Tiam1 promotes thyroid carcinoma metastasis by modulating EMT via Wnt/β-catenin signaling

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Abstract

Aberrant expression of the guanine nucleotide exchange factor Tiam1 is implicated in the invasive phenotype of many cancers. However, its involvement in thyroid carcinoma and downstream molecular events remains largely undefined. Here, we examined the effects of Tiam1 on the invasiveness and metastasis of thyroid carcinoma in vitro and in vivo and explored the underlying mechanisms by investigating the regulation of Tiam1 expression and the downstream pathways affected. Our results showed that Tiam1 knockdown inhibited the migratory and invasive capacity of thyroid cancer cells, suppressed epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and inhibited Wnt/β-catenin signaling in vitro. Moreover, Tiam1 knockdown suppressed liver metastasis development in vivo. The effects of Tiam1 on metastasis and EMT mediated by the Wnt/β-catenin pathway were reversed by Rac1 silencing, suggesting that the prometastatic effect of Tiam1 is mediated by the activation of Rac1. These results indicate that Tiam1 may be a prognostic factor and potential therapeutic target for the treatment of thyroid cancers.

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