NRSN2 promotes osteosarcoma cell proliferation and growth through PI3K/Akt/MTOR and Wnt/β-catenin signaling

Am J Cancer Res. 2017 Mar 1;7(3):565-573. eCollection 2017.


Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer in children and adults. However, its pathogenesis, especially molecular mechanisms remain elusive. In current study, we screened GEO Database and found a poorly studied protein Neurensin-2 (NRSN2), which is highly expressed in osteosarcoma tissues. Neurensin-2 (NRSN2) is a small neuronal membrane protein and localized in small vesicles in neural cells, previous study found that it has been implicated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We here report that the expression of NRSN2 is more commonlyelevated in 18 fresh osteosarcoma tissues. Furthermore, both loss- and gain-functions assays revealed that NRSN2 could promote osteosarcoma cell proliferation and growth both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, we further found that those effects on osteosarcoma by NRSN2 are associated with the dysregulated PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling and Wnt/β-catenin signaling. In conclusion, our study found a novel oncogenic protein, NRSN2, which promotes osteosarcoma cell proliferation and as a membrane protein, NRSN2 also could be a potential treatment target for osteosarcoma.

Keywords: Neurensin-2; PI3K/Akt/GSK3β; Wnt/β-catenin; osteosarcoma; proliferation and growth.