Home HOME Neoplasma 2021 Neoplasma Vol.68, No.5, p.983–993, 2021

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Founded: 1954
ISSN 0028-2685
ISSN 1338-4317 (online)

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Neoplasma Vol.68, No.5, p.983–993, 2021

Title: Alpha-fetoprotein/endoplasmic reticulum stress signaling mitigates injury in hepatoma cells
Author: Huan Chen, Gui-Mei Chen, Yu-Juan Liu, Jian-Xu Rao, Si-Zhen Zhou, Shuang Chen, Ping-Ting Chen, Fang-Wan Yang, Qi-Jiao Cheng, Yi-Huai He

Abstract: Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress play multiple roles in hepatocellular carcinoma. Here, we analyzed the crosstalk between AFP and ER stress in human hepatoma cells. We induced ER stress in human hepatoma cell lines (HepG2 and SK-Hep1 cells) with thapsigargin (TG, an ER stress inducer), and mitigated ER stress with 4-phenylbutyrate acid (4-PBA, an ER stress inhibitor). AFP expression was knocked down by AFP short hairpin RNA and rescued by the pCI-AFP vector. AFP expression and ER stress were examined, and their roles in apoptosis, necroptosis, and proliferation were analyzed. TG significantly induced ER stress, apoptosis, necroptosis, and intracellular AFP protein levels, and reduced proliferation and AFP mRNA expression as well as supernatant AFP protein levels in HepG2 and SK-Hep1 cells. 4-PBA pretreatment partially reversed those changes in HepG2 cells. By contrast to AFP overexpression, knockdown of AFP significantly exacerbated TG-induced ER stress, apoptosis, and necroptosis, and decreased proliferation and the expression of activating transcription factor 6 alpha. In conclusion, ER stress causes the accumulation of AFP protein, which may be related to the reduction of AFP secretion. Accumulated AFP mitigates apoptosis and necroptosis and restores the proliferation of hepatoma cells by reducing ER stress.

Keywords: alpha-fetoprotein; endoplasmic reticulum stress; apoptosis; necroptosis; hepatocellular carcinoma
Published online: 10-Aug-2021
Year: 2021, Volume: 68, Issue: 5 Page From: 983, Page To: 993

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