Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological cancer and the biological mechanisms remains unclear. The prevalence of abnormal fucosylation has been reported to be closely related to cancer progression and prognosis. It was reported that only FUT3 and/or FUT6 in the α 1-3/4 fucosyltransferase subfamily were required for TGF-β-mediated epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in colorectal cancer. However, it was also reported that the α 1-6 fucosyltransferase FUT8 facilitated TGF-β binding to receptor and stimulated the EMT in breast cancer. As an α 1-3 fucosyltransferase distinct from the α 1-3/4 and 1-6 fucosyltransferase subfamily, the role of FUT11 in ovarian cancer development is less understood.
FUT11 was identified as a novel oncogene related with the EMT process in ovarian cancer by bioinformatic analysis and real-time PCR. The transwell chamber assays were used to examine the changes of the invasion and migration ability after FUT11 knocked-down by siRNA treatment in ovarian cancer cells SK-OV-3 and HEY. Western-blot was usd to determine the changes of EMT genes by FUT11 depletion in response to TGF-β 1. Furthermore, expression and location of R-Smads and Co-Smad were analyzed by western blot and immunofluorescence assay, to evaluate the impact of FUT11 depletion on the TGF-β/Smad pathway.
FUT11 was highly expressed in ovarian cancer, and increased FUT11 expression was significantly correlated with poor survival of the ovarian patients. FUT11 depletion impaired the invasion and migration of the ovarian cancer cell lines, through regulation of the TGF-β 1-induced EMT process. These inhibitory effect was due to downregulation of the expression of SMAD2 and SMAD3, as well as prevention of their translocation from cytoplasm to nucleus. Although expression of SMAD4 were slightly affected, their translocation from cytoplasm to nucleus were inhibited by FUT11 depletion.
FUT11 promotes invasion and migration of ovarian cancer through regulation of the TGF-β 1-induced EMT process. FUT11 affects the response to TGF-β 1 by regulation of the expression level of R-Smads and Co-Smad, as well as their translocation from cytoplasm to nucleus.
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Legal entity responsible for the study
Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, Capital Medical University.
The National Natural Science Foundation of China (81502353 & 81672838), Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission (No. Z181100001718193), and Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, Capital Medical University (FCYY201713).
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.