NHERF1 inhibits beta-catenin-mediated proliferation of cervical cancer cells through suppression of alpha-actinin-4 expression

Cell Death Dis. 2018 Jun 4;9(6):668. doi: 10.1038/s41419-018-0711-x.


Cervical cancer is one of the most lethal types of cancer in female. Aberrant activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway has been found to be involved in cervical cancer development and progression, whereas the underlying molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. The present study showed that NHERF1 was a novel gene associated with both cell proliferation and Wnt signaling pathway in cervical cancer by analysis of differential gene expression and gene cluster for the cervical cancer specimens from GEO data sets. It was further demonstrated in cellular study that NHERF1 inhibition of cervical cancer cell proliferation through Wnt/β-catenin signaling was dependent on α-actinin-4 (ACTN4) expression. A negative association between NHERF1 expression and levels of ACTN4 and β-catenin was found in mouse xenograft model and cervical cancer specimens. Low levels of NHERF1 in cervical cancer specimens were found to associate with activation of cell proliferation and Wnt/β-catenin signaling by gene set enrichment analysis, and also were an independent predictive factor for worse prognosis of cervical cancer patients by Cox regression analysis. These findings demonstrate that NHERF1 inhibits Wnt signaling-mediated proliferation of cervical cancer via suppression of ACTN4, and NHERF1 downregulation may contribute to the progression of cervical cancer. These findings may also shed some lights for understanding the underlying mechanisms of cisplatin resistance and worse prognosis of HPV-inactive cervical cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actinin / genetics*
  • Actinin / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Down-Regulation / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Prognosis
  • Sodium-Hydrogen Exchangers / metabolism*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / genetics
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays
  • beta Catenin / metabolism*


  • ACTN4 protein, human
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Sodium-Hydrogen Exchangers
  • beta Catenin
  • sodium-hydrogen exchanger regulatory factor
  • Actinin