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SPC25 promotes hepatocellular carcinoma metastasis via activating the FAK/PI3K/AKT signaling pathway through ITGB4.

  • Shi, Wen-Kai1
  • Shang, Qiao-Li2
  • Zhao, Yong-Fu1
  • 1 Department of Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan 450052, P.R. China. , (China)
  • 2 The Seventh Plastic Department, Plastic Surgery Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100144, P.R. China. , (China)
Published Article
Oncology Reports
Spandidos Publications
Publication Date
May 01, 2022
DOI: 10.3892/or.2022.8302
PMID: 35293598


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a malignant tumor with a high metastatic rate. Recent studies have shown that the mitosis‑associated spindle‑assembly checkpoint regulatory protein spindle pole body component 25 homolog (SPC25) promotes HCC progression, although the underlying mechanism has yet to be fully elucidated. The aim of the present study was to investigate the mechanism through which SPC25 may promote HCC progression in greater detail. First, the expression of SPC25 was analyzed in publicly available databases to explore the association between SPC25 and HCC metastasis. Western blotting was subsequently performed to examine the level of SPC25 expression in different HCC cell lines. SPC25 was then silenced in HCCLM3 and Huh7 cells, and the effects of SPC25 silencing were investigated using cell proliferation, wound‑healing, Transwell migration assays and an in vivo mouse model. Finally, the mechanism of SPC25 action with respect to the promotion of HCC metastasis was explored using microarray analysis and rescue experiments. The results obtained demonstrated that SPC25 is highly expressed in HCC, and this high level of expression is associated with poor prognosis and metastasis. Moreover, SPC25 silencing led to a marked inhibition of the invasion and migration of HCC cells both in vitro and in vivo. The gene‑expression profiling and mechanistic experiments suggest that SPC25 preferentially influences the expression of genes associated with extracellular matrix (ECM)‑integrin interactions, including integrin subunit β4 (ITGB4), an upstream element of the integrin pathway. ITGB4 upregulation partly reversed the decline in cell invasion and migration capacities that resulted from SPC25 silencing. Furthermore, deleting both SPC25 and ITGB4 caused a decrease in the phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), phosphoinositide 3‑kinase (PI3K) and AKT, which are downstream elements of the integrin pathway. Taken together, the results of the present study demonstrated the important role of SPC25 as a prognostic indicator and as a promoter of metastasis in HCC, and the underlying mechanism of its action has been partially elucidated, suggesting that SPC25 could be used as a biomarker and as a target for therapeutic intervention in the treatment of HCC.

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