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Journal of experimental & clinical cancer research : CR

SGK1 inhibition-induced autophagy impairs prostate cancer metastasis by reversing EMT.


PMID 29609629

Abstract

Despite SGK1 has been identified and characterized as a tumor-promoting gene, the functions and underlying mechanisms of SGK1 involved in metastasis regulation have not yet been investigated in cancer. We investigated the cellular responses to GSK650394 treatment and SGK1 silencing (or overexpression) in human prostate cancer (PCa) cell lines and PC3 xenografts by wound healing assay, migration and invasion assay, western blotting, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry. In the present study, we found that SGK1 expression positively correlates with human prostate cancer (PCa) progression and metastasis. We show that SGK1 inhibition significantly attenuates EMT and metastasis both in vitro and in vivo, whereas overexpression of SGK1 dramaticlly promoted the invasion and migration of PCa cells. Our further results suggest that SGK1 inhibition induced antimetastatic effects, at least partially via autophagy-mediated repression of EMT through the downregulation of Snail. Moreover, ectopic expression of SGK1 obviously attenuated the GSK650394-induced autophagy and antimetastatic effects. What's more, dual inhibition of mTOR and SGK1 enhances autophagy and leads to synergistic antimetastatic effects on PCa cells. Taken together, this study unveils a novel mechanism in which SGK1 functions as a tumor metastasis-promoting gene and highlights how co-targeting SGK1 and autophagy restrains cancer progression due to the amplified antimetastatic effects.