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Knockdown of DEAD-box 51 inhibits tumor growth of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma via the PI3K/AKT pathway

Authors
  • Hu, Dong-Xin
  • Sun, Qi-Feng
  • Xu, Lin
  • Lu, Hong-Da
  • Zhang, Fan
  • Li, Zhen-Miao
  • Zhang, Ming-Yan
Type
Published Article
Journal
World Journal of Gastroenterology
Publisher
Baishideng Publishing Group Inc
Publication Date
Jan 28, 2022
Volume
28
Issue
4
Pages
464–478
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3748/wjg.v28.i4.464
PMID: 35125830
PMCID: PMC8790558
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Basic Study
License
Unknown

Abstract

BACKGROUND Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the most prevalent malignancies that seriously threaten people’s health worldwide. DEAD-box helicase 51 (DDX51) is a member of the DEAD-box (DDX) RNA helicase family, and drives or inhibits tumor progression in multiple cancer types. AIM To determine whether DDX51 affects the biological behavior of ESCC. METHODS The expression of DDX51 in ESCC tumor tissues and adjacent normal tissues was detected by Immunohistochemistry (IHC) analyses and quantitative PCR (qPCR). We knocked down DDX51 in ESCC cell lines by using a small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection. The proliferation, apoptosis, and mobility of DDX51 siRNA-transfected cells were detected. The effect of DDX51 on the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway was investigated by western blot analysis. A mouse xenograft model was established to investigate the effects of DDX51 knockdown on ESCC tumor growth. RESULTS DDX51 exhibited high expression in ESCC tissues compared with normal tissues and represented a poor prognosis in patients with ESCC. Knockdown of DDX51 induced inhibition of ESCC cell proliferation and promoted apoptosis. Moreover, DDX51 siRNA-expressing cells also exhibited lower migration and invasion rates. Investigations into the underlying mechanisms suggested that DDX51 knockdown induced inactivation of the PI3K/AKT pathway, including decreased phosphorylation levels of phosphate and tensin homolog, PI3K, AKT, and mammalian target of rapamycin. Rescue experiments demonstrated that the AKT activator insulin-like growth factor 1 could reverse the inhibitory effects of DDX51 on ESCC malignant development. Finally, we injected DDX51 siRNA-transfected TE-1 cells into an animal model, which resulted in slower tumor growth. CONCLUSION Our study suggests for the first time that DDX51 promotes cancer cell proliferation by regulating the PI3K/AKT pathway; thus, DDX51 might be a therapeutic target for ESCC.

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