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Intermediate-Conductance-Ca2-Activated K Channel IKCa1 Is Upregulated and Promotes Cell Proliferation in Cervical Cancer

Ling Liu, Ping Zhan, Dan Nie, Lingye Fan, Hairui Lin, Lanyang Gao, Xiguang Mao

(Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, The Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit Basic Res 2017; 23:45-57

DOI: 10.12659/MSMBR.901462

Published: 2017-03-10

BACKGROUND: Accumulating data point to intermediate-conductance calcium-activated potassium channel (IKCa1) as a key player in controlling cell cycle progression and proliferation of human cancer cells. However, the role that IKCa1 plays in the growth of human cervical cancer cells is largely unexplored.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: In this study, Western blot analysis, immunohistochemical staining, and RT-PCR were first used for IKCa1protein and gene expression assays in cervical cancer tissues and HeLa cells. Then, IKCa1 channel blocker and siRNA were employed to inhibit the functionality of IKCa1 and downregulate gene expression in HeLa cells, respectively. After these treatments, we examined the level of cell proliferation by MTT method and measured IKCa1 currents by conventional whole-cell patch clamp technique. Cell apoptosis was assessed using the Annexin V-FITC/Propidium Iodide (PI) double-staining apoptosis detection kit.
RESULTS: We demonstrated that IKCa1 mRNA and protein are preferentially expressed in cervical cancer tissues and HeLa cells. We also showed that the IKCa1 channel blocker, clotrimazole, and IKCa1 channel siRNA can be used to suppress cervical cancer cell proliferation and decrease IKCa1 channel current. IKCa1 downregulation by specific siRNAs induced a significant increase in the proportion of apoptotic cells in HeLa cells.
CONCLUSIONS: IKCa1 is overexpressed in cervical cancer tissues, and IKCa1 upregulation in cervical cancer cell linea enhances cell proliferation, partly by reducing the proportion of apoptotic cells.

Keywords: Cell Proliferation, clotrimazole, Uterine Cervical Neoplasms