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Cancer Res. 2010 Sep 15;70(18):7137-47. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-0860. Epub 2010 Aug 31.

hnRNP A2/B1 modulates epithelial-mesenchymal transition in lung cancer cell lines.

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  • 1Laboratory of Lung Cancer Biology, Section of Medical Oncology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.


Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A2/B1 (hnRNP A2/B1) has been reported to be overexpressed in lung cancer and in other cancers such as breast, pancreas, and liver. However, a mechanism linking hnRNP A2/B1 overexpression and progression to cancer has not yet been definitively established. To elucidate this mechanism, we have silenced hnRNPA2/B1 mRNA in non-small-cell lung cancer cell lines A549, H1703, and H358. These cell lines present different levels of expression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers such as E-cadherin, fibronectin, and vimentin. Microarray expression analysis was performed to evaluate the effect of silencing hnRNP A2/B1 in A549 cells. We identified a list of target genes, affected by silencing of hnRNP A2/B1, that are involved in regulation of migration, proliferation, survival, and apoptosis. Silencing hnRNP A2/B1 induced formation of cell clusters and increased proliferation. In the anchorage-independent assay, silencing hnRNP A2/B1 increased colony formation by 794% in A549 and 174% in H1703 compared with a 25% increase in proliferation, in both cell lines, in a two-dimensional proliferation assay. Silencing hnRNP A2/B1 decreased migration in intermediate cell line A549 and mesenchymal cell line H1703; however, no changes in proliferation were observed in epithelial cell line H358. Silencing hnRNP A2/B1 in A549 and H1703 cells correlated with an increase of E-cadherin expression and downregulation of the E-cadherin inhibitors Twist1 and Snai1. These data suggest that expression of hnRNP A2/B1 may play a role in EMT, in nonepithelial lung cancer cell lines A549 and H1703, through the regulation of E-cadherin expression.

©2010 AACR.

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