J Cancer 2022; 13(7):2200-2212. doi:10.7150/jca.69617 This issue

Research Paper

CAV2 Regulates Mir-4723/Wnt7A Signalling Axis through Endocytosis and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition to Promote Proliferation, Invasion, and Metastasis of Pancreatic Cancer Cells

Dan Li1*, Yuting Guo1,2*, She Tian1,2, Changhao Zhu1,2, Chengyi Sun1,2✉

1. Key Laboratory of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery and Guizhou Medical University, Guiyang, China.
2. Department of Hepatic-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, The Affiliated Hospital of Guizhou Medical University, Guiyang, China.
* Dan Li and Yuting Guo contributed equally to this work and should be considered co-first authors.

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Citation:
Li D, Guo Y, Tian S, Zhu C, Sun C. CAV2 Regulates Mir-4723/Wnt7A Signalling Axis through Endocytosis and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition to Promote Proliferation, Invasion, and Metastasis of Pancreatic Cancer Cells. J Cancer 2022; 13(7):2200-2212. doi:10.7150/jca.69617. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v13p2200.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

Background: Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive malignancies globally, with no improvement in the cure rates yet.Caveolin-2 (CAV2) has been repeatedly reported to play an important role in cellular transport and signalling and in exhibiting a pro-oncogenic response in a variety of tumours, although its specific action mechanisms in pancreatic cancer are not well documented. MiRNA is recognized as a therapeutic target for a variety of tumours, making it an important regulator of the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway. MiR-4723/Wnt7A constitutes an oncogenic signalling axis in pancreatic cancer by targeting and inhibiting Wnt7A through the activation of MiR4723, but its molecular action mechanism remains unexplored. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated the effect of CAV2 on the MiR-4723/Wnt7A pathway and its action mechanism.

Methods: We employed TCGA, the GEO database for bioinformatics analysis, cell proliferation assay, wound healing assay, Transwell assay, colony-forming assay, qRT-PCR, and Western blotting to validate the cancer-promoting role of CAV2 in pancreatic cancer and to determine its potential target WNT7A. We then explored CAV2 as a positive regulator of the Wnt7A/β-catenin pathway through immunofluorescence assay, qRT-PCR, and Western blotting. Database analyses, CCK-8 and qRT-PCR revealed that MiR-4723 is an oncogene in pancreatic cancer. Luciferase assay and qRT-PCR revealed that MiR-4723 is a negative regulator of the Wnt7A/β-catenin pathway. To investigate the mechanism of CAV2 action on MiR-4723/Wnt7A, we detected the gene expression of CAV2 through qRT-PCR after MiR-4723 overexpression. Several genes related to endocytosis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) were subsequently analysed through immunofluorescence, Western blotting, and qRT-PCR.

Results: Overexpression of CAV2 promotes invasion, migration, cloning and metastasis of pancreatic cancer cells. Overexpression of MiR-4723 inhibits CAV2 expression. Here, we are the first to demonstrate that CAV2 exerts a pro-carcinogenic effect on pancreatic cancer through the activation of the Wnt7A/β-catenin signalling pathway.

Conclusion: CAV2 can regulate the MiR-4723/Wnt7A signalling axis in pancreatic cancer cell lines by inhibiting endocytosis and promoting EMT, thereby fulfilling the mechanism pro-carcinogenic effects.

Keywords: Caveolin-2, MiR-4723, Pancreatic cancer, Endocytosis, Wnt/β-catenin pathway, WNT7A