Esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma (ESCC) metastasis is the major cause of death of this severe and common malignancy. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is one of the key components of the focal adhesion complex, which is a multi-protein structure that controls cell adhesion, migration and invasion and regulates tumor metastasis.

The Chinese preclinical investigators sought out to identify the roles and mechanisms of FAK in the regulation of Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of ESCC cells.

The Study Results

The team identified the upregulation of FAK and downregulation of miR-4324 in both ESCC cells and tissues. Overexpression of miR-4324 mimic, which significantly decreased cellular FAK levels, can impair the invasion potential and migration ability of ESCC cells. Besides, co-transfection that miR-4324 mimic remarkably downregulated epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenotype, which can  also be effectively prevented by overexpressing FAK in ESCC cells. What’s more, low miR-4324 and high FAK tissue levels have significant association with poor cell differentiation, tumor size and invasion depth as well as overall number of metastatic lymph nodes. Patients with high miR-4324 and low FAK levels in tumor tissues lived longer than their counterparts, respectively

Conclusion

miR-4324/FAK axis could be a promising therapeutic target and potential prognostic biomarker for ESCC, which deserves further investigation in the clinic.

Lead Research/Investigators

Jian Zhou, , Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Affiliated Yixing Hospital of Jiangsu University, Yixing

Jiangtao Zhu, , Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Affiliated Yixing Hospital of Jiangsu University, Yixing

Guoojun Jiang, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Affiliated Yixing Hospital of Jiangsu University, Yixing

Juncheng Feng, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Affiliated Yixing Hospital of Jiangsu University, Yixing

Qianqian Wang, Department of Oncology, Affiliated Yixing Hospital of Jiangsu University

Source: Dovepress

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