Open Access

Sphingosine kinase 1 promotes the metastasis of colorectal cancer by inducing the epithelial‑mesenchymal transition mediated by the FAK/AKT/MMPs axis

  • Authors:
    • Shi‑Quan Liu
    • Chun‑Yan Xu
    • Wen‑Hong Wu
    • Zhen‑Hua Fu
    • Si‑Wei He
    • Meng‑Bin Qin
    • Jie‑An Huang
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: October 25, 2018     https://doi.org/10.3892/ijo.2018.4607
  • Pages: 41-52
  • Copyright: © Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Abstract

It was demonstrated that Sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1) promotes tumor progression and confers the malignancy phenotype of colorectal cancer by activating the focal adhesion kinase (FAK) pathway. However, further clarification is required to determine if SphK1 promotes the metastasis of colorectal cancer by inducing epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT), and its mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. Immunohistochemistry staining was used to detect protein expression in normal colonic mucosa tissues and colorectal cancer tissues. Cells were transfected to overexpress SphK1, downregulate SphK1 or downregulate FAK. An MTT assay was used to detect the drug toxicity to cells. Transwell and wound healing assays were used to detect cell migration ability. Reverse transcription‑polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis were used to detect the expression of mRNA and protein, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy was used to observe the microvilli and pseudopodia of the cells. The analysis of protein expression in 114 human colorectal cancer tissues demonstrated that the expressions of SphK1, FAK, phosphorylated (p)‑FAK, E‑cadherin and vimentin were associated with the metastasis of colorectal cancer. Furthermore, the patients with colorectal cancer with SphK1‑positive cancer demonstrated poorer prognosis compared with SphK1‑negative cancer. FAK knockdown and SphK1 knockdown of human colon cancer RKO cells inhibited the EMT and migrational potency, along with the expression of p‑FAK, p‑protein kinase B (AKT) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)2/9. In contrast, SphK1 overexpression promoted EMT, migrational potency, and the expression of p‑FAK, p‑AKT and MMP2/9 in HT29 cells. Additionally, the EMT and migrational potency of SphK1‑overexpressing HT29 cells was suppressed by a FAK inhibitor, and the expression of p‑FAK, p‑AKT and MMP2/9 was suppressed by blocking the FAK pathway. In conclusion, SphK1 promoted the migration and metastasis of colon cancer by inducing EMT mediated by the FAK/AKT/MMPs axis.
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January 2019
Volume 54 Issue 1

Print ISSN: 1019-6439
Online ISSN:1791-2423

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Copy and paste a formatted citation
APA
Liu, S., Xu, C., Wu, W., Fu, Z., He, S., Qin, M., & Huang, J. (2019). Sphingosine kinase 1 promotes the metastasis of colorectal cancer by inducing the epithelial‑mesenchymal transition mediated by the FAK/AKT/MMPs axis. International Journal of Oncology, 54, 41-52. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijo.2018.4607
MLA
Liu, S., Xu, C., Wu, W., Fu, Z., He, S., Qin, M., Huang, J."Sphingosine kinase 1 promotes the metastasis of colorectal cancer by inducing the epithelial‑mesenchymal transition mediated by the FAK/AKT/MMPs axis". International Journal of Oncology 54.1 (2019): 41-52.
Chicago
Liu, S., Xu, C., Wu, W., Fu, Z., He, S., Qin, M., Huang, J."Sphingosine kinase 1 promotes the metastasis of colorectal cancer by inducing the epithelial‑mesenchymal transition mediated by the FAK/AKT/MMPs axis". International Journal of Oncology 54, no. 1 (2019): 41-52. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijo.2018.4607