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    Polo-like kinase 3 inhibits glucose metabolism in colorectal cancer by targeting HSP90/STAT3/HK2 signaling. Ou Baochi,Sun Hongze,Zhao Jingkun,Xu Zhuoqing,Liu Yuan,Feng Hao,Peng Zhihai Journal of experimental & clinical cancer research : CR BACKGROUND:Polo-like kinase 3 (PLK3) has been documented as a tumor suppressor in several types of malignancies. However, the role of PLK3 in colorectal cancer (CRC) progression and glucose metabolism remains to be known. METHODS:The expression of PLK3 in CRC tissues was determined by immunohistochemistry. Cells proliferation was examined by EdU, CCK-8 and in vivo analyses. Glucose metabolism was assessed by detecting lactate production, glucose uptake, mitochondrial respiration, extracellular acidification rate, oxygen consumption rate and ATP production. Chromatin immunoprecipitation, luciferase reporter assays and co-immunoprecipitation were performed to explore the signaling pathway. Specific targeting by miRNAs was determined by luciferase reporter assays and correlation with target protein expression. RESULTS:PLK3 was significantly downregulated in CRC tissues and its low expression was correlated with worse prognosis of patients. In vitro and in vivo experiments revealed that PLK3 contributed to growth inhibition of CRC cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that PLK3 impeded glucose metabolism via targeting Hexokinase 2 (HK2) expression. Mechanically, PLK3 bound to Heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) and facilitated its degradation, which led to a significant decrease of phosphorylated STAT3. The downregulation of p-STAT3 further suppressed the transcriptional activation of HK2. Moreover, our investigations showed that PLK3 was directly targeted by miR-106b at post-transcriptional level in CRC cells. CONCLUSION:This study suggests that PLK3 inhibits glucose metabolism by targeting HSP90/STAT3/HK2 signaling and PLK3 may serve as a potential therapeutic target in colorectal cancer. 10.1186/s13046-019-1418-2
    CCL19 suppresses angiogenesis through promoting miR-206 and inhibiting Met/ERK/Elk-1/HIF-1α/VEGF-A pathway in colorectal cancer. Xu Zhuoqing,Zhu Congcong,Chen Chun,Zong Yaping,Feng Hao,Liu Di,Feng Wenqing,Zhao Jingkun,Lu Aiguo Cell death & disease The mechanisms underlying the role of chemokines in tumor angiogenesis is still not fully understood. In this study, we detected the influence of CCL19 on colorectal cancer (CRC) angiogenesis. The expression of CCL19 and CD31 in CRC tissues were detected by immunohistochemistry. Human CRC cell lines SW1116 and SW620 stably transfected with CCL19 lentivirus and CCL19 shRNA, and HUVEC stably transfected with CCR7 shRNA were used in our study. Our study showed that CCL19 was significantly low-expressed in CRC tissues and positively related to highly tumor microvessel density. In vitro, we observed that CCL19 high-expressed SW1116 supernatant was able to inhibit proliferation, migration, and sprouting responses of HUVEC, whereas CCL19 low-expressed SW620 supernatant can promote HUVEC angiogenesis. Additionally, we further demonstrated that these functions maybe achieved through promoting miR-206 thus inhibiting Met/ERK/Elk-1/HIF-1α/VEGF-A pathway in a CCR7-dependent manner. Mice angiogenesis model also confirmed that elevated expression of CCL19 inhibit the angiogenesis of CRC in vivo. In summary, our results supported that CCL19 can inhibit CRC angiogenesis through promoting miR-206 thus inhibiting Met/ERK/Elk-1/HIF-1α/VEGF-A pathway. This may be a novel therapeutic option for anti-vascular treatment in CRC. 10.1038/s41419-018-1010-2
    A positive feedback loop of β-catenin/CCR2 axis promotes regorafenib resistance in colorectal cancer. Ou Baochi,Cheng Xi,Xu Zhuoqing,Chen Chun,Shen Xiaohui,Zhao Jingkun,Lu Aiguo Cell death & disease Resistance to molecular targeted therapies is a significant challenge for advanced colorectal cancer (CRC). Understanding the underlying mechanisms and developing effective strategies against regorafenib resistance are highly desired in the clinic. Here, we screened the expression of chemokine receptors and identified CC chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) as a top upregulated gene in regorafenib-resistant cells. CCR2 silencing alleviated drug tolerance in regorafenib-resistant cells, while overexpression of CCR2 enhanced CRC cells resistance to regorafenib. Moreover, CCR2-mediated regorafenib tolerance was demonstrated to be associated with AKT/GSK3β-regulated β-catenin stabilization. In turn, β-catenin modulation is sufficient to trigger the transcriptional activation of CCR2 expression. Clinically, high-CCR2 expression was correlated to shorter overall survival and disease-free survival of patients. A positive correlation between CCR2 and nuclear β-catenin expression was observed in a cohort of CRC tissues. Altogether, these findings suggest β-catenin and CCR2 are part of a positive-feedback loop, which sustains a high CCR2 expression level, conferring CRC cells resistance to regorafenib. Thus, targeting CCR2 may be a useful therapeutic strategy to alleviate regorafenib tolerance to increase the efficacy of CRC treatments. 10.1038/s41419-019-1906-5