Atypical protein kinase C ζ (PKCζ) forms an apico-basal polarity complex with Partitioning Defective (Pard) 3 and Pard6 to regulate normal epithelial cell apico-basolateral polarization. The dissociation of the PKCζ/Pard3/Pard6 complex is essential for the disassembly of the tight/adherens junction and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) that is critical for tumor spreading. Loss of cell polarity and epithelial organization is strongly correlated with malignancy and tumor progression in some other cancer types. However, it is unclear whether the PKCζ/Pard3/Pard6 complex plays a role in the progression of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We found that hypoxia downregulated the PKCζ/Pard3/Pard6 complex, correlating with induction of lung cancer cell migration and invasion. Silencing of the PKCζ/Pard3/Pard6 polarity complex components induced lung cancer cell EMT, invasion, and colonization in vivo. Suppression of Pard3 was associated with altered expression of genes regulating wound healing, cell apoptosis/death and cell motility, and particularly upregulation of MAP3K1 and fibronectin which are known to contribute to lung cancer progression. Human lung adenocarcinoma tissues expressed less Pard6b and PKCζ than the adjacent normal tissues and in experimental mouse lung adenocarcinoma, the levels of Pard3 and PKCζ were also decreased. In addition, we showed that a methylation locus in the gene body of Pard3 is positively associated with the expression of Pard3 and that methylation of the Pard3 gene increased cellular sensitivity to carboplatin, a common chemotherapy drug. Suppression of Pard3 increased chemoresistance in lung cancer cells. Together, these results suggest that reduced expression of PKCζ/Pard3/Pard6 contributes to NSCLC EMT, invasion, and chemoresistance.
- Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
- Lung cancer
- PKCζ/Pard3/Pard6 polarity complex
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology