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Oncogene

Elevated hydrostatic pressure enhances the motility and enlarges the size of the lung cancer cells through aquaporin upregulation mediated by caveolin-1 and ERK1/2 signaling.


PMID 27499095

Abstract

The mechanical characteristics presented in cancer microenvironment are known to have pivotal roles in cancer metastasis, which accounts for the leading cause of death from malignant tumors. However, while a uniformly distributed high interstitial fluid pressure (IFP) is a common feature in solid tumors, the effects of high IFP on the motility and invasiveness of cancer cells remain obscure. Using cell-culture devices that simulated increased IFP conditions by applying hydrostatic pressure (HP) ranging from 0 to 20 mm Hg to the cells, we found that the elevated HPs increased the migration speeds, invasiveness, cell volume, filopodial number and aquaporin-1 (AQP1), Snail and vinculin expression levels, as well as phosphorylation of caveolin-1 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 (ERK1/2), in the lung cancer cells CL1-5 and A549. The increases of migration speed and cell volume correlated temporally with the increase of AQP1 expression. The elevated HP-induced migration acceleration was hindered by AQP1 knockdown using small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection. Inhibition of ERK1/2 phosphorylation using the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase inhibitor PD98059 abrogated the elevated HP-induced AQP1 upregulation and migration acceleration in the cancer cells. Caveolin-1 knockdown by siRNA transfection attenuated the HP-induced, ERK1/2-depedent AQP1 upregulation and migration acceleration. Further biochemical studies revealed that the caveolin-1 activation-driven ERK1/2 signaling is mediated by Akt1/2 phosphorylation. By contrast, the elevated HPs had negligible effects on the migration speed and volume of normal bronchial epithelial cells. These results disclose a novel mechanism relating high IFP to the invasiveness of cancer cells and highlight potential targets to impede cancer spreading.

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