Bidirectional alteration of Cav-1 expression is associated with mitogenic conversion of its function in gastric tumor progression

Byung Kyu Ryu, Min Goo Lee, Nam Hoon Kim, Kil Yeon Lee, Shin Ju Oh, Jung Rock Moon, Hyo Jong Kim, Sung Gil Chi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Expression of caveolin-1 (Cav-1) is frequently altered in many human cancers and both tumor suppression and promotion functions of Cav-1 have been suggested based on its expression status. However, it remains unanswered how Cav-1 provokes opposite effects in different cancers or different phases of tumor progression. Methods: To explore the implication of Cav-1 alteration in gastric tumorigenesis, the expression and mutational status of Cav-1 and its effects on tumor cell growth were characterized. Results: A substantial fraction of primary tumors and cell lines displayed abnormally low or high Cav-1 mRNA expression, indicating the bidirectional alteration of Cav-1 in gastric cancers. While allelic imbalance and mutational alterations of the Cav-1 gene were rarely detected, aberrant promoter hyper- or hypo-methylation showed a tight correlation with bidirectional alteration of its expression. Abnormally low and high Cav-1 expression was more frequently observed in early and advanced cancers, respectively, suggesting the oncogenic switch of its function in tumor progression. Cell cycle progression, DNA synthesis, and colony forming ability were markedly decreased by Cav-1 transfection in low-expressing tumor cells but by its depletion in high-expressing cells. Interestingly, Cav-1 exerted opposite effects on MEK-ERK signaling in these two cell types through the reciprocal regulation of the RAF-ERK negative feedback loop. A feedback inhibition of RAF by ERK was stimulated by restoration of Cav-1 expression in low-expressing cells but by it depletion in high-expressing cells. As predicted, the opposite effects of Cav-1 on both tumor cell growth and inhibitory RAF phosphorylation were abolished if ERK is depleted. Conclusion: Bidirectional alteration of Cav-1 is linked to its opposite effects on gastric tumor cell growth, which stem from the reciprocal control on the RAF-ERK negative feedback loop.

Original languageEnglish
Article number766
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by grants from National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2015R1A2A1A01005389) and a Korea University Intramural Grant-in-Aid (2016). Funding bodies did not have any influence in the design of the study and collection, analysis and interpretation of data or in writing the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).


  • Caveolin
  • Erk
  • Gastric cancer
  • Promoter methylation
  • RAF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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