J Cancer 2018; 9(1):157-165. doi:10.7150/jca.20879

Research Paper

KPNA2 promotes migration and invasion in epithelial ovarian cancer cells by inducing epithelial-mesenchymal transition via Akt/GSK-3β/Snail activation

Long Huang1,2,3, Yun Zhou1,4,5, Xin-Ping Cao4,5,6, Jia-Xin Lin7, Lan Zhang1,4,5, Shu-Ting Huang1,4,5, Min Zheng1,4,5✉

1. Department of Gynecology, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China
2. Department of Oncology, The Second Afiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, China
3. JiangXi Key Laboratory of Clinical and Translational Cancer Research
4. State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China
5. Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, China
6. Department of Radiation, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China
7. Department of Oncology, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangzhou, China.

Abstract

Background: Increased karyopherin alpha 2 (KPNA2) expression has been demonstrated in epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC) tissue. However, its role in the disease is not clear. Here, we investigate the mechanism of involvement of KPNA2 in EOC.

Methods: Stable cell lines expressing KPNA2, or KPNA2 shRNAs, were constructed. The effects of KPNA2 overexpression and knockdown on EOC cell migration, invasion, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) were evaluated using relevant assays and western blot analysis. Key components of the Akt/GSK-3β/Snail signaling pathway were detected using western blotting and immunofluorescence.

Results: KPNA2 overexpression increased the migration and invasion of EOC cells (EFO-21 and SK-OV3); these cells also exhibited characteristics of EMT. Key proteins in the Akt/GSK-3β/Snail signaling pathway were also upregulated in cells overexpressing KPNA2. In contrast, knockdown of KPNA2 effectively suppressed migration and invasion of these EOC cells.

Conclusions: KPNA2 may reduce the migration and invasion of EOC by inhibiting the Akt/GSK-3β/Snail signaling pathway and suppressing EMT.

Keywords: KPNA2, EOC

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How to cite this article:
Huang L, Zhou Y, Cao XP, Lin JX, Zhang L, Huang ST, Zheng M. KPNA2 promotes migration and invasion in epithelial ovarian cancer cells by inducing epithelial-mesenchymal transition via Akt/GSK-3β/Snail activation. J Cancer 2018; 9(1):157-165. doi:10.7150/jca.20879. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v09p0157.htm