Research Papers:

The role of prospero homeobox 1 (PROX1) expression in follicular thyroid carcinoma cells

Magdalena Rudzinska, Joanna K. Ledwon, Damian Gawel, Justyna Sikorska and Barbara Czarnocka _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:114136-114155. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23167

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Magdalena Rudzinska1, Joanna K. Ledwon1, Damian Gawel1, Justyna Sikorska1 and Barbara Czarnocka1

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Centre of Postgraduate Medical Education, Warsaw, Poland

Correspondence to:

Barbara Czarnocka, email: [email protected]

Keywords: PROX1; thyroid cancer; follicular thyroid carcinoma; invasion; cytoskeleton

Received: April 21, 2017    Accepted: November 29, 2017    Published: December 12, 2017


The prospero homeobox 1 (Prox1) transcription factor is a key player during embryogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. Altered Prox1 expression has been found in a variety of human cancers, including papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). Interestingly, Prox1 may exert tumor suppressive or tumor promoting effect, depending on the tissue context. In this study, we have analyzed Prox1 expression in normal and malignant human thyroid carcinoma cell lines. Moreover, we determined the effect of Prox1 silencing and overexpression on the cellular processes associated with the metastatic potential of tumor cells: proliferation, migration, invasion, apoptosis and anchorage-independent growth, in the follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC) FTC-133 cell line. We found that Prox1 expression was significantly higher in FTC-derived cells than in PTC-derived cells and normal thyroid, and it was associated with the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. In the FTC-133 cells, it was associated with cell invasive potential, motility and wound closure capacities, but not with proliferation or apoptosis. Modifying Prox1 expression also induced substantial changes in the cytoskeleton structure and cell morphology. In conclusion, we have shown that Prox1 plays an important role in the development of FTC and that its suppression prevents, whereas its overexpression promotes, the malignant behavior of thyroid follicular cancer cells.

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