Molecular and biochemical parasitology

Clonorchis sinensis excretory-secretory products promote the migration and invasion of cholangiocarcinoma cells by activating the integrin β4-FAK/Src signaling pathway.

PMID 28286026


Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a slow-growing but highly metastatic cancer. Its metastatic potential largely explains its high mortality rate. A recognized risk factor for CCA development is infection with the liver flukes Opisthorchis viverrini and Clonorchis sinensis. We previously reported that the excretory-secretory products (ESPs) of C. sinensis promoted the three-dimensional aggregation and invasion of CCA cells. In the present study, a quantitative real-time PCR array of extracellular matrix (ECM) and adhesion molecules was used to examine the regulatory mechanism of ESP-mediated CCA cell migration and invasion. In particular, the expression levels of integrin α isoforms and β4 were upregulated in response to ESPs. Increased expression of integrin β4 was probably correlated with activation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and the steroid receptor coactivator (Src) family kinase and the subsequent activation of two downstream focal adhesion molecules, paxillin and vinculin. Moreover, inhibition of FAK/Src activation reduced paxillin and vinculin phosphorylation and attenuated ESP-induced CCA cell migration and invasion. These findings suggest that the integrin β4-FAK/Src signaling axis may play a crucial role in clonorchiasis-associated CCA metastasis during tumor progression.