ATP Synthase Subunit Epsilon Overexpression Promotes Metastasis by Modulating AMPK Signaling to Induce Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition and Is a Poor Prognostic Marker in Colorectal Cancer Patients

Yan-Jiun Huang, Yi-Hua Jan, Yu-Chan Chang, Hsing-Fang Tsai, Alexander Th Wu, Chi-Long Chen, Michael Hsiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Metastasis remains the major cause of death from colon cancer. We intend to identify differentially expressed genes that are associated with the metastatic process and prognosis in colon cancer. ATP synthase epsilon subunit (ATP5E) gene was found to encode the mitochondrial F0F1 ATP synthase subunit epsilon that was overexpressed in tumor cells compared to their normal counterparts, while other genes encoding the ATP synthase subunit were repressed in public microarray datasets. CRC cells in which ATP5E was silenced showed markedly reduced invasive and migratory abilities. ATP5E inhibition significantly reduced the incidence of distant metastasis in a mouse xenograft model. Mechanistically, increased ATP5E expression resulted in a prominent reduction in E-cadherin and an increase in Snail expression. Our data also showed that an elevated ATP5E level in metastatic colon cancer samples was significantly associated with the AMPK-AKT-hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF1α) signaling axis; silencing ATP5E led to the degradation of HIF1α under hypoxia through AMPK-AKT signaling. Our findings suggest that elevated ATP5E expression could serve as a marker of distant metastasis and a poor prognosis in colon cancer, and ATP5E functions via modulating AMPK-AKT-HIF1α signaling.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume8
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 21 2019

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