Hexokinase 1 (HK1) has been implicated in tumorigenesis. However, its role in tumor metastasis and progression has not been evaluated. The aim of this study is to evaluate the role of HK1 in the metastasis in CRC.
Methods: The expression level of HK1 was detected using quantitative RT-PCR and western blot in 9 CRC cell lines and 1 human colon epithelial cell line NCM460 (Figure 1A). HK1 was overexpressed via lentiviral vector system and silenced using specific small interference RNA (si-HK1) in DLD1 and HCT8. Then wound-healing, migration assay and invasion assay were carried out to investigate the function of HK1 in CRC cells. RT-PCR and Western blot was performed to detect the change of Snail2 following the up-regulated expression of HK1.
Results: HK1 expression was overexpressed by HK1-cDNA and was inhibited by si-HK1 in DLD1 and HCT8 (Figure 1B and 1C). Ectopic expression of HK1 promoted cell migration and invasion in CRC cells and promoted lung metastasis in mouse models (Figure 1D). Furthermore, HK1 induced migration and invasion in CRC cells was found to activate expression of Snail2 and in turn, induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer progression (Figure 1E).
Conclusions: High expression of HK1 could activate expression of Snail2 and in turn, induce EMT. Our findings suggest that HK1 may be a potential prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target for CRC invasion and metastasis.
Keywords: Colorectal Cancer, HK1, Migration, Invasion
Figure 1. A. The expression level of HK1 in 10 cell lines. B, C. HK1 expression was overexpressed by HK1-cDNA and was inhibited by si-HK1 in DLD1 and HCT8. *P< 0.05. D. Overexpression of HK1 in HCT8 increased the capacity of cell migration and invasion in vitro and in vivo. E. Expression levels of Snail2 and EMT were induced after HK1 overexpression.
Citation Format: Xiaobin Zheng, Huashan Liu, Xiaoli Zhong, Xuanhui Liu, Zerong Cai, Yufeng Chen, Xiaosheng He, Ping Lan, Xiaojian Wu. HK1 induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition and promotes metastasis of colorectal cancer [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2021; 2021 Apr 10-15 and May 17-21. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2021;81(13_Suppl):Abstract nr 2840.