WISP1 aggravates cell metastatic potential by abrogating TGF-β-Smad2/3-dependent epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma
pubmed: wnt1 2021-05-25
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2021 Feb 16:1535370221992703. doi: 10.1177/1535370221992703. Online ahead of print.
Laryngeal squamous cell cancer (LSCC) is a common carcinoma with high morbidity and mortality. Metastasis constitutes the major cause of death and poor prognosis among patients with LSCC. Recent evidence confirms critical function of Wnt1-inducible signaling protein 1 (WISP1) in several cancers. However, its contribution in LSCC metastasis remains unclear. Specimens of tumor tissues and adjacent normal mucosa were collected from patients with LSCC. The mRNA and protein levels were determined using quantitative real-time PCR and Western blot, respectively. RNA interference was applied to silence the expression of WISP1 and TGF-β, and recombinant adenovirus was used to overexpress WISP1 in human LSCC cell line TU212 cells. Cell invasion and migration were determined by transwell assay. High expression of WISP1 was observed in LSCC tissues, especially in those from metastatic groups. Ectopic expression of WISP1 enhanced invasion and migration of TU212 cells. On the contrary, WISP1 knockdown reduced numbers of invasive and migrated cells. Additionally, elevation of WISP1 depressed the expression of epithelial marker E-cadherin and increased levels of mesenchymal marker vimentin in TU212 cells, whereas WISP suppression yielded the opposite effects. Further analysis corroborated that WISP1 overexpression enhanced activation of TGF-β-Smad signaling by increasing expression of TGF-β1, p-Smad2, and p-Smad3, which was abrogated following WISP1 down-regulation. Moreover, TGF-β1 exposure facilitated LSCC cell invasion and migration. Notably, blockage of the TGF-β-Smad pathway by si-TGF-β overturned WISP-1-evoked epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and subsequent cell invasion and migration. These findings highlight the pro-metastatic function of WISP1 in LSCC by regulating cell invasion and migration via TGF-β-Smad-mediated EMT, supporting a promising invention target for LSCC therapy.