Inhibiting the redox function of APE1 suppresses cervical cancer metastasis via disengagement of ZEB1 from E-cadherin in EMT

Qing Li, Zhi Wei Zhou, Wei Duan, Cheng Yuan Qian, Shu Nan Wang, Meng Sheng Deng, Dan Zi, Jian Min Wang, Cheng Yi Mao, Guanbin Song, Dong Wang, Kenneth D. Westover, Cheng Xiong Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Metastasis is a major challenge in cervical cancer treatment. Previous studies have shown that the dual functional protein apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1) promotes tumor metastasis and is overexpressed in cervical cancer. However, the biological role and mechanism of APE1 in cervical cancer metastasis have rarely been studied. Methods: We used gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) to determine the APE1-related signaling pathways in cervical cancer. To investigate the role and mechanism of APE1 in cervical cancer metastasis and invasion, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, western blotting, secondary structure prediction, coimmunoprecipitation, luciferase reporter, and electrophoretic mobility shift assays were performed. The inhibitory effects of the APE1 redox function inhibitor APX3330 on cervical cancer metastasis were evaluated using animal models. Results: Clinical data showed that high expression of APE1 was associated with lymph node metastasis in cervical cancer patients. GSEA results showed that APE1 was associated with epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in cervical cancer. Ectopic expression of APE1 promoted EMT and invasion of cervical cancer cells, whereas inhibition of APE1 suppressed EMT and invasion of cervical cancer cells in a redox function-dependent manner. Notably, APE1 redox function inhibitor APX3330 treatment dramatically suppressed cervical cancer cell lymph node and distant metastasis in vivo. Furthermore, we found that APE1 enhanced the interaction between ZEB1 and the E-cadherin promoter by binding to ZEB1, thereby suppressing the expression of E-cadherin, a negative regulator of EMT. Conclusion: Our findings help to elucidate the role played by APE1 in cervical cancer metastasis and targeting APE1 redox function may be a novel strategy for inhibiting cervical cancer metastasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number220
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • APE1
  • Cervical cancer metastasis
  • E-cadherin
  • EMT
  • ZEB1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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