3 years ago

SOX8 regulates cancer stem-like properties and cisplatin-induced EMT in tongue squamous cell carcinoma by acting on the Wnt/β-catenin pathway

B Weng, H-Q Zhang, Z Zhang, Q-X Li, J-S Li, S Fan, S-L Xie, W-W Wang, G-K Pan, W-X Chen, Z-Y Lin, S-Y Zhang
A sub-population of chemoresistant cells exhibits biological properties similar to cancer stem cells (CSCs), and these cells are believed to be a main cause for tumour relapse and metastasis. In this study, we explored the role of SOX8 and its molecular mechanism in the regulation of the stemness properties and the epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) of cisplatin-resistant tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC) cells. We found that SOX8 was upregulated in cisplatin-resistant TSCC cells, which displayed CSC-like properties and exhibited EMT. SOX8 was also overexpressed in chemoresistant patients with TSCC and was associated with higher lymph node metastasis, advanced tumour stage and shorter overall survival. Stable knockdown of SOX8 in cisplatin-resistant TSCC cells inhibited chemoresistance, tumoursphere formation and EMT. The Wnt/β-catenin pathway mediated the cancer stem-like properties in cisplatin-resistant TSCC cells. Further studies showed that the transfection of active β-catenin in SOX8 stable-knockdown cells partly rescued the SOX8 silencing-induced repression of stem-like features and chemoresistance. Through chromatin immunoprecipitation and luciferase assays, we observed that SOX8 bound to the promoter region of Frizzled-7 (FZD7) and induced the FZD7-mediated activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. In summary, SOX8 confers chemoresistance and stemness properties and mediates EMT processes in chemoresistant TSCC via the FZD7-mediated Wnt/β-catenin pathway. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/ijc.31134

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