ABSTRACT: By using cDNA microarray analysis, we identified a G protein-coupled receptor, GPR39, that is significantly up-regulated in ESCC. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of GPR39 in human esophageal cancer development, and to examine the prevalence and clinical significance of GPR39 overexpression in ESCC.
The mRNA expression level of GPR39 was analyzed in 9 ESCC cell lines and 50 primary ESCC tumors using semi-quantitative RT-PCR. Immunohistochemistry was used to assess GPR39 protein expression in tissue arrays containing 300 primary ESCC cases. In vitro and in vivo studies were done to elucidate the tumorigenic role of GPR39 in ESCC cells.
We found that GPR39 was frequently overexpressed in primary ESCCs in both mRNA level (27/50, 54%) and protein level (121/207, 58.5%), which was significantly associated with the lymph node metastasis and advanced TNM stage (P < 0.01). Functional studies showed that GPR39 has a strong tumorigenic ability. Introduction of GPR39 gene into ESCC cell line KYSE30 could promote cell proliferation, increase foci formation, colony formation in soft agar, and tumor formation in nude mice. The mechanism by which amplified GPR39 induces tumorigenesis was associated with its role in promoting G1/S transition via up-regulation of cyclin D1 and CDK6. Further study found GPR39 could enhance cell motility and invasiveness by inducing EMT and remodeling cytoskeleton. Moreover, depletion of endogenous GPR39 by siRNA could effectively decrease the oncogenicity of ESCC cells.
The present study suggests that GPR39 plays an important tumorigenic role in the development and progression of ESCC.
BMC Cancer 02/2011; 11:86. · 3.01 Impact Factor