Research Papers:

Positive feedback loop of IL-1β/Akt/RARα/Akt signaling mediates oncogenic property of RARα in gastric carcinoma

Hong-Yue Ren _, Fan Liu, Gui-Li Huang, Yu Liu, Jin-Xing Shen, Pan Zhou, Wen-Ming Liu and Dong-Yan Shen

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:6718-6729. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.14267

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Hong-Yue Ren1,*, Fan Liu2,*, Gui-Li Huang3, Yu Liu4, Jin-Xing Shen4, Pan Zhou3, Wen-Ming Liu5, Dong-Yan Shen4

1Department of Pathology, The Affiliated Southeast Hospital of Xiamen University, Zhangzhou 363000, Fujian Province, China

2Department of Medical College, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, Fujian Province, China

3State Key Laboratory of Cellular Stress Biology, Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Coastal and Wetland Ecosystems, Department of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, Fujian Province, China

4Department of Biobank, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen 361003, Fujian Province, China

5Department of Gastroenterology, Zhongshan Hospital, Gastroenterology Institute of Xiamen University, Gastroenterology Center of Xiamen, Xiamen 361003, Fujian Province, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Dong-Yan Shen, email: [email protected]

Wen-Ming Liu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: RARα, gastric carcinoma, Akt, IL-1β

Received: July 02, 2016     Accepted: December 01, 2016     Published: December 27, 2016


Abnormal expression and function of retinoic acid receptor α (RARα) have been reported to be associated with various cancers including acute promyelocytic leukemia and hepatocellular carcinoma. However, the role and the mechanism of RARα in gastric carcinoma (GC) were unknown. Here, the expression of RARα was frequently elevated in human GC tissues and cell lines, and its overexpression was closely correlated with tumor size, lymph node metastasis and clinical stages in GC patients. Moreover, RARα overexpression was related with pathological differentiation. Functionally, RARα knockdown inhibited the proliferation and metastasis of GC cells, as well as enhanced drug susceptibility both in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, RARα knockdown suppressed GC progression through regulating the expression of cell proliferation, cell cycle, invasion and drug resistance associated proteins, such as PCNA, CyclinB1, CyclinD2, CyclinE, p21, MMP9 and MDR1. Mechanistically, the above oncogenic properties of RARα in GC were closely associated with Akt signaling activation. Moreover, overexpression of RARα was induced by IL-1β/Akt signaling activation, which suggested a positive feedback loop of IL-1β/Akt/RARα/Akt signaling in GC. Taken together, we demonstrated that RARα was frequently elevated in GC and exerted oncogenic properties. It might be a potential molecular target for GC treatment.

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