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Progranulin modulates cholangiocarcinoma cell proliferation, apoptosis, and motility via the PI3K/pAkt pathway

Authors Daya M, Loilome W, Techasen A, Thanee M, Sa-Ngiamwibool P, Titapun A, Yongvanit P, Namwat N

Received 29 October 2017

Accepted for publication 5 December 2017

Published 18 January 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 395—408


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Yao Dai

Minerva Daya,1–3 Watcharin Loilome,1,3 Anchalee Techasen,3,4 Malinee Thanee,3 Prakasit Sa-Ngiamwibool,4,5 Attapol Titapun,5,6 Puangrat Yongvanit,3 Nisana Namwat1,3

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; 2Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Santo Tomas, Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines; 3Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institute, 4Faculty of Associated Medical Science, 5Department of Pathology, 6Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Abstract: Progranulin (PGRN) is a growth factor normally expressed in rapidly cycling epithelial cells for growth, differentiation, and motility. Several studies have shown the association of PGRN overexpression with the progression of numerous malignancies, including cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). However, the underlying mechanisms on how PGRN modulates CCA cell proliferation and motility is not clear. In this study, we investigated the prognostic significance of PGRN expression in human CCA tissue and the mechanisms of PGRN modulation of CCA cell proliferation and motility. We found that CCA tissues with high PGRN expression were correlated with poor prognosis and likelihood of metastasis. PGRN knockdown KKU-100 and KKU-213 cells demonstrated a reduced rate of proliferation and colony formation and decreased levels of phosphatidyl inositol-3-kinase (PI3K) and phosphorylated Akt (pAkt) proteins. Accumulation of cells at the G1 phase was observed and was accompanied by a reduction of cyclin D1 and CDK4 protein levels. Knockdown cells also induced apoptosis by increasing the Bax-to-Bcl-2 ratio. Increased cell apoptosis was confirmed by annexin V-FITC/PI staining. Moreover, suppression of PGRN reduced CCA cell migration and invasion in vitro. Investigating the biomarkers in epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) revealed a decrease in the expression of vimentin, snail, and metalloproteinase-9. In conclusion, our findings imply that PGRN modulates cell proliferation by dysregulating the G1 phase, inhibiting apoptosis, and that it plays a role in the EMT affecting CCA cell motility, possibly via the PI3K/pAkt pathway.

Keywords: progranulin, cholangiocarcinoma, proliferation, migration, invasion, EMT

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