Overexpression of Gremlin promotes non-small cell lung cancer progression
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Lung cancer is the major cause of cancer-related death worldwide, and 80 % of them are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cases. Gremlin, a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) antagonist, is overexpressed in various cancerous tissues; however, little is known about the roles of Gremlin in lung carcinogenesis, and it remains unclear whether Gremlin expression may associate with EGFR-TKI resistance. In this study, expression of Gremlin mRNA and protein in matched tumor and normal lung specimens are quantified by quantitative real-time PCR and western blot. The functional role of Gremlin in NSCLC cells was evaluated by interference RNA (siRNA). The effects of Silenced Gremlin on the resistant PC-9/GR cell line were investigated by proliferation and apoptosis analysis compared with control PC-9 cells. Our results found that Gremlin expression levels were higher in NSCLC tissues, and Gremlin was more highly expressed in PC-9/GR cells compared to PC-9 cells. Knocking down of Gremlin in PC-9/GR cells decreased cell proliferation and increased the expression of BMP7 protein. In addition, Gremlin silencing significantly potentiated apoptosis induced by gefitinib in PC-9/GR with Gremlin knockdown compared to PC-9 transfected with control shRNA, suggesting Gremlin contributes to gefitinib resistance in NSCLC. Gremlin might be explored as a candidate of therapeutic target for modulating EGFR-TKI sensitivity in NSCLC.
KeywordLung cancer NSCLC Gremlin EGFR-TKI PC-9/GR cells Proliferation Apoptosis Chemoresistance
This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, 81372333, and the Science and Technology Foundation of Shandong Province, 2014GSF118084.
Conflicts of interest
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