PEST-containing nuclear protein (PCNP), a novel nuclear protein, is involved in cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. However, the precise mechanism of action of PCNP in the process of tumor growth has not yet been fully elucidated.
ShRNA knockdown and overexpression of PCNP were performed in human neuroblastoma cells. Tumorigenic and metastatic effects of PCNP were examined by tumor growth, migration, and invasion assays in vitro, as well as xenograft tumor assay in vivo.
PCNP over-expression decreased the proliferation, migration, and invasion of human neuroblastoma cells and down-regulation of PCNP showed reverse effects. PCNP over-expression increased protein expressions of cleaved caspase-3, cleaved caspase-8, cleaved caspase-9, and cleaved poly adenosine diphosphate-ribose polymerase, as well as ratios of B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2)-associated X protein/Bcl-2 and Bcl-2-associated death promoter/B-cell lymphoma-extra large in human neuroblastoma cells, however PCNP knockdown exhibited reverse trends. PCNP over-expression increased phosphorylations of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2, p38, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, as well as decreased phosphorylations of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), Akt, and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), nevertheless PCNP knockdown exhibited opposite effects. Furthermore, PCNP over-expression significantly reduced the growth of human neuroblastoma xenograft tumors by down-regulating angiogenesis, whereas PCNP knockdown markedly promoted the growth of human neuroblastoma xenograft tumors through up-regulation of angiogenesis.
PCNP mediates the proliferation, migration, and invasion of human neuroblastoma cells through mitogen-activated protein kinase and PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathways, implying that PCNP is a therapeutic target for patients with neuroblastoma.