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Nuclear receptor retinoid-related orphan receptor alpha promotes apoptosis but is reduced in human gastric cancer.


PMID 28052040

Abstract

Retinoid-related orphan receptor α (RORα) is a nuclear receptor, which regulates inflammation and immune responses, lipid metabolism and circadian rhythm. Although RORα suppresses breast tumor invasion, it is unknown whether RORα is dysregulated in gastric cancer leading to cellular survival. Therefore, we hypothesize that RORα is dysfunctional in gastric carcinoma and this causes decreased apoptosis in gastric cancer cells. To test this hypothesis, we employed human gastric cancer tissues with different stages to determine RORα expression, as well as in vitro human gastric cancer cells to determine how RORα is reduced during apoptosis. We found that the expression of RORα was reduced in gastric tissues with cancer, and this correlated with increased TNM stages. The mechanisms underlying RORα reduction is due to the reduced activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), as a selective AMPK activator AICAR increased RORα activation and level in human gastric cancer cells. Furthermore, AICAR treatment increased RORα recruitment on the promoters of tumor suppressor genes (i.e., FBXM7, SEMA3F and p21) leading to apoptosis in human gastric cancer cells. Taken together, RORα reduction occurs in gastric cancer leading to the survival of tumor cells, which is attenuated by AMPK. Therefore, both RORα and AMPK are potential targets for the intervention and therapy in gastric carcinoma.

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