We investigated the role of VDAC2 in human epithelial thyroid tumours using proteomic 2D-DIGE analysis and qRT-PCR. We found a significant up-regulation of VDAC2 in thyroid tumours and in thyroid tumour cell lines (TPC-1 and CAL-62). We did not detect overexpression of VDAC2 in a normal thyroid cell line (Nthy-ori 3-1). Silico analysis revealed that two proteins, BAK1 and BAX, had a strong relationship with VDAC2. BAK1 gene expression showed down-regulation in thyroid tumours (follicular and papillary tumours) and in TPC-1 and CAL-62 cell lines. Transient knockdown of VDAC2 in TPC-1 and CAL-62 promoted upregulation of the BAK1 gene and protein expression, and increased susceptibility to sorafenib treatment. Overexpression of the BAK1 gene in CAL-62 showed lower sorafenib sensitivity than VDAC2 knockdown cells. We propose the VDAC2 gene as a novel therapeutic target in these tumours.
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