Selective EP2 and Cox-2 inhibition suppresses cell migration by reversing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and Cox-2 overexpression and E-cadherin downregulation are implicated in neck metastasis of hypopharyngeal cancer

Yoshihiro Watanabe, Yorihisa Imanishi, Hiroyuki Ozawa, Koji Sakamoto, Ryoichi Fujii, Seiji Shigetomi, Noboru Habu, Kuninori Otsuka, Yoichiro Sato, Mariko Sekimizu, Fumihiro Ito, Yuichi Ikari, Shin Saito, Kaori Kameyama, Kaoru Ogawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2) has been shown to promote cancer initiation and progression through pleiotropic functions including induction of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) via its predominant product prostaglandin E2 that binds to the cognate receptor EP2. Hence, pharmacological inhibition at the level of EP2 is assumed to be a more selective alternative with less risk to Cox-2 inhibition. However, little is known regarding the anti-cancer effect of an EP2 antagonist on the malignant properties of cancers including hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (HPSCC). The present study found that both the Cox-2 inhibitor celecoxib and the EP2 antagonist PF-04418948 upregulated CDH-1 expression, restored membranous localization of E-cadherin, and reduced vimentin expression, by downregulating the transcriptional repressors of E-cadherin in BICR6 and FaDu cells. Such Cox-2 or EP2 inhibition-induced EMT reversal led to repressed migration ability in both cells. Immunohistochemical analysis of surgical HPSCC specimens demonstrated an inverse relationship in expression between Cox-2 and E-cadherin both in the context of statistics (P = 0.028) and of reciprocal immunolocalization in situ. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that overexpression of Cox-2 (P < 0.001) and downregulation of E-cadherin (P = 0.016) were both independently predictive of neck metastasis. These results suggest that suppression of cell migration ability via reversing EMT by inhibiting the Cox-2/EP2 signaling may contribute to preventing the development and progression of lymphatic metastasis. Collectively, targeting Cox-2/EP2, especially using EP2 antagonist, can be a promising therapeutic strategy by exerting an anti-metastatic effect via EMT reversal for improving the treatment outcomes of patients with various cancers including HPSCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1096-1113
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Journal of Translational Research
Volume12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Cyclooxygenase-2
  • E-cadherin
  • EP2
  • Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition
  • Hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma
  • Neck metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cancer Research

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