Annexin A5 regulates hepatocarcinoma malignancy via CRKI/II-DOCK180-RAC1 integrin and MEK-ERK pathways

Cell Death Dis. 2018 May 25;9(6):637. doi: 10.1038/s41419-018-0685-8.


As a calcium-dependent phospholipid binding annexin protein, annexin A5 (Anxa5) links to the progression, metastasis, survival, and prognosis of a variety of cancers. Current work showed ANXA5 overexpression was positively correlated with the upregulations of CRKI/II and RAC1 in hepatocarcinoma (HCC) patients' tissues, which potentially enhanced the clinical progression and lymphatic metastasis of HCC. The role and action mechanism of ANXA5 in hepatocarcinoma was then investigated using a hepatocarcinoma Hca-P cell line, an ideal and well-established murine cell model with 100% inducible tumorigenicity of implanted mice with low (~25%) lymph node metastatic (LNM) rate. In vitro evidences indicated ANXA5 stable knockdown resulted in decreased proliferation, migration, invasion and adhesion to lymph node (LN), and increased intercellular cohesion behaviors of hepatocarcinoma Hca-P cells. Consistently, stable ANXA5 knockdown led to reduced in vivo tumorigenicity and malignancy, LNM rate and level potentials of Hca-P- transplanted mice via inhibiting CD34 and VEGF3. The levels of CRKI/II and RAC1 were reduced in tumor tissues from mice transplanted with Hca-P cells with stable ANXA5 knockdown. Molecular action investigation further showed ANXA5 downregulation apparently suppressed the expressions of molecules CRKI/II, DOCK180, RAC1 in integrin pathway, p-MEK, p-ERK, c-Myc, and MMP-9 in MEK- ERK pathway together with VIMINTIN in Hca-P cells in appropriate to knockdown extent. Collectively, Anxa5 was able to mediate HCC carcinogenesis via integrin and MEK-ERK pathways. It is of potential use in the research and treatment of HCC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Annexin A5 / metabolism*
  • Antigens, CD34 / metabolism
  • Carcinogenesis / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Disease Progression
  • Down-Regulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-crk / metabolism
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein / metabolism


  • Annexin A5
  • Antigens, CD34
  • DOCK1 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-crk
  • RAC1 protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • rac GTP-Binding Proteins
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein