Hanke M, et al. PLoS One 2020.
BACKGROUND: Urine-based diagnostics indicated involvement of oncoprotein 18 (OP18) in bladder cancer. In cell culture models we investigated the role of OP18 for malignant cell growth.
METHODS: We analyzed 113 urine samples and investigated two human BCa cell lines as a dual model: RT-4 and ECV-304, which represented differentiated (G1) and poorly differentiated (G3) BCa. We designed specific siRNA for down-regulation of OP18 in both cell lines. Phenotypes were characterized by cell viability, proliferation, and expression of apoptosis-related genes. Besides, sensitivity to cisplatin treatment was evaluated.
RESULTS: Analysis of urine samples from patients with urothelial BCa revealed a significant correlation of the RNA-ratio OP18:uroplakin 1A with bladder cancer. High urinary ratios were mainly found in moderately to poorly differentiated tumors (grade G2-3) that were muscle invasive (stage T2-3), whereas samples from patients with more differentiated non-invasive BCa (G1) showed low OP18:UPK1A RNA ratios. Down-regulation of OP18 expression in ECV-304 shifted its phenotype towards G1 state. Further, OP18-directed siRNA induced apoptosis and increased chemo-sensitivity to cisplatin.
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides conclusive experimental evidence for the link between OP18-derived RNA as a diagnostic marker for molecular staging of BCa in non-invasive urine-based diagnostics and the patho-mechanistic role of OP18 suggesting this gene as a therapeutic target.