Aim: To observe vasculogenic mimicry (VM) in gastric cancer cells in vitro, and explore the possible underlying mechanisms by transfecting SGC7901 cells with Mig-7-siRNA and observing the impact on VM formation.
Methods: The capability of VM formation in differently differentiated gastric cancer cells were observed by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy in a three-dimensional culture system. The expression of Mig-7 was detected. The impact of transfection with Mig-7-siRNA into SGC7901 cells on the abilities of VM formation, invasion and migration were also examined. The expressions of Mig-7, phosphor-extracellular regulated protein kinases 1, 2 (p-ERK1/2) and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) in SGC7901 cells were analyzed by Western blotting.
Results: VM formation was observed in poorly differentiated MKN45 and moderately differentiated SGC7901 cells, but not in well differentiated MKN28 and normal GES-1 cells in vitro; Mig-7 was expressed in MKN45 and SGC7901 cells, but not in MKN28 and GES-1 cells; the abilities of VM formation, invasion and migration were changed by transfection with Mig-7-siRNA into SGC7901 cells. The formation of VM was reduced by down-regulating the expressions of p-ERK1/2 and MMP-2 protein in SGC7901 cells.
Conclusion: Mig-7 is expressed in gastric cancer cells which are able to form VM. The formation of VM is inhibited by reducing the expression of Mig-7 in gastric cancer cells, which might be mediated by down-regulating the expressions of p-ERK1/2 and MMP-2 proteins.