Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 1 pp 1032—1050
SPOCK1/SIX1axis promotes breast cancer progression by activating AKT/mTOR signaling
- 1 Department of Pathology and Cancer Research Center, Yanbian University Medical College, Yanji, China
- 2 Oral Cancer Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Dentistry, Seoul, South Korea
- 3 Department of Oncology, Yanbian University Affiliated Hospital, Yanji, China
Received: March 28, 2020 Accepted: September 28, 2020 Published: December 3, 2020https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.202231
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2020 Xu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
SPOCK1 is highly expressed in many types of cancer and has been recognized as a promoter of cancer progression. Its regulatory mechanism in breast cancer (BC) remains unclear. This study aimed to explore the precise function of SPOCK1 in BC progression and to identify the mechanism by which SPOCK1 is involved in cell proliferation and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Immunohistochemistry (IHC) experiments and database analysis showed that high expression of SPOCK1 was positively associated with histological grade, lymph node metastasis (LN) and poor clinical prognosis in BC. A series of in vitro and in vivo assays elucidated that altering the SPOCK1 level led to distinct changes in BC cell proliferation and metastasis. Investigations of potential mechanisms revealed that SPOCK1 interacted with SIX1 to enhance cell proliferation, cell cycle progression and EMT by activating the AKT/mTOR pathway, whereas inhibition of the AKT/mTOR pathway or depletion of SIX1 reversed the effects of SPOCK1 overexpression. Furthermore, SPOCK1 and SIX1 were highly expressed in BC and might indicate poor prognoses. Altogether, the SPOCK1/SIX1 axis promoted BC progression by activating the AKT/mTOR pathway to accelerate cell proliferation and promote metastasis in BC, so the SPOCK1/SIX1 axis might be a promising clinical therapeutic target for preventing BC progression.