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CD24 isoform a promotes cell proliferation, migration and invasion and is downregulated by EGR1 in hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors Li L, Chen J, Ge C, Zhao F, Chen T, Tian H, Li J, Li H

Received 30 November 2018

Accepted for publication 18 January 2019

Published 28 February 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 1705—1716


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Gaetano Romano

Liangyu Li,1,* Jing Chen,2,* Chao Ge,2 Fangyu Zhao,2 Taoyang Chen,3 Hua Tian,2 Jinjun Li,2 Hong Li2

1Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Virology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 2State Key Laboratory of Oncogenes and Related Genes, Shanghai Cancer Institute, Renji Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 3Qi Dong Liver Cancer Institute, Qi Dong, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Introduction: CD24 is known as a heavily glycosylated cell surface molecule that is highly expressed in a wide variety of human malignancies. Previous studies have shown that CD24 plays an important role in self-renewal, proliferation, migration, invasion and drug resistance of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, little is known about the expression and function of CD24 isoform a (CD24A) and CD24 isoform b (CD24B) in HCC.
Materials and methods: Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and Western blotting were performed to detect CD24 and EGR1 expression in HCC cells and tissue. The function of CD24 in cell proliferation was verified with MTT assays, colony formation assays and tumor xenograft models. Wound healing assays and invasion assays were performed to clarify the function of CD24 in the regulation of cell migration and invasion in HCC. A dual luciferase reporter assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay were used to analyze the regulation mechanism of CD24A.
Results: CD24A but not CD24B, which was barely detected by qPCR and Western blotting, is significantly upregulated in HCC tissue. Both CD24A and CD24B contribute to HCC cell proliferation, migration and invasion, but CD24A is more effective than CD24B. EGR1 downregulates CD24A and exerts transcription-promoting activity on the CD24A promoter. Furthermore, EGR1 represses HCC cell proliferation via downregulation of CD24A.
Conclusion: CD24A is the predominant CD24 isoform in HCC and plays a major role in cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. EGR1 can exert its antitumor effect through transcriptional downregulation of CD24A in HCC.

Keywords: CD24A, CD24B, EGR1, proliferation, hepatocellular carcinoma

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