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Oncol Rep. 2016 Aug;36(2):819-26. doi: 10.3892/or.2016.4872. Epub 2016 Jun 13.

Activation of the FAK/PI3K pathway is crucial for AURKA-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition in laryngeal cancer.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Ruijin Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200025, P.R. China.
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Gastric Neoplasms, Shanghai Institute of Digestive Surgery, Ruijin Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200025, P.R. China.


Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) is one of the most common malignant tumors, and the main cause of death is metastasis. Overexpression of aurora kinaseĀ A (AURKA) plays an important role in the metastasis of LSCC. However, the mechanism by which AURKA promotes the metastasis of LSCC is poorly understood. Recent accumulating evidence indicates that epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) may be one of the mechanisms of tumor metastasis. In the present study, we studied whether AURKA may induce EMT to promote the metastasis of LSCC. CCK-8 and plate colony-formation assays were carried out to show that AURKA significantly promoted the proliferation of Hep2 cells. Immunofluorescence staining and western blotting showed that EMT-related proteins changed in a time-dependent manner along with the alteration of AURKA, with decreased expression of N-cadherin, vimentin and slug and increased expression of E-cadherin. Additionally, downregulation of the expression of AURKA inhibited FAK/PI3K pathway activity. Inhibition of the FAK/PI3K pathway caused less mesenchymal-like characteristics and reduced the mobility, migration and invasion of Hep2 cells. In conclusion, AURKA may induce EMT to promote metastasis via activation of the FAK/PI3K pathway in LSCC. Those regulatory factors may present new diagnostic biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets for LSCC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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