J Cancer 2020; 11(21):6234-6242. doi:10.7150/jca.46901 This issue

Research Paper

PODNL1 promotes cell proliferation and migration in glioma via regulating Akt/mTOR pathway

Yibo Geng1, Pengcheng Zuo1, Xiao-ou Li1, Liwei Zhang1,2✉

1. Department of Neurosurgery, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
2. China National Clinical Research Center for Neurological Disease, Nan Si Huan Xi Lu 119, Fengtai District, Beijing 100070, China.

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Geng Y, Zuo P, Li Xo, Zhang L. PODNL1 promotes cell proliferation and migration in glioma via regulating Akt/mTOR pathway. J Cancer 2020; 11(21):6234-6242. doi:10.7150/jca.46901. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v11p6234.htm

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Background and Aims: Emerging studies have determined that the small leucine-rich proteoglycan (SLRP) family can aggravate tumor progression. However, the biological function of podocan-like protein 1 (PODNL1), a novel member of the SLRP family, has not been investigated. Therefore, our study focused on the function and regulatory mechanism of PODNL1 in glioma.

Methods: Both the Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis (GEPIA) and the Chinese Glioma Genome Atlas (CGGA) database were used to analyze the expression level and survival risk of PODNL1 in glioma. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot were applied to detect the mRNA and protein expression, respectively. Celltiter-Glo and colony formation assays were used to evaluate cell proliferation. Migration capacity was measured by Transwell and wound healing assays. Flow cytometry was utilized to assess the apoptotic rate.

Results: The expression of PODNL1 predicted the poor prognosis in glioma patients. Silencing of PODNL1 inhibited cell proliferation, migration, and induced epithelial-like phenotype. In addition, knockdown of PODNL1 also induced cell apoptosis. Moreover, the cell growth and migration inhibited by PODNL1 knockdown could be partially rescued with Akt activator. Conversely, PODNL1 overexpression promoted cell growth and migration, which were suppressed by Akt inhibitor.

Conclusions: PODNL1, a promising predictive indicator of poor prognosis, resulted in greater proliferation, migration and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process. Moreover, PODNL1 promoted aggressive glioma behavior by activating Akt/mTOR pathway, providing a novel therapeutic target for glioma.

Keywords: podocan-like protein 1, glioma, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, Akt/mTOR pathway