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NFκB mediated elevation of KCNJ11 promotes tumor progression of hepatocellular carcinoma through interaction of lactate dehydrogenase A

Zhang, Ke, Mu, Ling, Ding, Ming-Cui, Xu, Rui, Ding, Zhao-Jun, Liang, Jun
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2018 v.495 no.1 pp. 246-253
apoptosis, cell membranes, cell proliferation, enzyme activity, gene expression regulation, hepatoma, homeostasis, lactate dehydrogenase, oncogenes, pathogenesis, patients, potassium channels, prognosis, transcription factor NF-kappa B
It has been well documented that changes in ion fluxes across cellular membranes is fundamental in maintaining cellular homeostasis. Dysregulation and/or malfunction of ion channels are critical events in the pathogenesis of diverse diseases, including cancers. In this study, we focused on the study of K+ channels in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). By data mining TCGA cohort, the expression of 27 K+ channels was investigated and KCNJ11 was identified as a key dysregulated K+ channels in HCC. KCNJ11 was differentially expressed in HCC and predicted a poor prognosis in HCC patients. Inhibition of NFκB signaling suppressed KCNJ11 expression in HCC cells. Knockdown of KCNJ11 expression inhibited cell proliferation, promoted cell apoptosis, and reduced cell invasive capacity. Mechanistically, we found that KCNJ11 promotes tumor progression through interaction with LDHA and enhancing its enzymatic activity. Pharmacological inhibition of LDHA largely compromised the oncogenic function of KCNJ11 in cell proliferation, cell apoptosis, and cell invasion. Collectively, our data, as a proof of principle, demonstrate that KCNJ11 acts as an oncogene in HCC though forming a complex with LDHA and suggest that targeting KCNJ11 can be developed as a candidate tool to dampen HCC.