Shao, Wenhua Tokushima University
Kisoda, Satoru Tokushima University
Yoshida, Kayo Tokushima University
The ability of cancer cells to undergo partial-epithelial mesenchymal transition (p-EMT), rather than complete EMT, poses a higher metastatic risk. Although Fusobacterium nucleatum mainly inhabits in oral cavity, attention has been focused on the F. nucleatum involvement in colorectal cancer development. Here we examined the p-EMT regulation by F. nucleatum in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells. We cultured OSCC cells with epithelial, p-EMT or EMT phenotype with live or heat-inactivated F. nucleatum. Expression of the genes involved in epithelial differentiation, p-EMT and EMT were examined in OSCC cells after co-culture with F. nucleatum by qPCR. Cell growth and invasion of OSCC cells were also examined. Both live and heat-inactivated F. nucleatum upregulated the expression of p-EMT-related genes in OSCC cells with epithelial phenotype, but not with p-EMT or EMT phenotype. Moreover, F. nucleatum promoted invasion of OSCC cells with epithelial phenotype. Co-culture with other strains of bacteria other than Porphyromonas gingivalis did not alter p-EMT-related genes in OSCC cells with epithelial phenotype. F. nucleatum infection may convert epithelial to p-EMT phenotype via altering gene expression in OSCC. Oral hygiene managements against F. nucleatum infection may contribute to reduce the risk for an increase in metastatic ability of OSCC.
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