Gene Summary

Gene:SNAI1; snail family transcriptional repressor 1
Aliases: SNA, SNAH, SNAIL, SLUGH2, SNAIL1, dJ710H13.1
Summary:The Drosophila embryonic protein snail is a zinc finger transcriptional repressor which downregulates the expression of ectodermal genes within the mesoderm. The nuclear protein encoded by this gene is structurally similar to the Drosophila snail protein, and is also thought to be critical for mesoderm formation in the developing embryo. At least two variants of a similar processed pseudogene have been found on chromosome 2. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:zinc finger protein SNAI1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 29 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 29 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 29 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: SNAI1 (cancer-related)

Wu TK, Chen CH, Pan YR, et al.
Cetrimonium Bromide Inhibits Cell Migration and Invasion of Human Hepatic SK-HEP-1 Cells Through Modulating the Canonical and Non-canonical TGF-β Signaling Pathways.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(7):3621-3631 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Cetrimonium bromide (CTAB), a quaternary ammonium surfactant, is an antiseptic agent against bacteria and fungi. However, the mechanisms by which its pharmacological actions affect epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells, such as adenocarcinoma in SK-HEP-1 cells, have not been investigated. We, thereby, investigated whether CTAB inhibits cellular mobility and invasiveness of human hepatic adenocarcinoma in SK-HEP-1 cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: SK-HEP-1 cells were treated with CTAB, and subsequent migration and invasion were measured by wound healing and transwell assays. Protein expression was detected by immunoblotting analysis.
RESULTS: Our data revealed that treatment of SK-HEP-1 cells with CTAB altered their mesenchymal spindle-like morphology. CTAB exerted inhibitory effects on the migration and invasion of SK-HEP-1 cells dose-dependently, and reduced protein levels of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), MMP-9, snail, slug, twist, vimentin, fibronectin, N-cadherin, Smad2, Smad3, Smad4, phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K), p-PI3K, Akt, p-Akt, β-catenin, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), p-mTOR, p-p70S6K, p-extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK)1/2, p-p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and p-c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), but increased protein levels of tissue inhibitor matrix metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1), TIMP-2, claudin-1 and p-GSK3β. Based on these observations, we suggest that CTAB not only inhibits the canonical transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling pathway though reducing SMADs (an acronym from the fusion of Caenorhabditis elegans Sma genes and the Drosophila Mad, Mothers against decapentaplegic proteins), but also restrains the non-canonical TGF-β signaling including MAPK pathways like ERK1/2, p38 MAPK, JNK and PI3K.
CONCLUSION: CTAB is involved in the suppression of TGF-β-mediated mesenchymal phenotype and could be a potent medical agent for use in controlling the migration and invasion of hepatic adenocarcinoma.

Demin DE, Afanasyeva MA, Uvarova AN, et al.
Constitutive Expression of NRAS with Q61R Driver Mutation Activates Processes of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Leads to Substantial Transcriptome Change of Nthy-ori 3-1 Thyroid Epithelial Cells.
Biochemistry (Mosc). 2019; 84(4):416-425 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Q61R mutation of the NRAS gene is one of the most frequent driver mutations of thyroid cancer. Tumors with this mutation are characterized by invasion into blood vessels and formation of distant metastases. To study the role of this mutation in the growth of thyroid cancer, we developed a model system on the basis of thyroid epithelial cell line Nthy-ori 3-1 transduced by a lentiviral vector containing the NRAS gene with the Q61R mutation. It was found that the expression of NRAS(Q61R) in thyroid epithelial cells has a profound influence on groups of genes involved in the formation of intercellular contacts, as well as in processes of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and cell invasion. The alteration in the expression of these genes affects the phenotype of the model cells, which acquire traits of mesenchymal cells and demonstrate increased ability for survival and growth without attachment to the substrate. The key regulators of these processes are transcription factors belonging to families SNAIL, ZEB, and TWIST, and in different types of tumors the contribution of each individual factor can vary greatly. In our model system, phenotype change correlates with an increase in the expression of SNAIL2 and TWIST2 factors, which indicates their possible role in regulating invasive growth of thyroid cancer with the mutation of NRAS(Q61R).

Penolazzi L, Bonaccorsi G, Gafà R, et al.
SLUG/HIF1-α/miR-221 regulatory circuit in endometrial cancer.
Gene. 2019; 711:143938 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The pathogenesis of endometrial cancer (EC) involves many regulatory pathways including transcriptional regulatory networks supported by transcription factors and microRNAs only in part known. The aim of this retrospective study was to explore the possible correlation in the EC microenvironment between master regulators of complex phenomena such as steroid responsiveness through estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and progesterone receptor (PR), epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (supported by SLUG transcription factor), hypoxia (with hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha, HIF-1α), and obesity that has been recognized as a EC risk factor.
METHODS: Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE) blocks from University of Ferrara Pathology Archive were used and allocated into 2 groups according to their immunohistochemical positivity to ERα and PR, distinguishing the samples with a more benign prognosis (ERα
RESULTS: We showed a comparable percentage of HIF1-α and SLUG positive samples in the ERα
CONCLUSIONS: A molecular circuit of mutual regulation between ERα, PR, HIF1-α, SLUG and miR-221 is feasible in the EC and was firstly suggested by our research. In this interplay miR-221 seems to be in a nodal point of the regulatory system that is particularly strengthened by the metabolic changes in obesity.

Ou J, Guan D, Yang Y
Non-contact co-culture with human vascular endothelial cells promotes epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of cervical cancer SiHa cells by activating the NOTCH1/LOX/SNAIL pathway.
Cell Mol Biol Lett. 2019; 24:39 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of human umbilical vein endothelial cells on epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of the cervical cancer cell line SiHa by studying the Notch1/lysyl oxidase (LOX)/SNAIL1 pathway.
Methods: Monocultures of SiHa cells, SiHa cells containing a control sequence, and
Results: Compared with monocultured SiHa cells, co-cultured SiHa cells showed a significant increase in their invasiveness and expression levels of vimentin, as well as of NOTCH 1, LOX, and SNAIL1, whereas their expression of E-cadherin was significantly reduced and protein activities of MMP-2 and MMP-9 were increased. Compared with SiHa, mono- and co-cultured
Conclusion: Co-culture with human umbilical vein endothelial cells promoted the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of SiHa cells by activating the NOTCH1/LOX/SNAIL1 pathway in SiHa cells, which enhanced their invasive and metastatic capacities. The results of this study may provide a new perspective on cervical cancer metastasis and a theoretical basis for clinical treatment.

Yan Y, Li XQ, Duan JL, et al.
Nanosized functional miRNA liposomes and application in the treatment of TNBC by silencing Slug gene.
Int J Nanomedicine. 2019; 14:3645-3667 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

Yang H, Geng YH, Wang P, et al.
Extracellular ATP promotes breast cancer invasion and epithelial-mesenchymal transition via hypoxia-inducible factor 2α signaling.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(8):2456-2470 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Extracellular ATP has been shown to play an important role in invasion and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process in breast cancer; however, the mechanism is unclear. Here, by using a cDNA microarray, we demonstrated that extracellular ATP could stimulate hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) signaling and upregulate hypoxia-inducible factor 1/2α (HIF-1/2α) expression. After knocking down HIF-1/2α using siRNA, we found that ATP-driven invasion and EMT were significantly attenuated via HIF2A-siRNA in breast cancer cells. By using ChIP assays, we revealed that the biological function of extracellular ATP in invasion and EMT process depended on HIF-2α direct targets, among which lysyl oxidase-like 2 (LOXL2) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) mediated ATP-driven invasion, and E-cadherin and Snail mediated ATP-driven EMT, respectively. In addition, using silver staining and mass spectrometry, we found that phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (PGK1) could interact with HIF-2α and mediate ATP-driven HIF-2α upregulation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that expressions of HIF-2α and its target proteins could be regulated via ATP by AKT-PGK1 pathway. Using a Balb/c mice model, we illustrated the function of HIF-2α in promoting tumor growth and metastasis in vivo. Moreover, by exploring online databases, we found that molecules involved in ATP-HIF-2α signaling were highly expressed in human breast carcinoma tissues and were associated with poor prognosis. Altogether, these findings suggest that extracellular ATP could promote breast carcinoma invasion and EMT via HIF-2α signaling, which may be a potential target for future anti-metastasis therapy.

Herreño AM, Ramírez AC, Chaparro VP, et al.
Role of RUNX2 transcription factor in epithelial mesenchymal transition in non-small cell lung cancer lung cancer: Epigenetic control of the RUNX2 P1 promoter.
Tumour Biol. 2019; 41(5):1010428319851014 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lung cancer has a high mortality rate in men and women worldwide. Approximately 15% of diagnosed patients with this type of cancer do not exceed the 5-year survival rate. Unfortunately, diagnosis is established in advanced stages, where other tissues or organs can be affected. In recent years, lineage-specific transcription factors have been associated with a variety of cancers. One such transcription factor possibly regulating cancer is RUNX2, the master gene of early and late osteogenesis. In thyroid and prostate cancer, it has been reported that RUNX2 regulates expression of genes important in tumor cell migration and invasion. In this study, we report on RUNX2/ p57 overexpression in 16 patients with primary non-small cell lung cancer and/or metastatic lung cancer associated with H3K27Ac at P1 gene promoter region. In some patients, H3K4Me3 enrichment was also detected, in addition to WDR5, MLL2, MLL4, and UTX enzyme recruitment, members of the COMPASS-LIKE complex. Moreover, transforming growth factor-β induced RUNX2/ p57 overexpression and specific RUNX2 knockdown supported a role for RUNX2 in epithelial mesenchymal transition, which was demonstrated through loss of function assays in adenocarcinoma A549 lung cancer cell line. Furthermore, RUNX2 increased expression of epithelial mesenchymal transition genes VIMENTIN, TWIST1, and SNAIL1, which reflected increased migratory capacity in lung adenocarcinoma cells.

Kim YH, Lee SB, Shim S, et al.
Hyaluronic acid synthase 2 promotes malignant phenotypes of colorectal cancer cells through transforming growth factor beta signaling.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(7):2226-2236 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hyaluronic acid synthase 2 (HAS2) is suggested to play a critical role in malignancy and is abnormally expressed in many carcinomas. However, its role in colorectal cancer (CRC) malignancy and specific signaling mechanisms remain obscure. Here, we report that HAS2 was markedly increased in both CRC tissue and malignant CRC cell lines. Depletion of HAS2 in HCT116 and DLD1 cells, which express high levels of HAS2, critically increased sensitivity of radiation/oxaliplatin-mediated apoptotic cell death. Moreover, downregulation of HAS2 suppressed migration, invasion and metastasis in nude mice. Conversely, ectopic overexpression of HAS2 in SW480 cells, which express low levels of HAS2, showed the opposite effect. Notably, HAS2 loss- and gain-of-function experiments revealed that it regulates CRC malignancy through TGF-β expression and SMAD2/Snail downstream components. Collectively, our findings suggest that HAS2 contributes to malignant phenotypes of CRC, at least partly, through activation of the TGF-β signaling pathway, and shed light on the novel mechanisms behind the constitutive activation of HAS2 signaling in CRC, thereby highlighting its potential as a therapeutic target.

Dudzik P, Trojan SE, Ostrowska B, et al.
The Epigenetic Modifier 5-Aza-2-deoxycytidine Triggers the Expression of
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(5):2395-2403 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: During cancer progression cells undergo epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Although EMT is a complex process, recently, it has been reported that CD146 overexpression in prostate cancer cells is sufficient to induce mesenchymal phenotype. The following study aimed to investigate whether the expression of CD146 is altered by an epigenetic modifier in prostate cancer cells, in vitro.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Three human prostate cancer cell lines were treated with 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine; the expression of CD146 and EMT-related factors was analyzed by RT-PCR and western Blot. The methylation status of the CD146 promoter area was assessed using bisulfite sequencing.
RESULTS: Our data showed that, the expression of CD146 was evidently increased in all three studied cell lines in response to a demethylating agent, both at the mRNA and protein level, suggesting epigenetic regulation of the analyzed gene. However, there was no methylation in the studied CpG island in CD146 gene promoter. Moreover, the demethylating agent induced the expression of EMT-related transcription factors (SNAI1, SNAI2, TWIST1 and ZEB1), the pattern of which differed among the cell lines, as well as alterations in cell morphology; altogether accounting for the mesenchymal phenotype.
CONCLUSION: The demethylating agent 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine triggers the expression of CD146 in prostate cancer cells independently on the methylation status of the analyzed CpG island fragment in CD146 gene promoter. Moreover, demethylation treatment induces a mesenchymal profile in prostate cancer cells.

Prakash V, Carson BB, Feenstra JM, et al.
Ribosome biogenesis during cell cycle arrest fuels EMT in development and disease.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):2110 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ribosome biogenesis is a canonical hallmark of cell growth and proliferation. Here we show that execution of Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT), a migratory cellular program associated with development and tumor metastasis, is fueled by upregulation of ribosome biogenesis during G1/S arrest. This unexpected EMT feature is independent of species and initiating signal, and is accompanied by release of the repressive nucleolar chromatin remodeling complex (NoRC) from rDNA, together with recruitment of the EMT-driving transcription factor Snai1 (Snail1), RNA Polymerase I (Pol I) and the Upstream Binding Factor (UBF). EMT-associated ribosome biogenesis is also coincident with increased nucleolar recruitment of Rictor, an essential component of the EMT-promoting mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2). Inhibition of rRNA synthesis in vivo differentiates primary tumors to a benign, Estrogen Receptor-alpha (ERα) positive, Rictor-negative phenotype and reduces metastasis. These findings implicate the EMT-associated ribosome biogenesis program with cellular plasticity, de-differentiation, cancer progression and metastatic disease.

Lin X, Chai G, Wu Y, et al.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):2065 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
N6-Methyladenosine (m

Liu Y, Qian J, Sun Z, et al.
Cervical Cancer Correlates with the Differential Expression of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors and Reveals Therapeutic Targets.
Mar Drugs. 2019; 17(5) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are associated with various cancers, but the relation between nAChRs and cervical cancer remains unclear. Therefore, this study investigated the differential expression of nAChR subunits in human cervical cancer cell lines (SiHa, HeLa, and CaSki) and in normal ectocervical cell lines (Ect1/E6E7) at mRNA and protein levels. Two specific nAChR subtype blockers, αO-conotoxin GeXIVA and α-conotoxin TxID, were then selected to treat different human cervical cancer cell lines with specific nAChR subtype overexpression. The results showed that α3, α9, α10, and β4 nAChR subunits were overexpressed in SiHa cells compared with that in normal cells. α9 and α10 nAChR subunits were overexpressed in CaSki cells. α*-conotoxins that targeted either α9α10 or α3β4 nAChR were able to significantly inhibit cervical cancer cell proliferation. These findings may provide a basis for new targets for cervical cancer targeted therapy.

Song W, Gu Y, Lu S, et al.
LncRNA TRERNA1 facilitates hepatocellular carcinoma metastasis by dimethylating H3K9 in the CDH1 promoter region via the recruitment of the EHMT2/SNAI1 complex.
Cell Prolif. 2019; 52(4):e12621 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Long non-coding RNAs (LncRNAs) play an important role in hepatocellular carcinoma development, however, as a crucial driver of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) metastasis, their functions in tumour metastasis remain largely unknown.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The lncRNA TRERNA1 expression levels were detected in HCC by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). The function of TRERNA1 was examined by wound-healing assays, transwell assays and tail vein injection experiments. The potential regulatory mechanisms of TRERNA1 on its target genes were explored by ChIP, RIP, IP and WB assays.
RESULTS: Elevated TRERNA1 levels promoted HCC cell migration and invasion in vitro and in vivo. TRERNA1 recruited EHMT2 to dimethylate H3K9 in the CDH1 promoter region. Furthermore, EHMT2 bound to SNAI1 to suppress CDH1 expression in HCC cells. After inhibiting TRERNA1, the expression level of CDH1 was restored and was involved in the regulation of the EHMT2/SNAI1 complex. The level of TRERNA1 was positively correlated with tumour metastasis and was negatively correlated with the expression of CDH1 in HCC tissues.
CONCLUSIONS: For the first time, the current study reveals that TRERNA1 promotes cell metastasis and the invasion of HCC via the recruitment of EHMT2 and/or the EHMT2/SNAI1 complex to suppress CDH1. These data identify a novel mechanism that regulates TRERNA1 in metastatic HCC and provides a potential targeted therapy for HCC patients.

Zhang Q, Mao Z, Sun J
NF-κB inhibitor, BAY11-7082, suppresses M2 tumor-associated macrophage induced EMT potential via miR-30a/NF-κB/Snail signaling in bladder cancer cells.
Gene. 2019; 710:91-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chronic inflammatory microenvironment has been shown to play a key role in initiating tumorigenesis and facilitating malignant progression. Primary tumors surrounded with and infiltrated by tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) significantly promote the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and distant metastasis in urothelial bladder cancer.
METHODS: In this study, we aimed to explore the potential of targeting TAMs for the treatment of malignant bladder cancer.
RESULTS: First, we found a higher number of TAMs, CD68 (pan-macrophage marker), and clever-1 (M2 macrophage marker) was associated with a higher pT category and grade in a cohort of 108 patients. In vitro assays showed that the co-culture of TAMs promoted the metastatic potential in HTB-1 and T24 by up-regulating EMT markers including Snail, VEGF and Vimentin, as well as oncogenic markers such as β-catenin and NF-κB. More importantly, M2 co-cultured HTB-1 and T24 showed an increased level of metastatic microRNA, miR-30. Silencing of miR-30 resulted in the reduced metastatic potential, migration/invasion, in association with the decreased expression of Twist1 and Vimentin. The addition of BAY11-7082 into the TAM/cancer co-culture system significantly reduced the M2 phenotype and tumorigenic properties. Coincidentally, miR-30a level was significantly lowered in the presence of BAY11-7082.
CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrated that AMs promoted metastatic potential of bladder cancer cells via promoting EMT through the increase of miR-30a. BAY11-7082 treatment suppressed both oncogenic and metastatic potential in bladder cancer cells while preventing the M2 polarization of TAMs.

Liu Y, Xue M, Du S, et al.
Competitive endogenous RNA is an intrinsic component of EMT regulatory circuits and modulates EMT.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):1637 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA) hypothesis suggests an intrinsic mechanism to regulate biological processes. However, whether the dynamic changes of ceRNAs can modulate miRNA activities remains controversial. Here, we examine the dynamics of ceRNAs during TGF-β-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). We observe that TGFBI, a transcript highly induced during EMT in A549 cells, acts as the ceRNA for miR-21 to modulate EMT. We further identify FN1 as the ceRNA for miR-200c in the canonical SNAIL-ZEB-miR200 circuit in MCF10A cells. Experimental assays and computational simulations demonstrate that the dynamically induced ceRNAs are directly coupled with the canonical double negative feedback loops and are critical to the induction of EMT. These results help to establish the relevance of ceRNA in cancer EMT and suggest that ceRNA is an intrinsic component of the EMT regulatory circuit and may represent a potential target to disrupt EMT during tumorigenesis.

Shen M, Xu Z, Xu W, et al.
Inhibition of ATM reverses EMT and decreases metastatic potential of cisplatin-resistant lung cancer cells through JAK/STAT3/PD-L1 pathway.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 38(1):149 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The cisplatin-resistance is still a main course for chemotherapy failure of lung cancer patients. Cisplatin-resistant cancer cells own higher malignance and exhibited increased metastatic ability, but the mechanism is not clear. In this study, we investigated the effects of Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) on lung cancer metastasis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cisplatin-resistant A549CisR and H157CisR cell line were generated by long-term treating parental A549 and H157 cells (A549P and H157P) with cisplatin. Cell growth, cell migration and cell invasion were determined. Gene expressions were determined by Western Blot and qPCR. Tumor metastasis was investigated using a xenograft mouse model.
RESULTS: The IC50 of the cisplatin-resistant cells (A549CisR and H157CisR cells) to cisplatin was 6-8 higher than parental cells. The A549CisR and H157CisR cells expressed lower level of E-cadherin and higher levels of N-cadherin, Vimentin and Snail compared to the parental A549P and H157P cells, and exhibited stronger capabilities of metastatic potential compared to the parental cells. The ATM expression was upregulated in A549CisR and H157CisR cells and cisplatin treatment also upregulated expression of ATM in parental cells, The inhibition of ATM by using specific ATM inhibitor CP466722 or knock-down ATM by siRNA suppressed Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastatic potential of A549CisR and H157CisR cells. These data suggest that ATM mediates the cisplatin-resistance in lung cancer cells. Expressions of JAK
CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that ATM regulates PD-L1 expression through activation of JAK/STAT3 signaling in cisplatin-resistant cells. Overexpression of ATM contributes to cisplatin-resistance in lung cancer cells. Inhibition of ATM reversed EMT and inhibited cell invasion and tumor metastasis. Thus, ATM may be a potential target for the treatment of cisplatin-resistant lung cancer.

Guo Y, Cui W, Pei Y, Xu D
Platelets promote invasion and induce epithelial to mesenchymal transition in ovarian cancer cells by TGF-β signaling pathway.
Gynecol Oncol. 2019; 153(3):639-650 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To test whether platelets could increase invasion potential and initiate EMT in ovarian cancer cells via a TGF-β signaling pathway.
METHODS: Blood samples were collected in 69 patients with ovarian cancer, 16 patients with benign ovarian tumor and 64 healthy donors. SK-OV-3 and OVCAR-3 ovarian cancer cells were treated with platelets. Transwell assays were used to analyze the invasive capacity, and EMT was assessed by microarray analysis, quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and Western blotting. Activation of TGF-β pathway was examined by ELISA and Western blotting. TGF-β type I receptor (TβR I) inhibitor A83-01 was used to confirm the role of TGF-β pathway in vitro and in vivo.
RESULTS: Clinical data showed ovarian cancer patients with elevated platelet counts had a higher incidence of advanced stages. Treatment with platelets increased the invasive properties of both cell lines. Mesenchymal markers (snail family transcriptional repressor-1, vimentin, neural cadherin, fibronectin-1 and matrix metalloproteinase-2) were up-regulated in platelet-treated cells, while the epithelial marker (epithelial cadherin) was down-regulated. Higher TGF-β level was observed in patients with elevated platelet counts when compared to the subjects. Higher levels of TGF-β were also found in culture medium treated with platelets, and cells treated with platelets also showed increased phosphorylation of Smad2. TβR I inhibitor A83-01 reversed the EMT-like alterations and inhibited platelet-induced invasion in vitro and in vivo.
CONCLUSION: Platelet increased invasion potential and induced EMT in ovarian cancer cells in a TGF-β dependent pathway. Platelet-derived TGF-β may be useful as a new target treatment for ovarian cancer.

Koh YW, Han JH, Haam S, Jung J
ALDH1 expression correlates with an epithelial-like phenotype and favorable prognosis in lung adenocarcinoma: a study based on immunohistochemistry and mRNA expression data.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2019; 145(6):1427-1436 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Cancer stem cells (CSC) and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) pathways are crucial for cancer progression. However, synergistic interactions between CSC and EMT are not clear in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The objective of this study was to investigate CSC markers such as CD44, NANOG, and ALDH1 expression and its correlation with EMT markers in NSCLC patients. Its association with survival was also determined.
METHODS: CD44, NANOG, and ALDH1 protein expression was evaluated in 267 resected NSCLC and its correlation with e-cadherin, β-catenin, p120 catenin, vimentin, SNAIL, and TWIST expressions was determined based on immunohistochemical and mRNA expression data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. Survival analyses also were performed based on immunohistochemistry and mRNA expression data from Gene Expression Omnibus dataset.
RESULTS: ALDH1 expression in lung adenocarcinoma was positively correlated with the epithelial-like phenotype, low vimentin and low TWIST in immunohistochemical and mRNA expression data. NANOG and ALDH1 expressions measured by immunohistochemical and mRNA expression profiling data of adenocarcinomas were associated with a favorable prognosis. ALDH1 was an independent favorable prognostic marker for overall survival or recurrence-free survival in adenocarcinoma (P = 0.026 and P = 0.033, respectively). The epithelial-like phenotype expressing P120-catenin and beta-catenin was associated with a favorable prognosis; however, the TWIST-expressing mesenchymal-like phenotype was correlated with an unfavorable prognosis.
CONCLUSIONS: NANOG and ALDH1 protein or mRNA expression showed improved prognosis in adenocarcinoma alone. ALDH1 expression correlated with an epithelial-like phenotype.

Jin M, Wang J, Ji X, et al.
MCUR1 facilitates epithelial-mesenchymal transition and metastasis via the mitochondrial calcium dependent ROS/Nrf2/Notch pathway in hepatocellular carcinoma.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 38(1):136 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Mitochondrial Ca
METHODS: The effect of MCUR1 expression on epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in HCC cells was first evaluated by immunofluorescent staining and Western blot. Then, in vitro invasion and in vivo metastasis assays were used to evaluate the function of MCUR1 in HCC metastasis. The underlying mechanism has also been explored by investigating the effect of MCUR1 on ROS/Nrf2/Notch1 pathway.
RESULTS: MCUR1 expression was significantly higher in HCC with metastasis and associated with tumor progression. MCUR1 promoted in vitro invasion and in vivo metastasis of HCC cells by promoting EMT via Snail. Mechanistically, MCUR1-mediated mitochondrial Ca
CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides evidence supporting a metastasis-promoting role for MCUR1-dependent mitochondrial Ca

Shen Z, Liao X, Shao Z, et al.
Short-term stimulation with histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin a induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells without increasing cell invasion ability.
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):262 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) may be one of the reasons for the failure in some clinical trials regarding histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs)-treated solid tumors. We investigated the effects of a pan-HDACI trichostatin A (TSA) on the proliferation and EMT of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cells.
METHODS: Poorly-differentiated NPC cell line CNE2 and undifferentiated C666-1 were treated with various concentrations of TSA, the cell viability was assessed by CCK-8 assay, the morphology was photographed, and the mRNA level of HDACs was assessed by semiquantitative PCR. After determination the cell cycle distributions, cells were subjected to western blotting analysis of cell cycle and EMT-associated genes expression. And the changes in migration ability were assessed by transwell migration assay and scratch wound healing assay. Finally, histone deacetylases activator ITSA-1 was used to assess the reverse of TSA-induced changes in NPC cells.
RESULTS: TSA inhibited the proliferation of CNE2 and C666-1 cells in a concentration-dependent manner and arrested the cell cycle at G1 phases. TSA reduced PCNA, cyclin D1, cyclin E1, CDK2, p16 and p21 expressions and stimulated CDK6 levels. TSA stimulation for 48 h could effectively induce the EMT in CNE2 and C666-1 cells, which showed an increase of spindle-like cells and promoted expression of Vimentin and Snail1 expression in a concentration-dependent manner. Surprisingly, this short period of TSA treatment that induced EMT also impeded the migration ability of CNE2 and C666-1 cells. Interestingly, ITSA-1 rescued TSA-impeded CNE2 and C666-1 cells' proliferation, migration and HDACs expression, also re-induced the cells to turn into epithelial cell phenotypes.
CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that short-term stimulation of TSA effectively inhibits cell proliferation and induce EMT-like changes in NPC cells but not increase its invasion ability.

Pacheco-Velázquez SC, Gallardo-Pérez JC, Díaz D, et al.
Heart myxoma develops oncogenic and metastatic phenotype.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2019; 145(5):1283-1295 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Heart myxomas have been frequently considered as benign lesions associated with Carney's complex. However, after surgical removal, myxomas re-emerge causing dysfunctional heart.
METHODS: To identify whether cardiac myxomas may develop a metastatic phenotype as occurs in malignant cancers, a profile of several proteins involved in malignancy such as oncogenes (c-MYC, K-RAS and H-RAS), cancer-associated metabolic transcriptional factors (HIF-1α, p53 and PPAR-γ) and epithelial-mesenchymal transition proteins (fibronectin, vimentin, β-catenin, SNAIL and MMP-9) were evaluated in seven samples from a cohort of patients with atrial and ventricular myxomas. The analysis was also performed in: (1) cardiac tissue surrounding the area where myxoma was removed; (2) non-cancer heart tissue (NCHT); and (3) malignant triple negative breast cancer biopsies for comparative purposes.
RESULTS: Statistical analysis applying univariate (Kruskal-Wallis and Dunn's tests) and multivariate analyses (PCA, principal component analysis) revealed that heart myxomas (7-15 times) and myxoma surrounding tissue (22-99 times) vs. NCHT showed high content of c-MYC, p53, vimentin, and HIF-1α, indicating that both myxoma and its surrounding area express oncogenes and malignancy-related proteins as occurs in triple negative breast cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on ROC (receiver operating characteristics) statistical analysis, c-MYC, HIF-1α, p53, and vimentin may be considered potential biomarkers for malignancy detection in myxoma.

Shi R, Wang C, Fu N, et al.
Downregulation of cytokeratin 18 enhances BCRP-mediated multidrug resistance through induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and predicts poor prognosis in breast cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2019; 41(5):3015-3026 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple drug resistance (MDR) and metastasis have been identified as the two major causes of the poor prognosis of patients with breast cancer. However, the relationship between MDR and metastasis has not been characterized. Epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT), a process known to promote metastasis in cancer, has been shown to be associated with the MDR phenotype of many tumor types. Reduced cytokeratin 18 (CK18) expression is thought to be one of the hallmarks of EMT, and the role of CK18 in MDR of metastatic breast cancer remains unknown. In the present study, we revealed that the expression of CK18 was significantly downregulated in breast cancer tissues and in an MDR cell line overexpressing breast cancer resistant protein (BCRP), and the presence of low levels of CK18 was associated with TNM stage, lymph node metastasis, and unfavorable survival in breast cancer patients. Further results demonstrated that CK18 stable knockdown using shRNA increased BCRP expression and induced the EMT process in human breast cancer MCF‑7 cells. Moreover, CK18 knockdown was associated with the activation of the NF‑κB/Snail signaling pathway, which has been revealed to regulate EMT and BCRP. Based on these findings, we concluded that CK18 knockdown enhanced BCRP‑mediated MDR in MCF‑7 cells through EMT induction partly via the NF‑κB/Snail pathway. These findings provide a valuable insight into the potential role of CK18 in MDR, migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. Reduced expression of CK18 may be a novel biomarker for predicting the poor prognosis of breast cancer patients.

Furuta M, Kikuchi H, Shoji T, et al.
DLL3 regulates the migration and invasion of small cell lung cancer by modulating Snail.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(5):1599-1608 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Delta-like protein 3 (DLL3) is a ligand of Notch signaling, which mediates cell-fate decisions and is tumor-suppressive or oncogenic depending on the cellular context. Previous studies show that DLL3 is highly expressed in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) but not in normal lung tissue, suggesting that DLL3 might be associated with neuroendocrine tumorigenesis. However, its role in SCLC remains unclear. To investigate the role of DLL3 in tumorigenesis in SCLC, we performed loss-of-function and gain-of-function assays using SCLC cell lines. In vitro analysis of cell migration and invasion by transwell assay showed that DLL3 knockdown reduced migration and invasion of SCLC cells, whereas DLL3 overexpression increased these activities. In addition, DLL3 positively regulated SNAI1 expression and knockdown of SNAI1 attenuated the migration and invasion ability of SCLC cells. Moreover, upregulated DLL3 expression induced subcutaneous tumor growth in mouse models. These results indicate that DLL3 promoted tumor growth, migration and invasion in an SCLC model by modulating SNAI1/Snail.

Sohn SH, Kim B, Sul HJ, et al.
INC280 inhibits Wnt/β-catenin and EMT signaling pathways and its induce apoptosis in diffuse gastric cancer positive for c-MET amplification.
BMC Res Notes. 2019; 12(1):125 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Gastric cancer is more open related to genetic predisposition. In our RNA sequencing study on gastric cancer patients, Runt-related transcription factor-3 (RUNX3) expression was significantly down-regulated in gastric cancer. We showed that decreased levels of RUNX3 are significantly associated with c-MET (r = - 0.4216, P = 0.0130). In addition, c-MET expression is a candidate for targeted therapy in gastric cancer. Therefore, in the present study, the anti-cancer effects of the c-MET inhibitor on gastric cancer cells from positive or negative for c-MET amplification were evaluated.
RESULTS: INC280 treatment inhibits growth of a c-MET-amplified MKN45 (RUNX3-positive) and SNU620 (RUNX3-negative) diffuse type cells. Then, INC280 showed the highest inhibition and apoptotic rates with the lowest IC

Xiao C, Wan X, Yu H, et al.
LncRNA‑AB209371 promotes the epithelial‑mesenchymal transition of hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Oncol Rep. 2019; 41(5):2957-2966 [PubMed] Related Publications
The zinc finger protein Snail1 is an important factor in the regulation of the epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT) of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. The present study demonstrated that the expression of Snail1 in HCC tissues was significantly higher compared with its expression in tissues adjacent to primary sites, as determined via western blotting. Furthermore, the results of a dual luciferase assay revealed that hsa‑microRNA(miR)199a‑5p negatively regulated the protein expression of Snail1 by binding to its 3' untranslated region. However, in a comparative analysis of primary HCC and its metastatic tissues using reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blotting, it was demonstrated that the expression of hsa‑miR199a‑5p and Snail1 in HCC metastatic tissues were significantly higher compared with primary lesions and an association between them identified that hsa‑miR199a‑5p lost its ability to negatively regulate Snail1. This result is contradictive to the fact that hsa‑miR199a‑5p inhibits the expression of the Snail1 protein. The present study hypothesized that the aberrant expression of long non‑coding RNA was the cause of hsa‑miR199a‑5p inactivation based on loss of function rather than a reduction in content. The data collected in the present study confirmed the hypothesis that AB209371 binds to hsa‑miR199a‑5p and weakened the inhibitory effect of hsa‑miR199a‑5p on Snail1 expression. In addition, an in vitro EMT model was established in the present study by inducing HCC cells with TGF‑β1. The results revealed that AB209371 silencing effectively reversed the hsa‑miR199a‑5p mediated inhibition of EMT by negatively regulating Snail1 protein expression. Therefore, AB209371 silencing in combination with hsa‑miR199a‑5p expression may serve as an effective means to inhibit EMT in HCC cells. The present study also revealed that hsa‑miR199a‑5p/Snail1 exhibits a dominant regulatory effect in the EMT of HCC cells via a Snail1 recovery experiment. In conclusion, to the best of our knowledge, the present study confirmed for the first time that the high expression of AB209371 is favorable for the EMT in HCC cells and may be a direct cause of hsa‑miR199a‑5p inactivation (an HCC metastasis suppressor). Additionally, AB209371 silencing combined with hsa‑miR199a‑5p overexpression may be an effective means to inhibit the metastasis of HCC and the EMT of HCC cells.

Wang YQ, Jiang DM, Hu SS, et al.
Cancer Res. 2019; 79(14):3542-3556 [PubMed] Related Publications
Accumulating evidence suggests that long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) plays important regulatory roles in cancer biology. However, the involvement of lncRNA in colorectal carcinoma progression remains largely unknown, especially in colorectal carcinoma metastasis. In this study, we investigated the changes in lncRNA expression in colorectal carcinoma and identified a new lncRNA, the antisense transcript of SATB2 (

El-Ashmawy NE, El-Zamarany EA, Khedr EG, Abo-Saif MA
Effect of modification of MTDH gene expression on colorectal cancer aggressiveness.
Gene. 2019; 698:92-99 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Metadherin (MTDH) is an oncogene that has been overexpressed in numerous types of malignancies including colorectal cancer (CRC). However, few investigations associated with the biological behavior of MTDH in CRC have been performed. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of modification of MTDH gene expression (knockdown and overexpression) on the biological behavior of CRC in vitro.
METHODS: MTDH gene expression was analyzed in two CRC cell lines (Caco-2 and HCT116) by qPCR. MTDH was down-regulated via siRNA-mediated knockdown of human MTDH in HCT116 cells, which express high endogenous levels of MTDH gene. Also, MTDH gene was up-regulated via transfection of Caco-2 cells, which express low endogenous levels of MTDH gene, with a plasmid carrying human MTDH gene.
RESULTS: Knockdown of MTDH gene expression significantly decreased the gene expression of multidrug resistance gene (MDR1), Snail and NF-κB p65, but increased the gene expression of E-cadherin. Furthermore, MTDH-knockdown significantly decreased anaerobic glycolysis (glucose consumption and lactate production), cell proliferation ability and transformation into cancer stem cell. Moreover, up-regulation of MTDH gene significantly increased the gene expression of MDR1, Snail and NF-κB p65, deceased the gene expression of E-cadherin, enhanced cell proliferation, and anaerobic glycolysis and activated transformation into cancer stem cells.
CONCLUSIONS: MTDH has an important role in promoting CRC aggravation. Also, inhibition of MTDH expression may attenuate the carcinogenic behavior of CRC cells. Furthermore, MTDH-associated NF-κB p65 signaling pathways may be involved in mediating the biological behavior of CRC.

Chang HY, Chen SY, Wu CH, et al.
Glycyrrhizin Attenuates the Process of Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition by Modulating HMGB1 Initiated Novel Signaling Pathway in Prostate Cancer Cells.
J Agric Food Chem. 2019; 67(12):3323-3332 [PubMed] Related Publications
High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is upregulated in nearly every tumor type. Importantly, clinical evidence also proposed that HMGB1 is particularly increased in metastatic prostate cancer patients. Besides, a growing number of studies highlighted that HMGB1 could be a successful therapeutic target for prostate cancer patients. Glycyrrhizin is a novel pharmacological inhibitor of HMGB1 that may repress prostate cancer metastasis. This research was aimed to investigate the effect of glycyrrhizin on inhibition of HMGB1-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a key step of tumor metastasis, in prostate cancer cells. In this study, HMGB1 knock-downed DU145 prostate cancer cells were used. Silencing the HMGB1 gene expression triggered a change of cell morphology to a more epithelial-like shape, which was accompanied by a reduction of Cdc42/GSK-3β/Snail and induction of E-cadherin levels estimated by immunoblotting. Furthermore, HMGB1 facilitated cell migration and invasion via downstream signaling, whereas HMGB1 targeting by 10 mM ethyl pyruvate effectively inhibited EMT characteristics. Interestingly, cell migration capacity induced by HMGB1 in DU145 cells was abolished in a dose-dependent effect of 25-200 μM glycyrrhizin treatment. In conclusion, glycyrrhizin successfully inhibited HMGB1-induced EMT phenomenon, which suggested that glycyrrhizin may serves as a therapeutic agent for metastatic prostate cancer.

El-Ashmawy NE, El-Zamarany EA, Khedr EG, Abo-Saif MA
Activation of EMT in colorectal cancer by MTDH/NF-κB p65 pathway.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2019; 457(1-2):83-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) leads to tumor dissemination and metastasis. Metadherin (MTDH) is an oncogene that plays an important role in metastasis regulation. This study tries to investigate the effect of MTDH gene up-regulation on the activation of EMT in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells and identify the role of NF-κB p65. The CaCO2 cells were divided into three groups: one control group of cultured CaCO2 cells (C1), and two groups of CaCO2 cells co-transfected using human MTDH expression plasmid with either siRNA targeting human NF-κB p65 or its negative control (C2 and C3 respectively). The gene modification was confirmed by qPCR and the effect of gene modification on CRC aggravation was studied. MTDH up-regulation significantly promoted CRC cell proliferation, activated anaerobic respiration (glucose consumption and lactate production), and increased gene expression of multidrug resistance gene (MDR1), Snail transcription factor and NF-κB p65, but decreased the gene expression of E-cadherin. Moreover, MTDH up-regulation led to a significant increase in the acquisition of surface markers of CRC stem cells. Interference with NF-κB p65 gene expression reversed the action of MTDH gene up-regulation on MDR1 and E-cadherin gene expression and anaerobic respiration. Moreover, NF-κB p65 interference significantly decreased MTDH-induced cell proliferation and acquisition of surface markers of CRC stem cells but didn't affect the Snail transcription factor. MTDH-dependent EMT in CRC is activated via NF-κB p65 and is mediated by up-regulation of Snail. These results identify a pathway by which MTDH regulates NF-κB p65 induced EMT during CRC cell metastasis.

Cai F, Xiao H, Sun Y, et al.
Expression of Snail and E-cadherin in Drug-resistant MCF-7/ADM Breast Cancer Cell Strains.
J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2019; 29(3):240-244 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the expression of zinc finger transcription factors-Snail and E-cadherin in adriamycin-resistant human breast cancer MCF-7/ADM cells and non-resistant MCF-7 cells.
STUDY DESIGN: An experimental study.
PLACE AND DURATION OF STUDY: The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Nanjing Medical University and Jiangsu Cancer Hospital, and Jiangsu Institute of Cancer Research, China, from April 2017 to March 2018.
METHODOLOGY: Real-time quantitative PCR technology was used to detect the expression levels of Snail mRNA and E-cadherin mRNA in normal breast cells, adriamycin-resistant human breast cancer MCF-7/ADM cells and non-resistant MCF-7 cells. Western blot was used to detect the expression levels of proteins of Snail and E-cadherin in normal breast cells, adriamycin-resistant human breast cancer MCF-7/ADM cells and non-resistant MCF-7 cells.
RESULTS: The expression of Snail mRNA and protein in adriamycin-resistant human breast cancer MCF-7/ADM cells was significantly higher than that in normal breast cells (p<0.001) and non-resistant MCF-7 cells (p<0.001). The expression of E-cadherin mRNA and protein in adriamycin-resistant human breast cancer MCF-7/ADM cells was significantly lower than that in normal breast cells (p<0.001) and non-resistant MCF-7 cells (p<0.001).
CONCLUSION: Adriamycin-resistant human breast cancer MCF-7/ADM cell strains had high expression of Snail and low expression of E-cadherin. This points out to a new research direction for the targeted therapy of drug-resistant breast cancer cells, and provides clinical guidance for breast cancer therapy and prognosis evaluation.

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