The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Title: AKR7A3 suppresses tumorigenicity and chemoresistance in hepatocellular carcinoma through attenuation of ERK, c-Jun and NF-ÎºB signaling pathways
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which accounts for 85-90% of primary liver cancer, is now the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Here, we reported that aldo-keto reductase family 7A isoform 3 (AKR7A3) is frequently down-regulated in HCC, associating with poor overall survival rate, elevated serum α-fetoprotein (AFP) and poor differentiation of HCC. The promoter region of AKR7A3 was detected to be hypermethylated. Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) was also detected in AKR7A3. Functional assays on both AKR7A3 overexpressed and knockdown cells, including foci formation, colony formation in soft agar, migration, invasion and tumor formation in nude mice, demonstrated the strong tumor suppressive functions of AKR7A3. In addition, treatment of chemotherapy drug cisplatin showed that AKR7A3 sensitizes tumor cells to apoptosis. Mechanistically, Western blot analysis showed that overexpression of AKR7A3 inhibits the activation of ERK, c-Jun and NF-κB. In summary, we found that AKR7A3 functions as a tumor suppressor gene in HCC through attenuating c-Jun, ERK and NF-κB signaling pathways.