E-cadherin expression increases cell proliferation by regulating energy metabolism through NF-κB in AGS cells


β-catenin is a central player in Wnt signaling, and activation of Wnt signaling is associated with cancer development. E-cadherin in complex with β-catenin mediates cell–cell adhesion, which suppresses β-catenin-dependent Wnt signaling. Recently, a tumor-suppressive role for E-cadherin has been reconsidered, as re-expression of E-cadherin was reported to enhance the metastatic potential of malignant tumors. To explore the role of E-cadherin, we established an E-cadherin-expressing cell line, EC96 cells, from AGS cells that featured undetectable E-cadherin expression and a high level of Wnt signaling. In EC96 cells, E-cadherin re-expression enhanced cell proliferation, although Wnt signaling activity was reduced. Subsequent analysis revealed that NF-κB activation and consequent c-myc expression might be involved in E-cadherin expression-mediated cell proliferation. To facilitate rapid proliferation, EC96 cells enhance glucose uptake and produce ATP using both mitochondria OXPHOS and glycolysis, whereas AGS cells utilize these mechanisms less efficiently. These events appeared to be mediated by NF-κB activation. Therefore, E-cadherin re-expression and subsequent induction of NF-κB signaling likely enhance energy production and cell proliferation.

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