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Article

AXL Knock-Out in SNU475 Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells Provides Evidence for Lethal Effect Associated with G2 Arrest and Polyploidization

1
Izmir Biomedicine and Genome Center, Dokuz Eylul University Health Campus, Izmir 35330, Turkey
2
Izmir International Biomedicine and Genome Institute, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir 35330, Turkey
3
School of Medicine, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir 35340, Turkey
4
Galen Research Center, Izmir Tinaztepe University, Izmir 35400, Turkey
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hiroaki Taniguchi
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(24), 13247; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222413247
Received: 8 November 2021 / Revised: 2 December 2021 / Accepted: 2 December 2021 / Published: 9 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Cancer)
AXL, a member of the TAM family, is a promising therapeutic target due to its elevated expression in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), particularly in association with acquired drug resistance. Previously, RNA interference was used to study its role in cancer, and several phenotypic changes, including attenuated cell proliferation and decreased migration and invasion, have been reported. The mechanism of action of AXL in HCC is elusive. We first studied the AXL expression in HCC cell lines by real-time PCR and western blot and showed its stringent association with a mesenchymal phenotype. We then explored the role of AXL in mesenchymal SNU475 cells by CRISPR-Cas9 mediated gene knock-out. AXL-depleted HCC cells displayed drastic phenotypic changes, including increased DNA damage response, prolongation of doubling time, G2 arrest, and polyploidization in vitro and loss of tumorigenicity in vivo. Pharmacological inhibition of AXL by R428 recapitulated G2 arrest and polyploidy phenotype. These observations strongly suggest that acute loss of AXL in some mesenchymal HCC cells is lethal and points out that its inhibition may represent a druggable vulnerability in AXL-high HCC patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: AXL; hepatocellular carcinoma; CRISPR-Cas9; gene knock-out; cell cycle arrest; DNA damage; polyploidy AXL; hepatocellular carcinoma; CRISPR-Cas9; gene knock-out; cell cycle arrest; DNA damage; polyploidy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Batur, T.; Argundogan, A.; Keles, U.; Mutlu, Z.; Alotaibi, H.; Senturk, S.; Ozturk, M. AXL Knock-Out in SNU475 Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells Provides Evidence for Lethal Effect Associated with G2 Arrest and Polyploidization. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 13247. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222413247

AMA Style

Batur T, Argundogan A, Keles U, Mutlu Z, Alotaibi H, Senturk S, Ozturk M. AXL Knock-Out in SNU475 Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells Provides Evidence for Lethal Effect Associated with G2 Arrest and Polyploidization. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(24):13247. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222413247

Chicago/Turabian Style

Batur, Tugce, Ayse Argundogan, Umur Keles, Zeynep Mutlu, Hani Alotaibi, Serif Senturk, and Mehmet Ozturk. 2021. "AXL Knock-Out in SNU475 Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells Provides Evidence for Lethal Effect Associated with G2 Arrest and Polyploidization" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22, no. 24: 13247. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222413247

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