Serine-arginine protein kinase 1 promotes a cancer stem cell-like phenotype through activation of Wnt/ß-catenin signalling in NSCLC.

Journal of Pathology

PubMedID: 27391422

Gong L, Song J, Lin X, Wei F, Zhang C, Wang Z, Zhu J, Wu S, Chen Y, Liang J, Fu X, Lu J, Zhou C, Song L. Serine-arginine protein kinase 1 promotes a cancer stem cell-like phenotype through activation of Wnt/ß-catenin signalling in NSCLC. J Pathol. 2016;.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are commonly associated with cancer recurrence and metastasis that occurs in up to 30-55% of non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) patients. Herein, we showed that serine-arginine protein kinase 1 (SRPK1) was highly expressed at both the mRNA and the protein levels in human NCSLC. SRPK1 was associated with the clinical features of human NSCLC, including clinical stage (p < 0. 001) and T (p = 0. 001), N (p = 0. 007), and M (p = 0. 001) classifications. Ectopic overexpression of SRPK1 promoted the acquisition of a stem cell-like phenotype in human NSCLC cell lines cultured in vitro. Overexpression of SRPK1 increased sphere formation and the proportion of side-population cells that exclude Hoechst dye. Conversely, SRPK1 silencing reduced the number of spheres and the proportion of side-population cells. Mouse studies indicated that SRPK1 promoted NSCLC cell line tumour growth and SRPK1 overexpression reduced the number of tumour cells required to initiate tumourigenesis in vivo. Mechanistically, gene set enrichment analysis showed that Wnt/ß-catenin signalling correlated with SRPK1 mRNA levels and this signalling pathway was hyperactivated by ectopic SRPK1 expression in NSCLC cell lines. Immunofluorescence demonstrated that SRPK1 enhanced ß-catenin accumulation in the nuclei of NSCLC cell lines, and inhibition of ß-catenin signalling abrogated the SRPK1-induced stem cell-like phenotype. Together, our findings suggest that SRPK1 promotes a stem cell-like phenotype in NSCLC via Wnt/ß-catenin signalling. Moreover, SRPK1 may represent a novel target for human NSCLC diagnosis and therapy. Copyright © 2016 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.