Loss of GFAT1 promotes epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and predicts unfavorable prognosis in gastric cancer
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Fangfang Duan1,2,3,*, Dongwei Jia1,2,*, Junjie Zhao4,*, Weicheng Wu1,2, Lingqiang Min4, Shushu Song1,2, Hao Wu1,2, Lan Wang1,2,3, Hongshan Wang4, Yuanyuan Ruan1,2, Jianxin Gu1,2,3
1Key Laboratory of Glycoconjugate Research Ministry of Public Health, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, P.R. China
2Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, P.R.China
3Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, P.R. China
4Department of General Surgery, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, P.R. China
*These authors contributed equally to this work
Hongshan Wang, email: [email protected]
Yuanyuan Ruan, email: [email protected]
Keywords: GFAT1, gastric cancer, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, prognostic factor, TGF-β1
Received: January 22, 2016 Accepted: May 08, 2016 Published: May 21, 2016
Gastric cancer remains the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide, and invasion and metastasis of gastric cancer represent the major reason for its poor prognosis. Glutamine: fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase 1 (GFAT1) is the first and rate-limiting enzyme of hexosamine biosynthesis pathway (HBP). Nevertheless, the role of GFAT1 in gastric cancer is little investigated. In this study, we found that the expression of GFAT1 was decreased in gastric cancer. Low expression of GFAT1 was positively associated with vessel invasion, late T stage, lymph node metastasis, distant metastasis, advanced TNM stage and poor prognosis in patients with gastric cancer. Furthermore, in vitro and in vivo studies revealed that down-regulation of GFAT1 promoted epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and invasive activities in gastric cancer cells through inducing the expression of TGF-β1. The GFAT1 expression also significantly correlated with EMT-related factors in gastric cancer patients. Together, these findings indicate that GFAT1 functions as a novel suppressor of EMT and tumor metastasis in gastric cancer.
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