A novel miR-365-3p/EHF/keratin 16 axis promotes oral squamous cell carcinoma metastasis, cancer stemness and drug resistance via enhancing β5-integrin/c-met signaling pathway

Wei Chieh Huang, Te Hsuan Jang, Shiao Lin Tung, Tzu Chen Yen, Shih Hsuan Chan, Lu Hai Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

64 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Targeting the c-Met signaling pathway has become a therapeutic strategy in multiple types of cancer. We unveiled a novel c-Met regulating mechanism that could be applied as a modality for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) therapy. Methods: Upregulation of keratin 16 (KRT16) was found by comparing isogenic pairs of low and high invasive human OSCC lines via microarray analysis. OSCC cells with ectopic expression or silencing of KRT16 were used to scrutinize functional roles and associated molecular mechanisms. Results: We observed that high KRT16 expression significantly correlated with poorer pathological differentiation, advanced stages, increased lymph nodes metastasis, and decreased survival rate from several Taiwanese OSCC patient cohorts. We further revealed that miR-365-3p could target ETS homologous factor (EHF), a KRT16 transcription factor, to decrease migration, invasion, metastasis and chemoresistance in OSCC cells via inhibition of KRT16. Under confocal microscopic examination, c-Met was found possibly partially associates with KRT16 through β5-integrin. Colocalization of these three proteins may facilitate c-Met and β5-integrin-mediated signaling in OSCC cells. Depletion of KRT16 led to increased protein degradation of β5-integrin and c-Met through a lysosomal pathway leading to inhibition of their downstream Src/STAT3/FAK/ERK signaling in OSCC cells. Knockdown of KRT16 enhanced chemosensitivity of OSCC towards 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). Various combination of c-Met inhibitor (foretinib), protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor (genistein), β5-integrin antibody, and 5-FU markedly augmented cytotoxic effects in OSCC cells as well as tumor killing effects in vitro and in vivo. Conclusions: Our data indicate that targeting a novel miR-365-3p/EHF/KRT16/β5-integrin/c-Met signaling pathway could improve treatment efficacy in OSCC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number89
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 19 02 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s).

Keywords

  • C-met
  • Chemoresistance
  • ETS homologous factor
  • Keratin 16
  • Oral squamous cell carcinoma
  • miR-365-3p
  • β5-integrin

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