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Aquaporin 3 promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition in gastric cancer

Jia Chen, Tao Wang, Yang-Chun Zhou, Fei Gao, Zhi-Hong Zhang, Hao Xu, Shou-Lin Wang and Li-Zong Shen*

  • * Corresponding author: Li-Zong Shen

  • † Equal contributors

Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2014, 33:38  doi:10.1186/1756-9966-33-38

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AQP3, one of the aquaglyceroporins, might cause EMT via metabolic reprogramming.

Go Yoshida   (2014-07-29 11:53)  Tokyo Medical and Dental University email

Accumulating evidence suggests that aquaporins (AQPs) play a crucial role not only in the homeostasis of the normal tissue but also in the development and progression of autoimmune disorders and malignant neoplasms. AQP-3, -7, -9 belong to the aquaglyceropolins, which permit the penetration of glycerol as well as water through the lipid cellular membrane. It has been reported that TNF-alpha decreases the expression of AQP-3 through the activation of p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling pathways (Mol Cell Biol 2008;28:326-332.). However, less is known about which subtype of aquaglyceropolin is highly expressed in cancer cells.

In this article, the authors demonstrated, using two kinds of gastric cancer cell lines, that si-RNA-mediated AQP3 depletion induced mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) or prevented EMT. Activation of EGFR signal transduction resulted in the up-regulation of AQP-3. Activation of EGFR signal pathway partially rescued AQP3 depletion in terms of EMT in Figure3-4. In Figure5, the authors failed to demonstrate whether or not overexpression of AQP3 was really responsible for EMT in gastric cancer cells.

Further, the authors should have evaluated phosphorylated-Akt as well as Akt and other EMT-inducer transcription factors other than Snail in Figure6. As far as I have performed several experiments on AQP3 in cancer tissues, EGFR signal pathway up-regulated AQP3. AQP3, 7, and 9 contribute to the uptake of glycerol, thereby promoting the lipid metabolism.

That is why the following two points exist the authors should more investigate; Firstly, the crosstalk between EGFR signal and PI3K/Akt/Snail axis should be focused on. And secondly, they should study whether or not AQP3-induced metabolic reprogramming is related to EMT.

Competing interests

No Competing Interests Exist.


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