In recent years, it has been widely identified that the stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1) and anterior gradient 2 (AGR2) were implicated in the development of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in a variety of cancers. However, the involvement of SDF-1-AGR2 pathway in the EMT of glioblastoma has not been investigated. In the present study, the in vitro assays were used to investigate the role of AGR2 in cell cycle, migration, and invasion. We found that the expressions of AGR2 and chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4 (CXCR4) were obviously upregulated in glioblastoma cells T98G, A172, U87, and U251 than those in normal human astrocytes (NHA) (all p < 0.01), among which both U87 and U251 cells presented the highest expression (p > 0.05). Western blot revealed that SDF-1 induced the expression of p-AKT, AGR2, and EMT markers (N-cadherin, matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP2), and Slug) in a dose-dependent manner in U87 and U251 cells. However, the depletion of AGR2 reversed SDF-1-induced upregulation of EMT markers rather than p-AKT. Furthermore, functional analysis identified that knockdown of AGR2 induced cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 phase and suppressed the migration and invasion of U87 and U251 cells. Taken together, SDF-1-CXCR4 pathway induced the expression of AGR2 to control the progression of EMT likely via AKT pathway in the development of glioblastoma. Our findings lay a promising foundation for the SDF-1-AGR2 axis-targeting therapy in patients with glioblastoma.
AGR2 SDF-1 EMT Glioblastoma
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Conceived and designed the experiments: Erming Zeng and Chunhua Xu. Performed the experiments: Chunhua Xu, Yue Liu, Limin Xiao, and Changgui Guo. Analyzed the data: Shengze Deng and Suyue Zheng. Wrote the paper: Erming Zeng and Chunhua Xu.
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