S100A4 is a molecular mediator of endometrial carcinoma invasion

Ran Xie, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


The molecular mechanisms of endometrail cancer invasion are poorly understood. S100A4, a member of the S100 Ca2+-binding protein family, was identified by oligonucleotide microarray qRT-PCR, and IHC, to be highly overexpressed in invasive endometrial carcinomas compared to non-invasive tumors. HEC-1A endometrial cancer cells transfected with S100A4 siRNA had undetectable S100A4 protein, decreased migration and invasion. The mechanism of S100A4 upregulation in endometrial cancer remains unclear. Methylation of the S100A4 gene was detected in benign endometrial glands and grade 1 tumors with no S100A4 expression. In contrast, grade 3 endometrioid tumors with high S100A4 expression showed no methylation of the gene. 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine, an inhibitor of DNA methyltransferase, induced the expression of S100A4 in the less invasive EC cell line, KLE, in which the S100A4 gene is hypermethylated and minimally expressed. S100A4 was induced during TGF-β1-triggered cell scattering in HEC-1A cells, in which S100A4 was demethylated. Transfection of HEC-1A cells with S100A4 siRNA significantly reduced the effect of TGF-β1 on basal migration and invasion. Our preliminary data suggested that this upregulation was mediated by the transcription factor Snail. One Snail binding consensus site was found in the region where DNA methylation was closely correlated with S100A4 gene expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay confirmed the binding of Snail to this consensus site in HEC-1A cells. In SPEC2 endometrial cancer cells, loss of Snail leads to repressed S100A4 gene expression. Similar to S100A4, Snail was overexpressed in aggressive endometrial tumors. Our study suggested that the S100A4 gene was demethylated and further upregulated by the TGF-β1 and Snail pathway in invasive endometrial cancer. S100A4 could potentially serve as a good molecular marker for invasiveness and a target for therapeutic intervention for advanced endometrial cancer.

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Recommended Citation

Xie, Ran, "S100A4 is a molecular mediator of endometrial carcinoma invasion" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3302760.