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Arecoline induces HA22T/VGH hepatoma cells to undergo anoikis - involvement of STAT3 and RhoA activation

Author(s): Cheng Hsiao-Ling | Su Shu-Jem | Huang Li-Wen | Hsieh Bau-Shan | Hu Yu-Chen | Hung Thu-Ching | Chang Kee-Lung

Journal: Molecular Cancer
ISSN 1476-4598

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 126;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract Background Our previous study showed that, in basal cell carcinoma cells, arecoline reduces levels of the tumor cell survival factor interleukin-6 (IL-6), increases levels of tumor suppressor factor p53, and elicits cell cycle arrest, followed by apoptosis. In preliminarily studies, we observed that arecoline induces detachment of the human-derived hepatoma cell line HA22T/VGH from the extracellular matrix. In the present study, we explored the fate of the detached HA22T/VGH cells and investigated the underlying mechanism. Methods HA22T/VGH cells or primary cultured rat hepatocytes were treated with arecoline, then changes in morphology, viability, apoptosis, and the expression of surface β1-integrin, apoptosis-related proteins, and IL-6 were examined. Furthermore, activation of the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) pathway and the RhoA/Rock signaling pathway, including p190RhoGAP and Src homology-2 domain-containing phosphatase SHP2, was examined. Results A low concentration of arecoline (≤ 100 μg/ml) caused cytoskeletal changes in HA22T/VGH cells, but not hepatocytes, and this was accompanied by decreased β1-integrin expression and followed by apoptosis, indicating that HA22T/VGH cells undergo anoikis after arecoline treatment. IL-6 expression and phosphorylation of STAT3, which provides protection against anoikis, were inhibited and levels of downstream signaling proteins, including Bcl-XL and Bcl-2, were decreased, while Bax expression, mitochondrial cytochrome c release, and caspase-3 activity were increased. In addition, phosphorylation/activation of p190RhoGAP, a RhoA inhibitor, and of its upstream regulator, SHP2, was inhibited by arecoline treatment, while Rho/Rock activation was increased. Addition of the RhoA inhibitor attenuated the effects of arecoline. Conclusions This study demonstrated that arecoline induces anoikis of HA22T/VGH cells involving inhibition of STAT3 and increased RhoA/Rock activation and that the STAT3 and RhoA/Rock signaling pathways are connected.

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