BANCR positively regulates the HIF‑1α/VEGF‑C/VEGFR‑3 pathway in a hypoxic microenvironment to promote lymphangiogenesis in pancreatic cancer cells
Shaolong Hao, Wei Han, Yu Ji, Hao Sun, Haowei Shi, Jihong Ma, James Yip, Yuchuan Ding
The aim of the present study was to explore the effects of BRAF-activated non-protein coding RNA (BANCR) on pancreatic microlymphangiogenesis in pancreatic cancer (PC) and its molecular mechanism under hypoxic conditions. Reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) was used to detect the expression of BANCR in SW1990 and PANC-1 PC cell lines under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Subsequently, the expression of BANCR in the PC cells was knocked down using small interfering RNAs (siRNAs).
... stern blotting and RT-qPCR analyses were performed to detect the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1α), VEGF-C and VEGFR-3 in the transfected cells. In addition, the transfected PC cells were co-cultured with human lymphatic endothelial cells and the lymphatic microvessel density (MLVD) was detected under normal and hypoxic conditions. Furthermore, HIF-1α expression in the PC cells was knocked down using siRNAs, and VEGF-C and VEGFR-3 mRNA expression in the HIF-1α knockdown cells was detected using RT-qPCR. The results showed that the expression of BANCR in the SW1990 and PANC-1 PC cell lines was significantly higher than that in human pancreatic duct endothelial cells. Additionally, the expression of BANCR was significantly increased in PC cells under hypoxic conditions compared with normoxic conditions. The MLVD of PC cells under hypoxic conditions was significantly higher compared with that under normoxic conditions, and the MLVD in the si-BANCR group was lower than that in the si-NC group, indicating that si-BANCR downregulated MLVD. These results indicate that BANCR positively regulated the expression of HIF-1α in PC cells at the transcriptional and translational levels. Finally, the expression levels of VEGF-C and VEGFR-3 in PC cells were significantly reduced when BANCR or HIF-1α expression was knocked down. In conclusion, the results demonstrate that the expression of BANCR in PC cells was significantly increased under hypoxic conditions and suggest that BANCR promoted tumor cell lymphangiogenesis by upregulating the HIF-1α/VEGF-C/VEGFR-3 pathway, which plays an important role in the process of PC lymph node metastasis.