Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.534, 941-949, 2021
TOPK mediates hypoxia-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition and the invasion of nonsmall-cell lung cancer cells via the HIF-1 alpha/snail axis
Hypoxia has been suggested to induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in various cancer types via the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1 alpha). Here, we demonstrated that TOPK upregulates EMT and the invasion of H460 nonsmall-cell lung cancer cells through the induction of the HIF-1 alpha/Snail axis and hypoxic signaling. The expression of endogenous TOPK, phosphorylated TOPK, HIF1 alpha and Snail was significantly increased upon hypoxia exposure, but TOPK depletion markedly abrogated the induced mRNA and protein levels of HIF-1 alpha and Snail. Interestingly, TOPK knockdown restored the hypoxia-induced suppression of E-cadherin and diminished hypoxia-induced N-cadherin expression. In addition, Snail depletion suppressed hypoxia-induced N-cadherin expression, which was attenuated by TOPK knockdown. Moreover, knockdown of Snail decreased hypoxia-induced nonsmall-cell lung cancer cell migration and invasion, which were suppressed by TOPK depletion. In summary, we conclude that TOPK positively regulates HIF-1 alpha expression through hypoxia signaling and thereby promotes Snail expression, leading to EMT and the invasion of nonsmall-cell lung cancer cells. These findings suggest that TOPK plays a critical role as a novel mediator of hypoxia signaling that regulates nonsmall-cell lung cancer development. (c) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.