Tissue microenvironment adjusts biological properties of different cells by modulating signaling pathways and cell to cell interactions. This study showed that epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)/ mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) can be modulated by altering culture conditions. HPV E6/E7-transfected immortalized oral keratinocytes (IHOK) cultured in different media displayed reversible EMT/MET accompanied by changes in cell phenotype, proliferation, gene expression at transcriptional, and translational level, and migratory and invasive activities. Cholera toxin, a major supplement to culture medium, was responsible for inducing the morphological and biological changes of IHOK. Cholera toxin per se induced EMT by triggering the secretion of interleukin 6 (IL-6) from IHOK. We found IL-6 to be a central molecule that modulates the reversibility of EMT based not only on the mRNA level but also on the level of secretion. Taken together, our results demonstrate that IL-6, a cytokine whose transcription is activated by alterations in culture conditions, is a key molecule for regulating reversible EMT/MET. This study will contribute to understand one way of cellular adjustment for surviving in unfamiliar conditions. J. Cell. Biochem. 116: 2552-2562, 2015.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology