HOXA10 mediates epithelial-mesenchymal transition to promote gastric cancer metastasis partly via modulation of TGFB2/Smad/METTL3 signaling axis.

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Date: Feb. 9, 2021
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 7,039 words
Lexile Measure: 1530L

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Abstract :

Background Homeobox A10 (HOXA10) belongs to the HOX gene family, which plays an essential role in embryonic development and tumor progression. We previously demonstrated that HOXA10 was significantly upregulated in gastric cancer (GC) and promoted GC cell proliferation. This study was designed to investigate the role of HOXA10 in GC metastasis and explore the underlying mechanism. Methods Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was used to evaluate the expression of HOXA10 in GC. In vitro cell migration and invasion assays as well as in vivo mice metastatic models were utilized to investigate the effects of HOXA10 on GC metastasis. GSEA, western blot, qRT-PCR and confocal immunofluorescence experiments preliminarily analyzed the relationship between HOXA10 and EMT. ChIP-qPCR, dual-luciferase reporter (DLR), co-immunoprecipitation (CoIP), colorimetric m.sup.6A assay and mice lung metastasis rescue models were performed to explore the mechanism by which HOXA10 accelerated the EMT process in GC. Results In this study, we demonstrated HOXA10 was upregulated in GC patients and the difference was even more pronounced in patients with lymph node metastasis (LNM) than without. Functionally, HOXA10 promoted migration and invasion of GC cells in vitro and accelerated lung metastasis in vivo. EMT was an important mechanism responsible for HOXA10-involved metastasis. Mechanistically, we revealed HOXA10 enriched in the TGFB2 promoter region, promoted transcription, increased secretion, thus triggered the activation of TGF[beta]/Smad signaling with subsequent enhancement of Smad2/3 nuclear expression. Moreover, HOXA10 upregulation elevated m.sup.6A level and METTL3 expression in GC cells possible by regulating the TGFB2/Smad pathway. CoIP and ChIP-qPCR experiments demonstrated that Smad proteins played an important role in mediating METTL3 expression. Furthermore, we found HOXA10 and METTL3 were clinically relevant, and METTL3 was responsible for the HOXA10-mediated EMT process by performing rescue experiments with western blot and in vivo mice lung metastatic models. Conclusions Our findings indicated the essential role of the HOXA10/TGFB2/Smad/METTL3 signaling axis in GC progression and metastasis. Keywords: HOXA10, EMT, TGFB2, Smad2/3, METTL3, Gastric cancer

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A653576459