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  • BCKDK Promotes Ovarian Cancer Proliferation and Migration by Activating the MEK/ERK Signaling Pathway.

BCKDK Promotes Ovarian Cancer Proliferation and Migration by Activating the MEK/ERK Signaling Pathway.

Journal of oncology (2022-05-03)
Huashun Li, Dongyang Yu, Lianbing Li, Juanjuan Xiao, Yijian Zhu, Yi Liu, Li Mou, Yafei Tian, Linbo Chen, Feng Zhu, Qiuhong Duan, Peipei Xue
ABSTRACT

Ovarian cancer (OC) is the most fatal gynecologic cancer. The branched-chain α-keto acid dehydrogenase kinase (BCKDK) plays an important role in many serious human diseases, including cancers. Its function in promoting cell proliferation and migration has been reported in various cancers. However, the biological role of BCKDK and its molecular mechanisms underlying OC initiation and progression are unclear. First, the expression level of BCKDK in OC cell lines or tissues was determined using tissue microarray- (TMA-) based immunohistochemistry or western blotting. Then, growth curve analysis, anchorage-independent cell transformation assays, wound healing assays, cell migration assays, and tumor xenografts were used to test whether BCKDK could promote cell transformation or metastasis. Finally, the signaling pathways involved in this process were investigated by western blotting or immunoprecipitation. We found that the expression of BCKDK was upregulated in OC tissues and the high expression of BCKDK was correlated with an advanced pathological grade in patients. The ectopic overexpression of BCKDK promoted the proliferation and migration of OC cells, and the knockdown of BCKDK with shRNAs inhibited the proliferation and migration of OC ex vivo and in vivo. Moreover, BCKDK promoted OC proliferation and migration by activating MEK. Our results demonstrate that BCKDK promotes OC proliferation and migration by activating the MEK/ERK signaling pathway. Targeting the BCKDK-MEK axis may provide a new therapeutic strategy for treating patients with OC.

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