Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) induces cell migration and epithelial mesenchymal transition through WNK1/snail in non-small cell lung cancer.

PMID 28969021


The extracellular matrix is a component of physiological microenvironment and a regulator of cellular processes such as migration and proliferation. Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine (SPARC/osteonectin) is an extracellular matrix-associated glycoprotein involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and cell migration in several types of cancers. However, the role of SPARC in lung cancer is paradoxical and details of the regulatory mechanism are not well-known. In this study, we investigated novel SPARC-mediated signaling pathways. Treatment of SPARC increased cell proliferation, migration, and mesenchymal phenotype in two non-small cell lung cancer cell lines, CL1-5 and H1299. We found that these phenotypes were not regulated by focal adhesion kinase and Src kinase, but were mediated by with no lysine (K) kinase 1 (WNK1). Suppression of WNK1 expression decreased the expression of SPARC-induced N-cadherin and smooth muscle actin. Moreover, Snail, an important transcription factor for regulating epithelial-mesenchymal transition, is also involved in SPARC/WNK1 pathway. In a murine tumor model, SPARC treatment significantly induced phosphorylation of Akt and WNK1 in lung tumor nodules when compared to control mice. In conclusion, these data suggest that WNK1 is a novel molecule in SPARC-mediated mesenchymal signaling pathway in non-small cell lung cancer.

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EHU094321 MISSION® esiRNA, esiRNA human WNK1 (esiRNA1)