Geng Geng, Lei Zhang, Ying Yu, Xingqing Guo, Qinghao Li, Ming Ming

ADGRL4 Promotes Cell Growth, Aggressiveness, EMT, and Angiogenesis in Neuroblastoma via Activation of ERK/STAT3 Pathway

  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • General Medicine
  • Biochemistry

Background: Neuroblastoma (NB) is one of the most common pediatric solid tumors. Emerging evidence has indicated that ADGRL4 can act as a master regulator of tumor progression. In addition, it is well documented that the ERK/STAT3 signaling pathway can promote the proliferation, EMT, angiogenesis, and metastasis in tumors. The current study was formulated to elucidate the exact role of ADGRL4 in the malignant behaviors of NB cells and to investigate the intrinsic mechanism. Methods: In this work, expression differences of ADGRL4 in human NB cell lines and HUVECs were assessed via RT-qPCR and western blot analysis. For functional experiments, sh-ADGRL4 was transfected into SK-N-SH cells to generate ADGRL4 knockdown stable cell line. Moreover, ADGRL4 knockdown stable SK-N-SH cells were treated with LM22B-10 (an ERK activator) for rescue experiments. CCK-8 colony formation determined NB cells' growth, migration, invasion, wound healing, and transwell assays. Meanwhile, proliferation-, metastasis- and EMT- associated proteins were also detected. Additionally, a tube formation assay was employed to evaluate in vitro angiogenesis. VM-cadherin, the marker of angiogenesis, was assessed using immunofluorescence staining. Results: Data showed notably upregulated ADGRL4 in NB cells, especially in SK-NSH cells. ADGRL4 knockdown inhibited NB cell growth, migration, invasion, EMT, and in vitro angiogenesis. ADGRL4 knockdown inactivated ERK/STAT3 signaling pathway. Activation of the ERK/STAT3 signaling pathway partially rescued the tumor suppression effects of ADGRL4 knockdown on NB cells. Conclusion: To conclude, the downregulation of ADGRL4 may inhibit cell growth, aggressiveness, EMT, and angiogenesis in NB by inactivating the ERK/STAT3 signaling pathway.

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