MTA-1 expression is associated with metastasis and epithelial to mesenchymal transition in colorectal cancer cells

Cagatay, Seda Tuncay
Cimen, Ismail
Banerjee, Sreeparna
Although metastasis associated protein 1 (MTA1) has been widely linked to tumor metastasis, the relevant mechanisms remain to be elucidated, especially in colorectal cancer (CRC). Here, we have investigated the link between MTA1, metastasis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in CRC. Eighteen normal colon tissues and 91 resected tumor samples were analyzed for MTA1 expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC). IHC indicated low or no nuclear MTA1 expression in the normal tissues and significantly higher expression in Grade II, Grade III and liver metastasis tumors. No statistically significant difference was observed in MTA1 expression between Grade III and liver metastatic tumors. To demonstrate the functional importance of MTA1 in vitro, the gene was silenced in HCT-116 cells and LoVo cells and overexpressed in HCT-116 cells. MTA1 overexpression in HCT-116 cells enhanced proliferation, adhesion to fibronectin, motility, migration, invasion through Matrigel, anchorage-independent growth, neoangiogenesis and induced a loss of apoptosis. Silencing of MTA1 resulted in a reversal of all of these features. Mechanistically, MTA1 silencing caused an increase in the epithelial markers E-cadherin and ZO-1 and a decrease in the mesenchymal marker vimentin while MTA1 overexpression caused an increase in vimentin expression. Moreover, MTA1 enhanced the expression of Snai1 and Slug; silencing of MTA1 reduced their recruitment to the promoter of E-cadherin, thereby leading to its expression. MTA1 is highly expressed in higher grade tumors and is important in the orchestration of various phenotypic changes in CRC, most likely by inducing EMT. This further corroborates its role as a master regulator in tumorigenesis.


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Citation Formats
S. T. Cagatay, I. Cimen, B. SAVAŞ, and S. Banerjee, “MTA-1 expression is associated with metastasis and epithelial to mesenchymal transition in colorectal cancer cells,” TUMOR BIOLOGY, pp. 1189–1204, 2013, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: