J Cancer 2021; 12(14):4183-4195. doi:10.7150/jca.51253

Research Paper

POSTN promotes proliferation and epithelial-mesenchymal transition in renal cell carcinoma through ILK/AKT/mTOR pathway

Yuan-yuan Jia1, Yue Yu2, Hong-jun Li1✉

1. Department of Health Management Medical Center, China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University,126 Xiantai Street,Changchun, Jilin, China.
2. Department of endocrinology and metabolism, China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, 126 Xiantai Street,Changchun, Jilin,China.

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Jia Yy, Yu Y, Li Hj. POSTN promotes proliferation and epithelial-mesenchymal transition in renal cell carcinoma through ILK/AKT/mTOR pathway. J Cancer 2021; 12(14):4183-4195. doi:10.7150/jca.51253. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v12p4183.htm

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Periostin (POSTN) is an extracellular matrix (ECM) protein, involved in various diseases. This research focused on the detailed mechanisms study of periostin (POSTN) overexpression in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) invasion and migration. Western blot and RT-PCR were performed to explore POSTN expression in various RCC cells. Cells were transfected with siRNAs or lentivirus to regulate the expression of POSTN. The effects of POSTN on cell viability, apoptosis, migration, invasion and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of RCC cells were determined by CCK-8, flow cytometry, migration and invasion assay and Western blot analysis. POSTN expression was significantly enhanced in RCC cells compared with renal tubular epithelial cells. In vitro experiments showed that POSTN knockdown could dramatically inhibit RCC cell proliferation, migration and invasion, while overexpression of POSTN could promote these biological behaviors. We further demonstrated that POSTN knockdown suppressed epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which was mediated via upregulation of E-cadherin and downregulation of N-cadherin and vimentin, through IKL/AKT/mTOR pathway. In contrast, overexpression of POSTN could promote EMT in RCC cells via the activation of IKL /AKT/mTOR pathway. Next, we demonstrated that higher POSTN expression promoted angiogenesis in vivo in an RCC xenograft tumor via activating IKL /AKT/mTOR pathway. Our study showed that POSTN could promote EMT through ILK/AKT/mTOR pathway and might be an alternative therapeutic strategy for RCC treatment.

Keywords: POSTN, Renal cell carcinoma, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, ILK/AKT/mTOR pathway.