AIM: To study the effect of the transfected Twist gene on invasion and metastasis of gastric carcinoma cells and the possible mechanisms involved.
METHODS: Human gastric carcinoma MKN28 cells were stably transfected with Twist sense plasmid, and MKN45 cells were stably transfected with Twist antisense plasmid using the lipofectamine transfection technique. RT-PCR, Western blotting, EMSA, gelatin zymography assay, and in vitro invasion and migration assays were performed. Nude mice metastasis models were established by the abdominal cavity transfer method.
RESULTS: Cell models (TwistS-MKN28) that steadily expressed high Twist protein were obtained. Compared with MKN28 and pcDNA3-MKN28 cells, adherence, migration and invasion ability of TwistS-MKN28 cells were clearly raised. The number of cancer nodules was increased significantly in the abdominal cavity and liver of nude mice inoculated with TwistS-MKN28 cells. Overexpression of Twist in MKN28 cells increased Tcf-4/Lef DNA binding activity, and promoted expression of Tcf-4’s downstream target genes cyclin D1 and MMP-2. However, suppression of Twist (TwistAS-MKN45) inhibited MKN45 cell invasion and the expression of cyclin D1 was reduced. The activity of MMP-2 was also decreased.
CONCLUSION: These results indicate that Twist promotes gastric cancer cell migration, invasion and metastasis, and Twist may play an important role in Wnt/Tcf-4 signaling.