Elevated eukaryotic elongation factor 2 expression is involved in proliferation and invasion of lung squamous cell carcinoma.

PMID 27542262


Eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (EF2), is a critical enzyme solely responsible for catalyzing the translocation of the elongated peptidyl-tRNA from the A to P sites of the ribosome during the process of protein synthesis. EF2 is found to be highly expressed in a variety of malignant tumors and is correlated with cancer cell progression and recurrence. The present study was designed to uncover the function of EF2 on lung squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) cancer cell growth and progression. Our results from clinical tissue studies showed that EF2 protein was significantly overexpressed in LSCC tissues, compared with the adjacent normal lung tissues, which was confirmed by western blotting and tissue microarray. Forced expression of EF2 resulted in the enhancement of lung squamous carcinoma NCI-H520 cells growth through promotion of G2/M progression in cell cycle, activating Akt and Cdc2/Cyclin B1. In nude mice cancer xenograft model, overexpression of EF2 significantly facilitated cell proliferation in vivo. Furthermore, forced expression of EF2 in the cells increased the capabilities of migration and invasion by changing the expressions of EMT-related proteins and genes. These results provided novel insights into the role of EF2 in tumorigenesis and progression in LSCC. EF2-targeted therapy could become a good strategy for the clinical treatment of LSCC.