Metastasis is the leading cause of death in lung adenocarcinomas. Identifying potential prognostic biomarkers and exploiting regulatory mechanisms could improve the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer patients. We previously found that cluster of differentiation 109 (CD109) was upregulated in lung tumor tissues, and CD109 overexpression was correlated with the invasive and metastatic capacities of lung adenocarcinoma cells. However, the contribution of CD109 to lung tumorigenesis remains to be elucidated. In the present study, we identified that CD109 was upregulated in metastatic lung adenocarcinoma cells, and elevation of CD109 was correlated with epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) traits in patients with lung adenocarcinoma. Functionally, CD109 expression was crucial for EMT gene expressions, tumor invasiveness, and cancer stemness properties. Moreover, elevation of CD109 was accompanied by upregulation of the yes-associated protein (YAP) signature in metastatic lung cancer cells and lung cancer patients, and activation of YAP was demonstrated to participate in CD109-elicited EMT gene expressions and tumor invasiveness. Our study reveals the molecular mechanism underlying CD109 in lung tumor aggressiveness, and CD109 could be a potential diagnostic and therapeutic target for lung cancer patients.
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