1. Department of General Surgery, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China.
2. Department of Pathology, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China.
3. Department of Pathology, First Affiliated Hospital and College of Basic Medical Sciences, China Medical University, Shenyang, China.
Background: Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is one of the most common endocrine malignant tumors. Poor prognoses such as high recurrence rate always appear in PTC patients with cervical lymph node metastasis. The process of ubiquitination plays important roles in PTC. As ubiquitin E3 ligases, Deltex (DTX) family proteins were reported to associate with multiple cancers. However, functions and mechanisms of DTX3 in PTC are currently unknown.
Methods: In this study, DTX3 expressions were examined in 114 PTC and paired paracancerous normal tissues through quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blot. The clinical significances of DTX3 expressions in PTC patients were also investigated. After stable transfection with either short hairpin RNA to knock down DTX3 expression or full-length complementary DNA to upregulate DTX3 expression, changes of malignant phenotypes in two PTC cell lines K1 and TPC-1 were observed using cell viability, flow cytometry, wound healing and transwell assays. Afterwards, altered expressions of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and AKT signal pathway related proteins were measured by western blot. Immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry (IP-MS), immunofluorescence and Co-IP were utilized to identify the possible DTX3 interacting proteins.
Results: Both mRNA and protein expressions of DTX3 were lower in PTC tissues and correlated with the presence of cervical lymph node metastasis (P<0.05). DTX3 overexpression inhibited migration and invasion of PTC cells, decreased Vimentin and phosphorylated AKT expressions, but promoted E-cadherin expression (P<0.05). Moreover, knockdown of DTX3 led to opposite changes (P<0.05). Total 46 probable DTX3 interacting proteins were identified by IP-MS. Among them, X-ray repair cross-complementing protein 5 (XRCC5) and NADH: Ubiquinone Oxidoreductase Complex Assembly Factor 5 (NDUFAF5) were verified to be associated with DTX3. Moreover, DTX3 was proved to be co-localized with XRCC5 in nucleus and promote ubiquitination of XRCC5.
Conclusions: DTX3 suppresses EMT by partially facilitating ubiquitination of XRCC5 to inhibit AKT signal pathway in PTC.
Keywords: papillary thyroid carcinoma, Deltex3, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, AKT signal pathway, XRCC5