EphrinA5 suppresses colon cancer development by negatively regulating epidermal growth factor receptor stability


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Abstract

Colon cancer is one of the most common human cancers worldwide. Owing to its aggressiveness and lethality, it is necessary to determine the mechanisms regulating the carcinogenesis of colon cancer. EphrinA5 has been reported to act as a putative tumor suppressor in glioma; however, little is known concerning the role of this protein in the context of colon cancer. To elucidate the biological significance of ephrinA5 in colon cancer, we examined ephrinA5 and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression profiles in both colon cancer and normal tissues, using immunohistochemistry on a 96-spot tissue microarray. Gain-of-function and loss-of-function experiments were performed on the human colon cancer cell lines SW480 and WiDr to determine the biological effects of ephrinA5 in relation to cell proliferation, survival, and migration. It was found that ephrinA5 mRNA and protein levels were significantly reduced in colon cancer as compared with normal colon tissue specimens. EphrinA5 expression was also negatively associated with tumor differentiation and clinical stage. In colon cancer cell line models, ephrinA5 exerted an inhibitory effect on EGFR by promoting c-Cbl-mediated EGFR ubiquitination and degradation. EphrinA5 did not affect the transcriptional regulation of EGFR mRNA expression in colon cancer cells. Expression of ephrinA5 suppressed colon cancer cell proliferation, migration, and chemotherapeutic resistance. In conclusion, ephrinA5 inhibited colon cancer progression by promoting c-Cbl-mediated EGFR degradation. Our findings identify a novel mechanism that could be utilized to improve the therapeutic efficiency of EGFR-targeting strategies.We investigated the role of ephrinA5 during colon cancer progression. In colon cancer cell line models, ephrinA5 exerted an inhibitory effect on epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) by promoting c-Cbl-mediated EGFR degradation and reduced colon cancer cell proliferation, migration, and chemotherapeutic resistance. Our findings identify a novel mechanism that could be utilized to improve the therapeutic efficiency of EGFR targeting strategies.

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