Research Papers:

Effects of increased Kindlin-2 expression in bladder cancer stromal fibroblasts

Jitao Wu, Cuicui Yu, Li Cai, Youyi Lu, Lei Jiang, Chu Liu, Yongwei Li, Fan Feng, Zhenli Gao, Zhe Zhu, Shengqiang Yu, Hejia Yuan and Yuanshan Cui _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:50692-50703. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17021

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Jitao Wu1,*, Cuicui Yu2,*, Li Cai3, Youyi Lu1, Lei Jiang3, Chu Liu1, Yongwei Li1, Fan Feng1, Zhenli Gao1, Zhe Zhu4, Shengqiang Yu1, Hejia Yuan1 and Yuanshan Cui1

1Department of Urology, The Affiliated Yantai Yuhuangding Hospital of Qingdao University, Yantai, Shandong, China

2Department of Anesthesiology, The Affiliated Yantai Yuhuangding Hospital of Qingdao University, Yantai, Shandong, China

3Department of Pathology, The Affiliated Yantai Yuhuangding Hospital of Qingdao University, Yantai, Shandong, China

4Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Shengqiang Yu, email: [email protected]

Hejia Yuan, email: [email protected]

Yuanshan Cui, email: [email protected]

Keywords: bladder cancer, Kindlin-2, cancer-associated fibroblasts, prognosis, invasion

Received: December 21, 2016     Accepted: March 31, 2017     Published: April 10, 2017


Kindlin-2 is a focal adhesion protein highly expressed in bladder cancer stromal fibroblasts. We investigated the prognostic significance of Kindlin-2 in bladder cancer stromal fibroblasts and evaluated the effects of Kindlin-2 on the malignant behaviors of tumor cells. Immunohistochemical staining of 203 paraffin-embedded bladder cancer tissues showed that Kindlin-2 expression correlated with advanced stage, high grade, and relapse of bladder cancer. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis demonstrated that patients exhibiting high Kindlin-2 expression had shorter survival times than those with low Kindlin-2 expression (p < 0.01). Multivariate analysis revealed that high Kindlin-2 expression leads to poor prognosis in bladder cancer. Using cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) isolated from human bladder cancer tissue, we observed that Kindlin-2 knockdown decreased CAFs activation, resulting in decreased expression of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and the extracellular matrix protein fibronectin. Kindlin-2 suppression also reduced CAF-induced bladder cancer cell migration and invasion. Moreover, we found that Kindlin-2 activates CAFs and promotes the invasiveness of bladder cancer cells by stimulating TGF-β-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition. These results support targeting Kindlin-2 and the corresponding activated CAFs in bladder cancer therapy.

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