High expression of protein tyrosine kinase 7 significantly associates with invasiveness and poor prognosis in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma

PLoS One. 2014 Feb 28;9(2):e90247. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090247. eCollection 2014.


Background: The incidence, prevalence, and mortality of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) are increasing worldwide. Protein tyrosine kinase-7 (PTK7) is upregulated in many common human cancers. However, its expression in ICC has not been studied. The present study aimed to explore the underlying mechanism of PTK7 in ICC.

Materials and methods: The role of PTK7 was studied in vitro by suppressing PTK7 expression in ICC cell lines. The in vivo effect of PTK7 was evaluated using a nude mouse model inoculated with a human ICC cell line. We also examined the role of PTK7 in human ICC samples.

Results: Cells with high PTK7 expression exhibited higher proliferation, DNA synthesis, invasion, and migration abilities than did cells with low PTK7 expression. The knockdown of PTK7 with small interfering RNA (siRNA) in high PTK7 expressing cells resulted in impairment of invasion, migration, and DNA synthesis through the regulation of several cell-cycle-related proteins. It also induced cell apoptosis and decreased phospho-RhoA expression. In a xenograft nude mouse model, PTK7 siRNA resulted in a reduction of the tumor size, compared with scrambled siRNA injection. PTK7 expression was higher in human ICC than in the normal bile duct. Patients with low expression of PTK7 had a longer disease-free survival and overall survival than those with high expression.

Conclusions: PTK7 expression plays an important role in the invasiveness of ICC cells and leads to a poor prognosis in ICC patients. Thus, PTK7 can be used as a prognostic indicator, and the inhibition of PTK7 expression could be a new therapeutic target for ICC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Bile Ducts, Intrahepatic / metabolism
  • Bile Ducts, Intrahepatic / pathology*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement
  • Cholangiocarcinoma / genetics*
  • Cholangiocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Cholangiocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics*
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • PTK7 protein, human
  • Ptk7 protein, mouse
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • RhoA protein, mouse
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins

Grant support

This study was supported by the Seoul National University hospital Research Fund (#0320130290) and a grant from Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2012M3A9B6055346). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.