GLI1 overexperssion contributes to HCC recurrence partly through the induction of SNAI1-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition

Conference Paper


  • Abstract Background/Aim: Glioma-associated oncogene 1 (GLI1) is one of the most important transcription factors in the hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway and has been shown to be involved in embryonic development and tumor progression. The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an important cellular program which contributes to invasion and metastasis of cancer. We have previously shown that GLI1 may promote HCC metastasis via EMT. Here, we demonstrate that GLI1 upregulates SNAI1 expression, induces EMT, and promotes HCC recurrence in vivo and in vitro. Methods: Gli1 mRNA was assessed in 139 HCCs by microarray and its correlation with HCC recurrence and SNAI1 mRNA expression was analyzed. In vitro, the mRNA and protein expression of GLI1 was measured in Gli1-negative Huh7 cells transfected with GU1 and GU1-expressing SNU398 cells transfected with antisense oligonucleotides targeting GU1 (GLI1 ASO). GLI1-dependent transcriptional activity was assessed with GU reporter luciferase assay and electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). The interaction between Gli1, SNAI1 and EMT was assessed by real-time PCR, Western immunoblotting and immunofluorescence. Effects of GLI1 on proliferation, viability, migration, and invasion of tumor cells were also assessed. Results: GLI1 mRNA was detected in 74 HCC tumors and found to be upregulated in 43 (58.1 %) HCCs. Increased Gli1 mRNA in HCCs was associated with tumor recurrence after resection. There was a positive correlation between GLI1 and SNAI1 mRNA expression. In HCC cells, GLI1 overexpression increased Gli1-dependent transcriptional activity, proliferation, viability, migration, and invasion of tumor cells. GU1 also increased SNAI1 expression and induced the EMT. Opposite effects were observed in GU1-knockdown models. Conclusion: Together, these findings identify a novel mechanism mediating HCC recurrence that includes GLI1-mediated activation of EMT via upregulation of SNAI1. Citation Format: {Authors}. {Abstract title} [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Second AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Basic Cancer Research; 2011 Sep 14-18; San Francisco, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2011;71(18 Suppl):Abstract nr B20.
  • Authors

  • Zheng, Xin
  • Gai, Xiaohong
  • Fernandez-Zapico, Martin
  • Roberts, Lewis
  • Moser, Catherine
  • Hu, Chunling
  • Nakamura, Ikuo
  • Shire, Abdirashid
  • Yang, Judong
  • Elsawa, Sherine
  • Almada, Luciana
  • Thorgeirsson, Snorri
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • September 2011
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In

  • Cancer Research  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • B20
  • End Page

  • B20
  • Volume

  • 71
  • Issue

  • 18_Supplement