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Open Access TRAF4 Enhances Osteosarcoma Cell Proliferation and Invasion by Akt Signaling Pathway

TRAF4, or tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 4, is overexpressed in several cancers, suggesting a specific role in cancer progression. However, its functions in osteosarcoma are unclear. This study aimed to explore the expression of TRAF4 in osteosarcoma tissues and cells, the correlation of TRAF4 to clinical pathology of osteosarcoma, as well as the role and mechanism of TRAF4 in osteosarcoma metastasis. The protein expression levels of TRAF4 in osteosarcoma tissues and three osteosarcoma cell lines, MG-63, HOS, and U2OS, were assessed. Constructed TRAF4 overexpression vectors and established TRAF4 overexpression of the U2OS cell line. Cell proliferation, cell invasion, protein levels, and TRAF4 phosphorylations were assessed following TRAF4 transfection, as well as the effects of TRAF4 siRNA on cell proliferation and invasion. The results show that TRAF4 protein levels in osteosarcoma tissues were significantly higher than that in normal bone tissues. Importantly, an obvious upregulation of TRAF4 was found in carcinoma tissues from patients with lung metastasis compared with patients without lung metastasis. Consistently, a similar increase in TRAF4 mRNA and protein was also demonstrated in the osteosarcoma cell lines MG-63, HOS, and U2OS compared to normal bone cells, hFOB1.19. When TRAF4 was overexpressed in U2OS cells, cell proliferation was significantly enhanced, accompanied by an increase in Ki67 expression and colony formation. Compared with the control and vector-treated groups, TRAF4 transfection increased the invasion potential of U2OS cells (p<0.05). Interestingly, TRAF4 transfection significantly enhanced the phosphorylation of Akt. After blocking Akt with its specific siRNA, TRAF4-induced cell proliferation and invasion were dramatically attenuated. In summary, our findings demonstrated that TRAF4 enhances osteosarcoma cell proliferation and invasion partially by the Akt pathway. This work suggests that TRAF4 might be an important target in osteosarcoma.

Keywords: Akt signaling pathway; Cell invasion; Cell proliferation; Osteosarcoma; TRAF4

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 23, 2014

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  • Formerly: Oncology Research Incorporating Anti-Cancer Drug Design
    Oncology Research Featuring Preclinical and Clincal Cancer Therapeutics publishes research of the highest quality that contributes to an understanding of cancer in areas of molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, biophysics, genetics, biology, endocrinology, and immunology, as well as studies on the mechanism of action of carcinogens and therapeutic agents, reports dealing with cancer prevention and epidemiology, and clinical trials delineating effective new therapeutic regimens.

    From Volume 23, Oncology Research Featuring Preclinical and Clinical Cancer Therapeutics is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND license.

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