Tubulointerstitial nephritis antigen-like 1 (TINAGL1), as a novel matricellular protein, has been demonstrated to participate in cancer progression, whereas the potential function of TINAGL1 in gastric cancer (GC) remains unknown.
The expression pattern of TINAGL1 in GC was examined by immunohistochemistry, ELISA, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and Western blot. Correlation between TINAGL1 and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) was analyzed by the GEPIA website and Kaplan-Meier plots database. The lentivirus-based TINAGL1 knockdown, CCK-8, and transwell assays were used to test the function of TINAGL1 in vitro. The role of TINAGL1 was confirmed by subcutaneous xenograft, abdominal dissemination, and lung metastasis model. Microarray experiments, ELISA, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and Western blot were used to identify molecular mechanism.
TINAGL1 was increased in GC tumor tissues and associated with poor patient survival. Moreover, TINAGL1 significantly promoted GC cell proliferation and migration in vitro as well as facilitated GC tumor growth and metastasis in vivo. TINAGL1 expression in GC cells was accompanied with increasing MMPs including MMP2, MMP9, MMP11, MMP14, and MMP16. GEPIA database revealed that these MMPs were correlated with TINAGL1 in GC tumors and that the most highly expressed MMP was MMP2. Mechanically, TINAGL1 regulated MMP2 through the JNK signaling pathway activation.
Our data highlight that TINAGL1 promotes GC growth and metastasis and regulates MMP2 expression, indicating that TINAGL1 may serve as a therapeutic target for GC.