Previously, we reported that the LIM homeobox transcription factor 1, alpha (LMX1A) presented tumor-suppressing roles in gastric AGS cells. Here, we showed that LMX1A also inhibits metastasis-related behaviors including migration and invasion of gastric cancer cells. Mechanistic study revealed that the role of LMX1A was mediated by β-catenin, as knockdown of LMX1A upregulated the expression of β-catenin and knockdown of β-catenin reversed the effects of LMX1A silencing. β-catenin is essential for the activation of WNT signaling pathway. Indeed, knockdown of LMX1A activated the expressions of WNT signaling target genes T cell-specific transcription factor 4 (TCF4) and matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP7). What is more, the expression of LMX1A was negatively correlated with WNT signaling target genes in two datasets of human gastric cancer tissues. Thus, our study revealed an anti-metastatic role of LMX1A in gastric cancer which is mediated by the negative regulation of β-catenin signaling target genes.
Keywords: Gastric cancer; LMX1A; Metastasis; β-catenin.