Integrin α7 correlates with worse clinical features and prognosis, and its knockdown inhibits cell proliferation and stemness in tongue squamous cell carcinoma
- Zhiyong Lv
- Ye Yang
- Chunyan Yang
Affiliations: Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150001, P.R. China
- Published online on: November 29, 2019 https://doi.org/10.3892/ijo.2019.4927
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The present study aimed to evaluate the correlation of integrin α7 (ITGA7) with clinicopathological characteristics and overall survival (OS) in patients with tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC), and to investigate the effect of ITGA7 knockdown on proliferation, apoptosis and stemness of TSCC cells in vitro. ITGA7 expression was measured in tumor tissues and paired adjacent normal tissues from 60 patients with TSCC using immunohistochemistry. ITGA7 expression in human TSCC cell lines and normal oral keratinocytes was measured using quantitative PCR and western blotting. Lentiviruses carrying short hairpin (sh) RNA targeting ITGA7 were used to knockdown its expression in CAL‑27 and HSC‑4 cells, and then proliferation, apoptosis and stemness were measured. In addition, CAL‑27 and HSC‑4 cancer stem cells (CSCs) were constructed and their ITGA7 expression was measured. The results demonstrated that ITGA7 was upregulated in the tumor tissues compared with the paired adjacent tissues, and its high expression was correlated with worse pathological grade, N stage, TNM stage and OS. In vitro, ITGA7 expression levels were demonstrated to be increased in the TSCC CAL‑27, SCC‑9, HSC‑4 and SCC‑25 cell lines compared to the normal HOK cell line. In CAL‑27 and HSC‑4 cells, ITGA7 knockdown inhibited cell proliferation, promoted apoptosis, increased CD24 expression, decreased CD44 and CD133 expression, reduced drug resistance to cisplatin and attenuated sphere formation efficiency. Finally, ITGA7 expression levels were greatly elevated in CAL‑27 and HSC‑4 CSCs compared with parental CAL‑27 and HSC‑4 cells. In conclusion, ITGA7 knockdown inhibited tumor cell proliferation and stemness in TSCC cells. These findings indicated that ITGA7 might serve as a potential marker for CSCs and may correlate with worse clinical features and prognosis in TSCC.