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Int J Oncol. 2016 Mar;48(3):929-36. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2016.3340. Epub 2016 Jan 15.

Effect of junctional adhesion molecule-2 expression on cell growth, invasion and migration in human colorectal cancer.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Basic Medicine, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100069, P.R. China.
Cardiff-China Medical Research Collaborative, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, UK.
Cancer Institute of Capital Medical University, Beijing 100069, P.R. China.


The junctional adhesion molecule (JAMs) family belongs to the immunoglobulin subfamily involved in the formation of tight junctions (TJ) in both endothelial and epithelial cells. Aberrant expression of JAM-2 is associated with cancer progression but little work has been carried out in discovering how this affects changes in cell behaviour. The present study aimed to examine the expression of JAM-2 in human colon cancer specimens and cell lines and its role in the development of colon cancer. JAM-2 expression in human colon cancer specimens (normal, n=75; cancer, n=94) and cell lines was analysed using quantitative real-time PCR and conventional RT-PCR. Colon cancer cells were stably transfected with a mammalian expression vector to overexpress JAM-2-Flag. The effect on growth, adhesion and migration following overexpression of JAM-2 was then investigated using in vitro models. TJ function was assessed using a trans-epithelial resistance assay (TER, with an EVOM voltammeter). JAM-2 was lowly expressed in colon cancer cells such as RKO, HT115. JAM-2 overexpression in RKO cells (RKO-JAM-2) and HT115 cells (HT115-JAM-2) showed retarded adhesion (P<0.05). An in vivo tumour model showed that RKO-JAM-2 had significantly reduced growth (P<0.05), invasion (P<0.05) and migration (P<0.05) as well as in HT115-JAM-2, except on proliferation and migration. Expression of JAM-2 resulted in a significant increase in TER and decrease in permeability of polarized monolayers (P<0.05). Further analysis of JAM-2 transcript levels against clinical aspects demonstrated that the decreasing JAM-2 expression correlated to disease progression, metastasis and poor survival. Taken together, JAM-2 may function as a putative tumour suppressor in the progression and metastasis of colorectal cancer.

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