Research Papers:

Identification of pregnancy-associated plasma protein A as a migration-promoting gene in malignant pleural mesothelioma cells: a potential therapeutic target

Jun Huang, Sho Tabata, Soji Kakiuchi, Trung The Van, Hisatsugu Goto, Masaki Hanibuchi and Yasuhiko Nishioka _

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Oncotarget. 2013; 4:1172-1184. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.1126

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Jun Huang1, Sho Tabata1, Soji Kakiuchi1, Trung The Van1, Hisatsugu Goto1, Masaki Hanibuchi1, Yasuhiko Nishioka1

1 Department of Respiratory Medicine and Rheumatology, Institute of Health Biosciences, The University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan


Yasuhiko Nishioka, email:

Keywords: malignant pleural mesothelioma, pregnancy-associated plasma protein A, migration, orthotopic xenograft mouse model

Received: June 30, 2013 Accepted: July 6, 2013 Published: July 8, 2013


Despite recent advances in treatment, malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) remains a deadly disease. Targeted therapy generated broad interests and is highly expected for the treatment of MPM, yet promising preclinical results have not been translated into substantial clinical benefits for the patients. In this study, we tried to identify the genes which play functional roles in cell migration as well as to test whether they can be used as novel targets for molecular targeted therapy for MPM in preclinical model. In our study, pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPPA) was identified as a gene whose expression level is correlated with MPM cell migration by correlation analysis combining MPM cell migration ability and their gene expression profiles. Highly migratory cells were selected from MPM cell lines, MSTO-211H, NCI-H290 and EHMES-1 in vitro and up-regulation of PAPPA in these cells were confirmed. In vitro, PAPPA was demonstrated to stimulate the MPM cell migration via cleavage of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-4 and subsequent release of IGF-1. Gene silencing of PAPPA in MPM cells led to reduced migration, invasion and proliferation. Furthermore, PAPPA shRNA transfected NCI-H290 when orthotopically inoculated into pleural cavity of severe combined immunodeficiency recipient mice, failed to develop tumors and produce bloody pleural effusion as control shRNA transfected cells did. Our study suggests that PAPPA plays a functional role in promoting MPM cell migration and it might serve as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of MPM.

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