Objective Engulfment and cell motility 1 (Elmo1) has been reported to cooperate with dedicator of cytokinesis 1 (Dock180) and to be linked to the invasive phenotype of cancer cells through activating small G-protein Rac. We aimed to study the role of Elmo1 in the malignant migration of ovarian cancer.
Methods Engulfment and cell motility 1 expression was evaluated in specimens from 93 patients with serous ovarian cancer (SOC) by immunohistochemical staining. Next, Elmo1-RNAi cells were established by validated small interference RNAs. Cell proliferation and cell motility were observed and compared with Dock180-RNAi cells. To confirm their synergetic contribution to forming focal adhesion and activating Rac1, Rac1-GTP level was measured by GST pull-down assay and immunofluorescence was used to observe focal adhesion formation both in Elmo1-RNAi and Dock180-RNAi cells.
Results Engulfment and cell motility 1 was mainly overexpressed in high-grade SOC tissues. Western blot analysis demonstrated that both Elmo1 and Dock180 expressions were hampered in Elmo1-RNAi cells. Compared with the negative control, decreased colony formation and cell invasion were observed in Elmo1-RNAi cells and Dock180-RNAi cells. Consistently, both exhibited reduced Rac1-GTP level and inhibited focal adhesion formation.
Conclusions Engulfment and cell motility 1 presents with synergetic action in helping Dock180 to activate Rac1 and promote cell motility, and thus promote untoward expansion and aggressiveness of SOC.
- Malignant behavior
- Serous ovarian cancer
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Supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC nos. 81072120 and C30772330) and medical scientific research project (key project) from Chongqing Health Bureau (2012-1-007).
Jin Wang is now with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Banan District People’s Hospital, Chongqing, China.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.