Research Papers:

14-3-3ζ and aPKC-ι synergistically facilitate epithelial-mesenchymal transition of cholangiocarcinoma via GSK-3β/Snail signaling pathway

Yan Yang, Yan Liu, Jun-chuang He, Jian-ming Wang _, Peter Schemmer, Chao-qun Ma, Ya-wei Qian, Wei Yao, Jian Zhang, Wei-peng Qi, Yang Fu, Wei Feng and Tao Yang

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:55191-55210. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10483

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Yan Yang1,*, Yan Liu1,*, Jun-chuang He1, Jian-ming Wang1, Peter Schemmer2, Chao-qun Ma1, Ya-wei Qian1, Wei Yao1, Jian Zhang1, Wei-peng Qi1, Yang Fu1, Wei Feng1, Tao Yang1

1Department of Biliary and Pancreatic Surgery/Cancer Research Center Affiliated Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430030, China

2Department of General and Transplant Surgery, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg 69120, Germany

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jian-ming Wang, email: [email protected]

Peter Schemmer, email: [email protected]

Keywords: cholangiocarcinoma, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, synergy, transfection, silencing

Received: August 10, 2015     Accepted: May 28, 2016     Published: July 08, 2016


Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) invasion and metastasis are the primary causes of poor survival rates in patients. The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a crucial step in cancer invasion and metastasis. However, it is still unclear of the molecular mechanism. In this study, the expression of 14-3-3ζ and atypical protein kinase C-ι (aPKC-ι) was further detected in CCA tissues and cell lines. Meanwhile, we established the EMT model of CCA cells and investigated 14-3-3ζ and aPKC-ι co-regulatory effect on the EMT in vitro and in vivo. Further, we identified the downstream molecular glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK-3β)/Snail signalling pathway that contribute to regulating the EMT. Our data showed that the expression of 14-3-3ζ and aPKC-ι was synergistically increased in CCA tissues compared with adjacent noncancerous tissues and was intimately associated with differentiation and the tumour-node-metastasis (TNM) stage. Multivariate Cox regression analysis indicated that high 14-3-3ζ and aPKC-ι expression separately predicted a poor prognosis and were independent prognostic indicators in patients with CCA. The CO-IP experiment confirmed that the mutual binding relationship between 14-3-3ζ and aPKC-ι. Small interfering RNAs and siRNA rescue experiment demonstrated that 14-3-3ζ and aPKC-ι regulated each other. In addition, 14-3-3ζ and aPKC-ι pretreatment by si-RNA inhibit the phosphorylated GSK-3β and Snail expression during EMT. Meanwhile, silence of 14-3-3ζ or aPKC-ι suppressed CCA cells migration, metastasis and proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Our study demonstrates that 14-3-3ζ and aPKC-ι synergistically facilitate EMT of CCA via GSK-3β/Snail signalling pathway, and may be potential therapeutic target for CCA.

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