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Collagen Type VI Alpha 3 Chain Promotes Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Bladder Cancer Cells via Transforming Growth Factor β (TGF-β)/Smad Pathway

Yan Huang, Gang Li, Kai Wang, Zhongyi Mu, Qingpeng Xie, Hongchen Qu, Hang Lv, Bin Hu

(Department of Urology, Cancer Hospital of China Medical University, Liaoning Cancer Hospital and Institute, Shenyang, Liaoning, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:5346-5354

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.909811

BACKGROUND: Collagen type VI alpha 3 chain (COL6A3) has been proven to be a biomarker in the occurrence and development of bladder cancer, which is the most common malignant tumor in the urinary system. This study aimed to explore the effect and molecular mechanism of COL6A3 on EMT in vitro induced by TGF-β/Smad in bladder carcinoma.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: There were 42 patients included in the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. A cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay and an angiogenesis assay were used to measure cell proliferation and tube formation, respectively. Western blot analysis and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) were conducted for the proteins and mRNAs expression.
RESULTS: COL6A3 was highly expressed in tissues and cells of bladder cancer. COL6A3 silencing could inhibit the cell proliferation and angiopoiesis. In addition, COL6A3 silencing obviously suppressed the levels of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP2), Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9), and vimentin. On the contrary, the levels of epithelium-specific cell-cell adhesion molecule (E-cadherin) and tumor inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) were significantly increased. Furthermore, we found that COL6A3 silencing reduced the activity of p-Smad2, p-Smad3, and transforming growth factor β (TGF-β).
CONCLUSIONS: COL6A3 could influence the viability and angiogenesis of bladder cancer cells. COL6A3 may have a certain relationship with the TGF-β/Smad-induced EMT process.

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