METTL3/IGF2BP1/CD47 contributes to the sublethal heat treatment induced mesenchymal transition in HCC.

Affiliation

Fan Z(1), Gao Y(2), Zhang W(1), Yang G(1), Liu P(1), Xu L(1), Wang J(1), Yan Z(1), Han H(3), Liu R(4), Shu M(5).
Author information:
(1)Department of Interventional Radiology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, China.
(2)Department of Liver Surgery & Transplantation, Liver Cancer Institute, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, China; Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Cancer Invasion, Ministry of Education, Shanghai, 200032, China.
(3)Department of Ultrasound, Zhongshan Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, China. Electronic address: [Email]
(4)Department of Interventional Radiology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, China; Department of Interventional Radiology, Xiamen Branch, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, China. Electronic address: [Email]
(5)Department of Pharmacology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, China. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Microwave ablation is a first-line treatment of small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), while incomplete ablation induces recurrence and metastasis. However, its underlying mechanism remains largely unexplored. Here we reported that sublethal heat treatment (46 °C) strongly promoted migration and EMT transition in HCC cells. Mechanistic investigation revealed that compared with 37 °C, HCC cells treated with 46 °C expressed higher level of CD47. Knockdown of CD47 significantly attenuated sublethal heat treatment stimulated migration and EMT transition. In addition, METTL3 which is the key enzyme of m6A modification was also induced by 46 °C treatment and triggered CD47 expression in HCC cells. Moreover, CD47 mRNA degradation was further proved to be stabled in the IGF2BP1-dependent manner. Importantly, sublethal heat treatment stimulated CD47 expression and EMT transition were also confirmed in patient-derived organoid. Taken together, our study suggests that METTL3/IGF2BP1/CD47 mediated EMT transition contributes to the incomplete ablation induced metastasis in HCC cells. Moreover, these findings identify the METTL3/IGF2BP1/CD47 axis as a potential therapeutic target for the microwave ablation and shed new lights on the crosstalk between incomplete heat ablation and RNA methylation.