Research Papers:

Clinical prognostic significance and pro-metastatic activity of RANK/RANKL via the AKT pathway in endometrial cancer

Jing Wang, Yao Liu, Lihua Wang, Xiao Sun and Yudong Wang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:5564-5575. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6795

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Jing Wang1, Yao Liu1, Lihua Wang1, Xiao Sun2, Yudong Wang1

1Department of Gynecology, International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

2Laboratory for Gynecologic Oncology, International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

Correspondence to:

Yudong Wang, e-mail: owangyudong@126.com

Xiao Sun, e-mail: sunxiao000304@163.com

Keywords: RANK, RANKL, endometrial cancer, prognosis, metastasis

Received: July 05, 2015     Accepted: December 08, 2015     Published: December 29, 2015


RANK/RANKL plays a key role in metastasis of certain malignant tumors, which makes it a promising target for developing novel therapeutic strategies for cancer. However, the prognostic value and pro-metastatic activity of RANK in endometrial cancer (EC) remain to be determined. Thus, the present study investigated the effect of RANK on the prognosis of EC patients, as well as the pro-metastatic activity of EC cells. The results indicated that those with high expression of RANK showed decreased overall survival and progression-free survival. Statistical analysis revealed the positive correlations between RANK/RANKL expression and metastasis-related factors. Additionally, RANK/RANKL significantly promoted cell migration/invasion via activating AKT/β-catenin/Snail pathway in vitro. However, RANK/RANKL-induced AKT activation could be suppressed after osteoprotegerin (OPG) treatment. Furthermore, the combination of medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) and RANKL could in turn attenuate the effect of RANKL alone. Similarly, MPA could partially inhibit the RANK-induced metastasis in an orthotopic mouse model via suppressing AKT/β-catenin/Snail pathway. Therefore, therapeutic inhibition of MPA in RANK/RANKL-induced metastasis was mediated by AKT/β-catenin/Snail pathway both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting a potential target of RANK for gene-based therapy for EC.

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