Background: Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide, often associated with the infection of human papillomavirus (HPV). Toll-like receptor 8 (TLR8), a pattern recognition receptor, is involved in viral nucleic acid sensing. Recently TLR8 has been shown to be expressed in cancer cells, and it has been suggested that it may help cancer cell growth and tumor development. The objective of this study is to investigate the expression of TLR8 expression and its relationship with Bcl-2 and VEGF in cervical cancer cells.
Methodology/principal: The mRNA expression levels of Bcl-2, VEGF and TLR-7,-8,-9 in newly diagnosed cervical cancer patients were detected by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT- PCR). Epifluorescence microscope was used to determine the presence of TLR8 protein in Hela cells. The cell cycle and apoptosis were analyzed by flow cytometer, and the cell proliferation was measured by MTT assay. Our data showed the increased mRNA levels of TLR8 in human cervical cancer samples as well as in HeLa cells, a cell line derived from a human cervical cancer. In addition, there was a positive correlation between the expression levels of TLR8 and Bcl-2 and VEGF in cervical cancer patients. When Hela cells were treated with TLR8 agonist CL075, the percentage of cells in G2/M +S was remarkably increased, accompanied by increased COX-2, BCL-2 and VEGF mRNA levels.
Conclusions/significance: The mRNA expression level of TLR8 in the patients with cervical cancer and Hela cells were up-regulated, it consistent with the increased expression of VEGF and Bcl-2. The results suggest that TLR8 may be an interesting therapeutic target in cervical cancer.
Keywords: Bcl-2; TLR8; VEGF; human cervical cancer.