Original Article

Galectin-3 gene silencing inhibits migration and invasion of human tongue cancer cells in vitro via downregulating β-catenin

Authors: Dong Zhang, Zheng-gang Chen, Shao-hua Liu, Zuo-qing Dong, Martin Dalin, Shi-san Bao, Ying-wei Hu, Feng-cai Wei
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2012.150

Abstract

Dong ZHANG1, 2, Zheng-gang CHEN3, Shao-hua LIU1, 2, Zuo-qing DONG1, Martin DALIN4, Shi-san BAO5, Ying-wei HU2, *, Feng-cai WEI1, 2, *

1Department of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, Qilu Hospital, Shandong University, Ji-nan 250012, China; 2Institution of Dental Medicine, Shandong University, Ji-nan 250012, China; 3Department of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266071, China; 4Sahlgrenska Cancer Center, Gothenburg University, Sweden; 5Discipline of Pathology, University of Sydney NSW 2006, Australia

Aim: Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a member of the carbohydrate-binding protein family that contributes to neoplastic transformation, tumor survival, angiogenesis, and metastasis. The aim of this study is to investigate the role of Gal-3 in human tongue cancer progression.

Methods: Human tongue cancer cell lines (SCC-4 and CAL27) were transfected with a small-interfering RNA against Gal-3 (Gal-3-siRNA). The migration and invasion of the cells were examined using a scratch assay and BD BioCoat Matrigel Invasion Chamber, respectively. The mRNA and protein levels of β-catenin, Akt/pAkt, GSK-3β/pGSK-3β, MMP-9 in the cells were measured using RT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively.

Results: Transient silencing of Gal-3 gene for 48 h significantly suppressed the migration and invasion of both SCC-4 and CAL27 cells. Silencing of Gal-3 gene significantly decreased the protein level of β-catenin, leaving the mRNA level of β-catenin unaffected. Furthermore, silencing Gal-3 gene significantly decreased the levels of phosphorylated Akt and GSK-3β, and suppressed the mRNA and protein levels of MMP-9 in the cells.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that Gal-3 mediates the migration and invasion of tongue cancer cells in vitro via regulating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and Akt phosphorylation.


Keywords: tongue cancer; galectin-3; β-catenin; Wnt signaling pathway; MMP-9; RNA interference; tumor invasion; metastasis

This study was supported by grants from the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong (ZR2010HQ064), the Independent Innovation Foundation of Shandong University (IIFSDU, 2010TS094 and 2010TS011), and the Jinan Science and Technology Bureau, China (201004054).
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
E-mail weifengcai2012@163.com (Feng-cai WEI); Huyingwei@sdu.edu.cn (Ying-wei HU)
Received 2012-04-22 Accepted 2012-09-04
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