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J Biol Chem. 2008 Jun 6;283(23):15807-15. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M708933200. Epub 2008 Apr 1.

Involvement of hypoxia-inducing factor-1alpha-dependent plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 up-regulation in Cyr61/CCN1-induced gastric cancer cell invasion.

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Department of Primary Care Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.


Cysteine-rich 61 (Cyr61/CCN1), one of the members of CCN family, has been implicated in the progression of human malignancies. Previously, our studies have demonstrated that Cyr61/CCN1 has a role in promoting gastric cancer cell invasion, but the mechanism is not clear yet. Here, we found that hypoxia-inducing factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha) protein, but not mRNA, expression was significantly elevated in gastric cancer cells overexpressing Cyr61. Supportively, a profound reduction of endogenous HIF-1alpha protein was noted in one highly invasive cell line, TSGH, when transfected with antisense Cyr61. By comparison, the induction kinetics of HIF-1alpha protein by recombinant Cyr61 (rCyr61) was distinct from that of insulin-like growth factor-1 and CoCl(2) treatment, both well known for induction of HIF-1alpha. Using cycloheximide and MG132, we demonstrated that the Cyr61-mediated HIF-1alpha up-regulation was through de novo protein synthesis, rather than increased protein stability. rCyr61 could also activate the PI3K/AKT/mTOR and ERK1/2 signaling pathways, both of which were essential for HIF-1alpha protein accumulation. Blockage of HIF-1alpha activity in Cyr61-expressing cells by transfecting with a dominant negative (DN)-HIF-1alpha strongly inhibited their invasion ability, suggesting that elevation in HIF-1alpha protein is vital for Cyr61-mediated gastric cancer cell invasion. In addition, several HIF-1alpha-regulated invasiveness genes were examined, and we found that only plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) showed a significant increase in mRNA and protein levels in cells overexpressing Cyr61. Treatment with PAI-1-specific antisense oligonucleotides or function-neutralizing antibodies abolished the invasion ability of the Cyr61-overexpressing cells. Transfection with dominant negative-HIF-1alpha to block HIF-1alpha activity also effectively reduced the elevated PAI-1 level. In conclusion, our data provide a detailed mechanism by which Cyr61 promoted gastric cancer cell invasive ability via an HIF-1alpha-dependent up-regulation of PAI-1.

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