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Cancer Cell Int. 2019 Jun 11;19:160. doi: 10.1186/s12935-019-0871-5. eCollection 2019.

Mutual regulation of JAG2 and PRAF2 promotes migration and invasion of colorectal cancer cells uncoupled from epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

Author information

1
1Department of Oncology, The Second Clinical Medical College (Shenzhen People's Hospital), Jinan University, Shenzhen, 518020 Guangdong China.
2
2Department of Interventional Radiology, The Second Clinical Medical College (Shenzhen People's Hospital), Jinan University, Shenzhen, 518020 Guangdong China.
3
3Department of Gastroenterology, The Second Clinical Medical College (Shenzhen People's Hospital), Jinan University, Shenzhen, 518020 Guangdong China.
4
4Department of Pathology, The Second Clinical Medical College (Shenzhen People's Hospital), Jinan University, Shenzhen, 518020 Guangdong China.
5
5Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, The Second Clinical Medical College (Shenzhen People's Hospital), Jinan University, Shenzhen, 518020 Guangdong China.

Abstract

Background:

Our previous studies revealed that Jagged 2 (JAG2) is involved in the regulation of migration and invasion of colon cancer cells without affecting cell proliferation. This study further explored the specific mechanism by which JAG2 promotes migration and invasion of colorectal cancer cells.

Methods:

JAG2 mRNA expression in different clinical stages of colorectal cancer and normal intestinal tissues was detected by quantitative PCR (QPCR). QPCR and Western Blot were used to analyze the differential expression of JAG2 mRNA and protein between normal human colon tissue cells and various colorectal cancer cells. Co-expression status of JAG2 and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers in colon cancer tissues and cells was analyzed. The difference between TGF-β-induced EMT model and the JAG2 overexpression model were compared in promoting migration and invasion of HT29 cells. HT29 cells were treated with EMT pathway inhibitors (LY2157299 and Slug siRNA) to identify a cross-talk between the JAG2 effect and the Notch pathway. Co-expressed genes of JAG2 in colorectal cancer cells were identified using siRNA and transcriptome microarray technology. The mutual regulation of JAG2 and the co-expressed gene PRAF2 and the regulation of the paracrine effect of exosomes were analyzed.

Results:

JAG2 was abnormally expressed in colorectal cancer tissues and directly related to clinical stages. Similar to the findings in tissues, the expression of both JAG2 mRNA and protein was significantly increased in the colorectal cancer cell lines compared with that of normal colorectal cell line CCD18-Co. It was shown in our cell model that JAG2 was involved in the regulation of migration and invasion independent of the canonical Notch signaling pathway. More interestingly, JAG2 also promoted the migration and invasion of colon cancer cells in a non-EMT pathway. Further analysis revealed the co-expression of JAG2 with PRAF2 in colorectal cancer cells. JAG2-rich exosomes were released from colorectal cancer cells in a PRAF2-dependent way, while these exosomes regulated the metastasis of colorectal cancer cells in a paracrine manner.

Conclusions:

This is the evidence supporting the biological function of JAG2 through non-canonical Notch and non-EMT-dependent pathways and also the first demonstration of the functions of PRAF2 in colorectal cancer cells. These findings also provide theoretical basis for the development of small molecules or biological agents for therapeutic intervention targeting JAG2/PRAF2.

KEYWORDS:

Colorectal cancer; Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT); Jagged 2 (JAG2); Notch; PRAF2

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interestsThe authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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