Department of General Surgery, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Quanzhou 362000, Fujian Province, China.
Objective: Overexpression of GOLPH3 in colorectal cancer tissue may promote cell proliferation and activate the Wnt signaling pathway. We investigated the correlation between GOLPH3 gene expression and the Wnt signaling pathway to explore the mechanism of the overexpression of GOLPH3 gene which promotes proliferation in human colon cancer cells.
Methods: We measured expression of GOLPH3 mRNA in the human colon cancer cell lines HCT116, HT29, SW480 and SW620 by RT-PCR, and the cells with the highest expression were selected and divided into four groups: negative control, GOLPH3 siRNA transfection (siRNA-GOLPH3), Akt inhibitor (Tricinbine), and glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3β inhibitor (TWS119). After human colon cancer cells were transfected with siRNA-GOLPH3, we used RT-PCR to investigate the silencing effect of GOLPH3 gene. We assessed the activity of the Wnt signaling pathway in all groups using the Topflash method. Proliferation and apoptosis of colon cancer SW620 cells were detected by MTT assay, colony formation assay and flow cytometry. Expression of Golgi phosphoprotein (GOLPH)3, β-catenin, GSK-3β and pS9-GSK-3β in cancer cells was determined by Western blotting.
Results: SW620 cells expressed the highest level of GOLPH3 mRNA, and the silence effect was good after they were transfected with siRNA-GOLPH3. The relative luminescence units (RLU) values in the experimental groups were significantly lower than in the negative control group (P<0.001). There was no significant difference in the RLU values among the experimental groups (P> 0.05). The growth inhibition ratio and apoptosis rate of cancer cells in each experimental group were significantly higher than those in the control group, and the cell colony count in the experimental group was significantly lower than in the control group (P<0.05). In addition, the RLU value, proliferation and apoptosis rate of cancer cells did not differ significantly between each two experimental groups. Western blotting showed that, compared with the control group, expression of β-catenin and pS9-GSK3 proteins were significantly decreased in the experimental group. Expression of GSK-3β in the experimental group did not different from that of the control group.
Conclusions: Overexpression of GOLPH3 gene activated the Wnt signaling pathway, as well as increasing expression of β-catenin, promoting proliferation and inhibiting apoptosis in human colon cancer cells. The mechanism of action was that overexpression of GOLPH3 gene activated Akt, which may also further activate the Wnt signaling pathway via GSK-3β, and promote proliferation in human colon cancer cells.
Keywords: Colon cancer cells, GOLPH3, Wnt signaling pathway, Akt, glycogen synthase kinase-3β, β-catenin.