Synergistic effect of EMS1-shRNA and sorafenib on proliferation, migration, invasion and endocytosis of SMMC-7721.
To investigate the synergistic effect of EMS1-PSilencer4.1-shRNA (EMS1-shRNA) and sorafenib on biological behaviors of HCC cell line SMMC-7721. EMS1-shRNA was constructed and transfected into SMMC-7721 cells. Decreased levels of EMS1/cortactin were tested in RT-QPCR and Western blot assay. Proliferation, migration, invasion, and endocytosis of SMMC-7721 were tested through CCK8 assay, scratch test, transwell invasion assay and transferrin endocytosis assay, respectively. Raf-1 was detected by Western blot assay. HCC xenograft model was prepared to observe tumor growth. Animals were euthanized and their subcutaneous lesions were weighed. Then the tissues were fixed and paraffin sections were prepared. Cortactin and PCNA (a proliferation marker) were then detected by immunohistochemistry. As compared with untreated group, the levels of EMS1 gene and cortactin protein in EMS1-shRNA-transfected group were significantly reduced; Among EMS1-shRNA-transfected group, sorafenib-treated group and combined group, the levels of proliferation at 48 h were reduced to 83.69, 57.18, 41.94 %; the levels of migration were reduced to 49.69, 60.83, and 21. 67 %; the levels of invasion were reduced to 42.97, 53.65, 18.18 %; the levels of endocytosis were reduced to 37.15, 97.95 % (p > 0.05), 20.68 % (p < 0.05, respectively). Western blot assay showed levels of Raf-1 were reduced to 68.56, 59.09, 21.90 %. The tumor volume and weight of nude mice HCC xenograft tumors were reduced significantly either (p < 0.05, respectively). Immunohistochemistry showed levels of cortactin and PCNA were reduced to 35.69, 93.84, 23.68 and 87.69, 43.84, 33.68 % in each group, respectively. The biological behaviors of SMMC-7721 were inhibited in the presence of EMS1-shRNA and sorafenib both alone and in combination. The combination of the agents improved the curative effect over either single agent, showing synergetic effect.