Table of Contents
Journal of Signal Transduction
Volume 2013, Article ID 497383, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/497383
Research Article

AP-1 Gene Expression Levels May Be Correlated with Changes in Gene Expression of Some Stemness Factors in Colon Carcinomas

Research Genetic Cancer Centre Ltd. (RGCC Ltd.), Filotas, 53070 Florina, Greece

Received 13 August 2013; Accepted 30 October 2013

Academic Editor: Leonidas C. Platanias

Copyright © 2013 Panagiotis Apostolou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The AP-1 transcription factor is a heterodimer protein that regulates gene expression in response to a variety of extrinsic stimuli through signal transduction. It is involved in processes including differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis. Among the genes it regulates are transcription factors that contribute to the stemness phenotype. Cancer stem cells have the ability to self-renew and initiate differentiation into heterogenic cancer cells, which may cause metastasis and relapses. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of AP-1 complexes, as well as the C-FOS and C-JUN genes, in relation to NANOG, OCT3/4, and SOX2 transcription factors. All assays were undertaken with colon cancer stem cells. Knockdown experiments with siRNA were performed for each individual gene as well as their combination. Changes in gene expression were calculated with quantitative polymerase chain reaction experiments, while the effect on cell cycle distribution and apoptosis was studied by flow cytometry. The results differed depending on the percentage of repression, as well as the gene that was suppressed. In all cases, the number of apoptotic cells was increased. These findings indicate that AP-1 may have a crucial role in the maintenance of cancer stem cells.