Klotho-beta overexpression as a novel target for suppressing proliferation and fibroblast growth factor receptor-4 signaling in hepatocellular carcinoma

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We had previously demonstrated overexpression of fibroblast growth factor receptor-4 (FGFR4) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, additional molecular mechanisms resulting in amplified FGFR4 signaling in HCC remain under-studied. Here, we studied the mechanistic role of its co-receptor klotho-beta (KLB) in driving elevated FGFR4 activity in HCC progression. Results Quantitative real-time PCR analysis identified frequent elevation of KLB gene expression in HCC tumors relative to matched non-tumor tissue, with a more than two-fold increase correlating with development of multiple tumors in patients. KLB-silencing in Huh7 cells decreased cell proliferation and suppressed FGFR4 downstream signaling. While transient repression of KLB-FGFR4 signaling decreased protein expression of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), a HCC diagnostic marker, prolonged inhibition enriched for resistant HCC cells exhibiting increased liver stemness. Conclusions Elevated KLB expression in HCC tissues provides further credence to the oncogenic role of increased FGFR4 signaling in HCC progression and represents a novel biomarker to identify additional patients amenable to anti-FGFR4 therapy. The restricted tissue expression profile of KLB, together with the anti-proliferative effect observed with KLB-silencing, also qualifies it as a specific and potent therapeutic target for HCC patients. The enrichment of a liver stem cell-like population in response to extended KLB-FGFR4 repression necessitates further investigation to target the development of drug resistance.

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Publié par
Publié le 01 janvier 2012
Nombre de lectures 18
Langue English
Signaler un problème
Pohet al.Molecular Cancer2012,11:14 http://www.molecularcancer.com/content/11/1/14
R E S E A R C H
Open Access
Klothobeta overexpression as a novel target for suppressing proliferation and fibroblast growth factor receptor4 signaling in hepatocellular carcinoma 1 2 1 3 3 1 2* Weijie Poh , Winnie Wong , Huimin Ong , Myat Oo Aung , Seng Gee Lim , Boon Tin Chua and Han Kiat Ho
Abstract Background:We had previously demonstrated overexpression of fibroblast growth factor receptor4 (FGFR4) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, additional molecular mechanisms resulting in amplified FGFR4 signaling in HCC remain understudied. Here, we studied the mechanistic role of its coreceptor klothobeta (KLB) in driving elevated FGFR4 activity in HCC progression. Results:Quantitative realtime PCR analysis identified frequent elevation of KLB gene expression in HCC tumors relative to matched nontumor tissue, with a more than twofold increase correlating with development of multiple tumors in patients. KLBsilencing in Huh7 cells decreased cell proliferation and suppressed FGFR4 downstream signaling. While transient repression of KLBFGFR4 signaling decreased protein expression of alpha fetoprotein (AFP), a HCC diagnostic marker, prolonged inhibition enriched for resistant HCC cells exhibiting increased liver stemness. Conclusions:Elevated KLB expression in HCC tissues provides further credence to the oncogenic role of increased FGFR4 signaling in HCC progression and represents a novel biomarker to identify additional patients amenable to antiFGFR4 therapy. The restricted tissue expression profile of KLB, together with the antiproliferative effect observed with KLBsilencing, also qualifies it as a specific and potent therapeutic target for HCC patients. The enrichment of a liver stem celllike population in response to extended KLBFGFR4 repression necessitates further investigation to target the development of drug resistance. Keywords:FGFR4, Hepatocellular carcinoma, KLB, Liver stemness
Introduction With approximately 680,000 deaths in 2008, hepatocel lular carcinoma (HCC) ranks third worldwide in cancer related mortalities [1]. The majority of HCC patients present at advanced stages where curative surgical treat ments are not applicable and face median survival of less than a year [2]. Moreover, traditional systemic che motherapies have produced no significant survival bene fit in advanced HCC patients [3]. Consequently, novel
* Correspondence: phahohk@nus.edu.sg 2 Department of Pharmacy, National University of Singapore, 18 Science Drive 4, Singapore 117543, Singapore Full list of author information is available at the end of the article
therapies for unresectable HCC are urgently needed to address this grim prognosis. Recently, there has been increasing interest in devel oping moleculartargeted therapies that can discriminate between cancer cells and their nonneoplastic counter parts by targeting proteins overexpressed in tumors. The approval of sorafenib, a multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor, for the treatment of advancedstage HCC patients in 2007 highlights the potential of such therapies in treating this complex neoplasia [4]. Further more, the success of sorafenib has intensified efforts in identifying receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) genes fre quently and selectively upregulated in HCC [5,6].
© 2012 Poh et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.