Inducible T-cell co-stimulators regulate the proliferation and invasion of human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells
Abstract Background This study determined the regulatory effects of inducible T-cell co-stimulators (ICOS) in human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells using a RNA interference (RNAi) technique. Methods A RNAi technique was used to knockdown the expression of ICOS. ICOS expression after knockdown was detected as mRNA and protein levels by RT-PCR and Western blot, respectively. A MTT colorimetric assay was used to detect cell proliferation, and the Transwell assay was used to detect cell invasion. Western blot was carried out to detect the level of Bcl-2, AKT, and PI3K protein expression in different groups. Results The proliferation of HepG2 cells were significantly decreased after ICOS siRNA transfection (EG group). Similarly, the results of the Transwell experiment showed that invasion of HepG2 cells in the EG group was clearly reduced compared to the negative control (NC) and blank control groups (CON). Western blot analysis showed that knockdown of ICOS expression reduced the levels of Bcl-2 and AKT, and also significantly up-regulated the level of PI3K phosphorylation (P < 0.01). Conclusion Down-regulating ICOS expression in HepG2 cells suppressed cell proliferation and invasion. The underlying mechanism may be related to the expression of the downstream factor, PI3K/AKT.