Calcium regulates HCC proliferation as well as EGFR recycling/degradation and could be a new therapeutic target in HCC

Teresa Maria Elisa Modica, Francesco Dituri, Serena Mancarella, Claudio Pisano, Isabel Fabregat, Gianluigi Giannelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Calcium is the most abundant element in the human body. Its role is essential in physiological and biochemical processes such as signal transduction from outside to inside the cell between the cells of an organ, as well as the release of neurotransmitters from neurons, muscle contraction, fertilization, bone building, and blood clotting. As a result, intra- and extracellular calcium levels are tightly regulated by the body. The liver is the most specialized organ of the body, as its functions, carried out by hepatocytes, are strongly governed by calcium ions. In this work, we analyze the role of calcium in human hepatoma (HCC) cell lines harboring a wild type form of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR), particularly its role in proliferation and in EGFR downmodulation. Our results highlight that calcium is involved in the proliferative capability of HCC cells, as its subtraction is responsible for EGFR degradation by proteasome machinery and, as a consequence, for EGFR intracellular signaling downregulation. However, calcium-regulated EGFR signaling is cell line-dependent. In cells responding weakly to the epidermal growth factor (EGF), calcium seems to have an opposite effect on EGFR internalization/degradation mechanisms. These results suggest that besides EGFR, calcium could be a new therapeutic target in HCC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1588
JournalCancers
Volume11
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Keywords

  • AZD9291
  • BAPTA_AM
  • Calcium ions
  • EGFR degradation
  • HCC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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