Aldolase A promotes proliferation
and G1/S transition via the EGFR/MAPK pathway in non-small cell lung cancer

Hailu Fu1, Huijun Gao1, Xiaoyu Qi1, Lei Zhao1,2, Donghua Wu1, Yuxin Bai1, Huimin Li1, Xuan Liu1, Jun Hu1* and Shujuan Shao1*


Background: Our previous study demonstrated that aldolase A (ALDOA) is overexpressed in clinical human lung squamous cell carcinoma and that ALDOA promotes epithelial–mesenchymal transition and tumorigenesis. The present study aimed to explore the function of ALDOA in the modulation of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) prolifera- tion and cell cycle progression and the potential mechanism.

Methods: ALDOA was knocked down by short hairpin RNA in H520 and H1299 cells. ALDOA was overexpressed with vectors carrying the full-length ALDOA sequence in H1299 and H157 cells. The proliferation capacities were assessed with immunohistochemical staining, Cell Counting Kit-8 and colony formation assays. The cell cycle distribution was examined by flow cytometry, and molecular alterations were determined by western blotting. Cell synchronization was induced with nocodazole. The stability of cyclin D1 mRNA was tested. The pyruvate kinase M2 and ALDOA protein distributions were examined. Aerobic glycolysis was evaluated with Cell Titer-Glo assay, glucose colorimetric assay and lactate colorimetric assay.

Results: ALDOA knockdown inhibited the proliferation and G1/S transition in H520 cells. Conversely, ALDOA over- expression promoted the proliferation and G1/S transition in H157 cells. The cell cycle synchronization assay showed that ALDOA expression increased in the G1 phase and G1/S transition. Furthermore, ALDOA knockdown reduced cyclin D1 expression by regulating epidermal growth factor receptor/mitogen-activated protein kinase (EGFR/MAPK) pathway. Similar results were found in H1299 and H157 cells. The inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1/2 prompted the nuclear distribution of ALDOA. Additionally, ALDOA knockdown reduced nuclear distribution of PKM2, the extracellular lactate and intracellular adenosine triphosphate concentrations and elevated the extracellular glucose concentration.

Conclusions: ALDOA contributed to activation of the EGFR/MAPK pathway, thus promoting cyclin D1 expression and enhancing proliferation and G1/S transition in NSCLC. Additionally, ALDOA facilitated NSCLC aerobic glycolysis.

Keywords: ALDOA, NSCLC, Proliferation, G1/S, EGFR/MAPK, Cyclin D1, Aerobic glycolysis 

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