptosis. Mechanistic studies revealed that increasing SPOP accelerated Gli2 degradation but regardless of Gli2 synthesis. Furthermore, cytoplasmic Gli2 decreased markedly along with the abundant expression of SPOP in MKN45 cells. Our findings indicate that SPOP plays critical roles in suppressing gastric tumorigenesis through inhibiting Hh/Gli2 signaling pathway. It may provide an alternative strategy for developing therapeutic agents of gastric cancer in future.