Published online Oct 7, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i37.6265
Revised: July 15, 2013
Accepted: August 20, 2013
Published online: October 7, 2013
AIM: To investigate the mechanisms of how cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) regulates E-cadherin in gastric cancer cells.
METHODS: COX-2 expression in human gastric cancer cell lines SGC-7901, BGC-823, MGC-803 and AGS were measured at the mRNA and protein level. COX-2 rich cell line SGC-7901 was chosen for subsequent experiments. siRNA mediated gene knockdown was used to investigate the impact of COX-2 on nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), Snail, and E-cadherin in gastric cancer cells. Gene expression was determined by Western blot and real-time polymerase chain reaction. To analyze whether NF-κB inhibition could interrupt the modulatory effect of COX-2 or prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) on E-cadherin, gastric cancer cells were treated with celecoxib or PGE2, in the presence of NF-κB specific siRNA.
RESULTS: Highest expression level of COX-2 was found in SGC-7901 cells, both at mRNA and protein levels. siRNA mediated down-regulation of COX-2 led to a reduced expression of NF-κB and Snail, but an increased expression of E-cadherin in SGC-7901 cells. siRNA mediated down-regulation of NF-κB also led to a reduced expression of E-cadherin and Snail in SGC-7901 cells. However, COX-2 expression did not alter after cells were treated with NF-κB specific siRNA in SGC-7901 cells. Treatment of SGC-7901 cells with celecoxib led to a reduced expression of Snail but an increased expression of E-cadherin. In contrast, treatment of SGC-7901 cells with PGE2 led to an increased Snail and a decreased E-cadherin. However, siRNA-mediated knockdown of NF-κB partially abolished the effect of celecoxib and PGE2 on the regulation of E-cadherin and Snail in SGC-7901 cells.
CONCLUSION: COX-2 likely functions upstream of NF-κB and regulates the expression of E-cadherin via NF-κB/Snail signaling pathway in gastric cancer cells.
Core tip: Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) plays an important role in transcriptional regulation of E-cadherin in gastric cancer and other malignancies. On the contrary, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) promotes invasion of tumor cells through down-regulating the expression of E-cadherin. Our study has provided further evidence that COX-2 functions upstream of nuclear factor-κB in the regulation of Snail and E-cadherin in gastric cancer cells. Blockade of COX-2 activity or inhibition of PGE2 production may offer some benefit in the chemoprevention and treatment of gastric cancer.