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01.12.2019 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

BMC Cancer 1/2019

Interaction of hnRNP K with MAP 1B-LC1 promotes TGF-β1-mediated epithelial to mesenchymal transition in lung cancer cells

BMC Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2019
Liping Li, Songxin Yan, Hua Zhang, Min Zhang, Guofu Huang, Miaojuan Chen
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12885-019-6119-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Liping Li and Songxin Yan contributed equally to this work.

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Heterogeneous ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) are involved in the metastasis-related network. Our previous study demonstrated that hnRNP K is associated with epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in A549 cells. However, the precise molecular mechanism of hnRNP K involved in TGF-β1-induced EMT remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the function and mechanism of hnRNP K interacted with microtubule-associated protein 1B light chain (MAP 1B-LC1) in TGF-β1-induced EMT.


Immunohistochemistry was used to detect the expression of hnRNP K in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). GST-pull down and immunofluorescence were performed to demonstrate the association between MAP 1B-LC1 and hnRNP K. Immunofluorescence, transwell assay and western blot was used to study the function and mechanism of the interaction of MAP 1B-LC1 with hnRNP K during TGF-β1-induced EMT in A549 cells.


hnRNP K were highly expressed in NSCLC, and NSCLC with higher expression of hnRNP K were more frequently rated as high-grade tumors with poor outcome. MAP 1B-LC1 was identified and validated as one of the proteins interacting with hnRNP K. Knockdown of MAP 1B-LC1 repressed E-cadherin downregulation, vimentin upregulation and actin filament remodeling, decreased cell migration and invasion during TGF-β1-induced EMT in A549 cells. hnRNP K increased microtubule stability via interacting with MAP 1B-LC1 and was associated with acetylated ɑ-tubulin during EMT.


hnRNP K can promote the EMT process of lung cancer cells induced by TGF-β1 through interacting with MAP 1B-LC1. The interaction of MAP 1B/LC1 with hnRNP K may improve our understanding on the mechanism of TGF-β1-induced EMT in lung cancer.
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