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Nien-Chu Shih

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    MA15 - Usage of Computer and Molecular Analysis in Treatment Selection and Disease Prognostication (ID 141)

    • Event: WCLC 2019
    • Type: Mini Oral Session
    • Track: Pathology
    • Presentations: 1
    • Now Available
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      MA15.01 - Cellular Prion Protein Transcriptionally Regulated by NFIL3 Enhances Lung Cancer Cell Lamellipodium Formation and Migration (Now Available) (ID 151)

      15:45 - 17:15  |  Author(s): Nien-Chu Shih

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
      • Slides


      Tumor invasion and metastasis are the major causes of treatment failure and mortality in lung cancer patients. However, the precise molecular targets responsible for tumor invasion remain unclear.


      In this study, we identified a group of genes with differential expression in in situ and invasive lung adenocarcinoma tissues by cDNA microarray analysis; among these genes we further characterized the association of the upregulation of PRNP, the gene encoding cellular Prion protein (PrPc), with lung adenocarcinoma invasiveness through immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization analysis on clinical tissues. The roles of PrPc in lung cancer cell lines were also verified by using immunofluorescence staining, in vitro transwell assay and in vivo metastasis mouse model. In addition, the impact of PrPc on the activation of the JNK signaling pathway was investigated by Western blot analysis. Finally, luciferase reporter assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay were used to identify the transcriptional activators of PRNP.


      Immunohistochemistry on clinical specimens showed association of PrPc expression with invasive but not in situ lung adenocarcinoma. Consistently, the expression of PrPc was higher in the highly invasive than in the lowly invasive lung adenocarcinoma cell lines. Knockdown of PrPc expression in cultured lung adenocarcinoma cells decreased their lamellipodium formation, in vitro migration and invasion, and in vivo experimental lung metastasis. Phosphorylation of JNKs was found to correlate with PrPc expression and the inhibition of JNKs suppressed the PrPc-induced up-regulation of lamellipodium formation, cell migration, and invasion. Moreover, we identified the nuclear factor, interleukin 3 regulated (NFIL3) protein as a transcriptional activator of the PRNP promoter. Accordingly, NFIL3 promoted lung cancer cell migration and invasion in a PrPc-dependent manner. High NFIL3 expression in clinical specimens of lung adenocarcinoma was also associated with tumor invasiveness and poor survival of patients.


      Our observations suggest that PRNP expression is associated with the invasiveness of lung adenocarcinoma, and cell line model demonstrated that PrPc serves as a critical factor for lung cancer cell lamellipodia formation, migration and invasion via JNK signaling. A novel transcription factor, NFIL3, was identified to upregulate PRNP expression in lung cancer cells; further characterizations showed that NFIL3 promotes lung cancer cell migration through PrPc-dependent manner. Moreover, high NFIL3 expression was found to be associated with lung cancer invasiveness in clinical tissues. Overall, NFIL3/PrPc axis plays a critical role in lung cancer invasiveness and metastasis, and may be the potential therapeutic targets in the future.

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