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Differential expression and functions of Ehm2 transcript variants in lung adenocarcinoma

Li, Shenglan, Ma, Jian, Si, Yang, Cheng, Shan, Hu, Mu, Zhi, Xiuyi, Li, Baolan, Yu, Hefen and Jiang, Wen Guo 2019. Differential expression and functions of Ehm2 transcript variants in lung adenocarcinoma. International Journal of Oncology 10.3892/ijo.2019.4732

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Abstract

Ehm2 [also known as erythrocyte membrane protein band 4.1‑like protein 4B (EPB41L4B)] is a member of the NF2/ERM/4.1 superfamily. The overexpression of Ehm2 has been observed in metastatic cancer cells. Through alternative splicing, the Ehm2 gene produces two transcript variants that encode the two different isoforms, Ehm2/1 and Ehm2/2. The biological functions of these different Ehm2 transcript variants remain unclear. The present study aimed to determine the expression of the Ehm2 variants in lung adenocarcinoma and their involvement in the disease progression of the patients. The expression of Ehm2 transcript variants in human lung adenocarcinoma tissues was analyzed using immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis. Ehm2 variants were overexpressed or knocked down in A549 human lung adenocarcinoma cells. The consequent effects of the genetic modifications on the cellular functions of lung cancer cells were then examined using in vitro cell viability, invasion and migration assays. The expression of epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT)‑related markers was evaluated by western blot analysis in the cell models. The association of Ehm2 variant expression with patient survival was analyzed using Kaplan‑Meier survival analysis. The expression of Ehm2/1 was significantly decreased in lung cancers compared with the paired normal lung tissues (P<0.05), while the Ehm2/2 protein levels were higher in the tumors than in the paired normal lung tissues, although this was not statistically significant. The overexpression of Ehm2/1 exerted inhibitory effects, while the knockdown of Ehm2/1 promoted the growth, invasion and migration of A549 cells in vitro. Ehm2/2 was expressed at low levels in the A549 cells and the enforced expression of Ehm2/2 significantly increased the invasiveness and migration of the A549 cells. Immunofluorescence staining revealed that Ehm2/1 was confined to the plasma membrane, while Ehm2/2 was observed at both the plasma membrane and cytoplasm. The overexpression of Ehm2/1 resulted in the upregulation of the epithelial marker, E‑cadherin, and in the decreased expression of the mesenchymal markers, N‑cadherin and Snail1, while the knockdown of Ehm2/1 and the enforced expression of Ehm2/2 had the opposite effects on the protein levels of EMT‑related markers. Kaplan‑Meier survival analysis revealed that higher Ehm2/1 transcript levels were associated with the longer survival of patients with lung adenocarcinoma, while the lower expression of Ehm2/2 exhibited a similar association with patient survival. Taken together, the two Ehm2 variants appear to be differentially expressed in lung adenocarcinoma. Ehm2/1 may function as a putative tumor suppressor in the disease progression of lung adenocarcinoma, while Ehm2/2 may have an opposite function.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Spandidos Publications
ISSN: 1019-6439
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 March 2019
Date of Acceptance: 8 January 2019
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2019 12:01
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/120318

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