Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.507, No.1-4, 83-90, 2018
AURKA contributes to the progression of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) through modulating epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and apoptosis via the regulation of ROS
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is known as one of the most common cancer influencing the head and neck region. However, the molecular mechanisms revealing OSCC progression is largely unclear. Aurora kinase A (AURKA) is a serine-threonine kinase that functions in mitotic spindle formation and chromosome segregation, and is associated with the progression of human cancers. But its role in regulating OSCC development has not yet been investigated. In the study, we found that AURKA expression was up-regulated in OSCC cell lines and tumor specimens from patients. OSCC patients with high expression of AURKA exhibited a significant decreased overall survival rate. In vitro, AURKA knockdown markedly reduced the proliferation, migration and invasion of OSCC cells using cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8). EdU, colony formation and transwell analysis. EMT was suppressed by AURKA silence, as evidenced by the up-regulated expression of E-cadherin and down-regulated Vimentin in OSCC cells. In addition, apoptosis was markedly induced by AURKA inhibition through promoting the expression of cleaved Caspase-3 and poly (ADP)-ribose polymerase (PARP). Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was also markedly enhanced in AURKA-knockdown OSCC cells. Importantly, we found that repressing ROS generation using its scavenger of n-acetylcysteine (NAC) significantly abolished AURKA silence-induced apoptosis, accompanied with restored proliferation and EMT. In vivo, AURKA knockdown notably inhibited tumor growth. Therefore, knockdown of AURKA suppressed cell proliferation, migration and invasion, and also induced apoptosis and ROS generation in OSCC possibly via the production of ROS, demonstrating that AURKA inhibition might represent a novel therapeutic target for the prevention of OSCC. (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier Inc.