Knockdown of Orphan Transporter SLC22A18 Impairs Lipid Metabolism and Increases Invasiveness of HepG2 Cells.


Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Kumamoto University, 5-1 Oe-honmachi, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto, 862-0973, Japan. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : The aim of this work is to investigate the roles of solute carrier family 22 member 18 (SLC22A18) in lipid metabolism and in establishing the tumor phenotype of HepG2 cells.
METHODS : SLC22A18-knockdown HepG2 cells were established by stable transfection with shRNA. Protein expression levels were measured by quantitative proteomics and Western blot analysis. Cell growth was examined by cell counting kit. Accumulation of triglyceride-rich lipid droplets was measured by Oil-Red O staining. Cell migration and invasion were examined by Transwell assays.
RESULTS : SLC22A18-knockdown HepG2 cells accumulated triglyceride-rich lipid droplets and showed decreased expression levels of lysosomal/autophagic proteins, suggesting that lipid degradation is suppressed. Growth of HepG2 cells was decreased by SLC22A18 knockdown, but was restored by free fatty acid supplementation. In addition, SLC22A18 knockdown decreased the expression of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 1 (IGFBP-1) and increased the invasion ability of HepG2 cells. Exogenous IGFBP-1 blocked the increase of invasion activity induced by SLC22A18 knockdown.
CONCLUSIONS : Our results suggest that suppression of SLC22A18 decreased the supply of intracellular free fatty acids from triglyceride-rich lipid droplets by impairing the lysosomal/autophagy degradation pathway and reduced the invasive activity of HepG2 cells by decreasing IGFBP-1 expression.


IGFBP-1,SLC22A18,fatty acid,orphan transporter,quantitative proteomics,