N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) is an important gene regulating tumor invasion. In this study, shRNA technology was used to suppress NDRG1 expression in CaSki (a cervical cancer cell line) and HO-8910PM (an ovarian cancer cell line). In vitro assays showed that NDRG1 knockdown enhanced tumor cell adhesion, migration and invasion activities without affecting cell proliferation. cDNA microarray analysis revealed 96 deregulated genes with more than 2-fold changes in both cell lines after NDRG1 knockdown. Ten common upregulated genes (LPXN, DDR2, COL6A1, IL6, IL8, FYN, PTP4A3, PAPPA, ETV5 and CYGB) and one common downregulated gene (CLCA2) were considered to enhance tumor cell invasive activity. BisoGenet network analysis indicated that NDRG1 regulated these invasion effector genes/proteins in an indirect manner. Moreover, NDRG1 knockdown also reduced pro-invasion genes expression such as MMP7, TMPRSS4 and CTSK. These results suggest that regulation of invasion and metastasis by NDRG1 is a highly complicated process.
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