British journal of cancer

Golgi phosphoprotein 2 (GOLPH2) is a novel bile acid-responsive modulator of oesophageal cell migration and invasion.

PMID 26461057


The aetiology of Barrett's oesophagus (BO) and oesophageal cancer is poorly understood. We previously demonstrated that Golgi structure and function is altered in oesophageal cancer cells. A Golgi-associated protein, GOLPH2, was previously established as a tissue biomarker for BO. Cellular functions for GOLPH2 are currently unknown, therefore in this study we sought to investigate functional roles for this Golgi-associated protein in oesophageal disease. Expression, intracellular localisation and secretion of GOLPH2 were identified by immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry and western blot. GOLPH2 expression constructs and siRNA were used to identify cellular functions for GOLPH2. We demonstrate that the structure of the Golgi is fragmented and the intracellular localisation of GOLPH2 is altered in BO and oesophageal adenocarcinoma tissue. GOLPH2 is secreted by oesophageal cancer cells and GOLPH2 expression, cleavage and secretion facilitate cell migration and invasion. Furthermore, exposure of cells to DCA, a bile acid component of gastric refluxate and known tumour promoter for oesophageal cancer, causes disassembly of the Golgi structure into ministacks, resulting in cleavage and secretion of GOLPH2. This study demonstrates that GOLPH2 may be a useful tissue biomarker for oesophageal disease. We provide a novel mechanistic insight into the aetiology of oesophageal cancer and reveal novel functions for GOLPH2 in regulating tumour cell migration and invasion, important functions for the metastatic process in oesophageal cancer.