Reciprocal interplay between asporin and decorin: Implications in gastric cancer prognosis

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title



Effective patient prognosis necessitates identification of novel tumor promoting drivers of gastric cancer (GC) which contribute to worsened conditions by analysing TCGA-gastric adenocarcinoma dataset. Small leucine-rich proteoglycans, asporin (ASPN) and decorin (DCN), play overlapping roles in development and diseases; however, the mechanisms underlying their interplay remain elusive. Here, we investigated the complex interplay of asporin, decorin and their interaction with TGFβ in GC tumor and corresponding normal tissues. The mRNA levels, protein expressions and cellular localizations of ASPN and DCN were analyzed using real-time PCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry, respectively. The protein-protein interaction was predicted by in-silico interaction analysis and validated by co-immunoprecipitation assay. The correlations between ASPN and EMT proteins, VEGF and collagen were achieved using western blot analysis. A significant increase in expression of ASPN in tumor tissue vs. normal tissue was observed in both TCGA and our patient cohort. DCN, an effective inhibitor of the TGFβ pathway, was negatively correlated with stages of GC. Co-immunoprecipitation demonstrated that DCN binds with TGFβ, in normal gastric epithelium, whereas in GC, ASPN preferentially binds TGFβ. Possible activation of the canonical TGFβ pathway by phosphorylation of SMAD2 in tumor tissues suggests its role as an intracellular tumor promoter. Furthermore, tissues expressing ASPN showed unregulated EMT signalling. Our study uncovers ASPN as a GC-promoting gene and DCN as tumor suppressor, suggesting that ASPN can act as a prognostic marker in GC. For the first time, we describe the physical interaction of TGFβ with ASPN in GC and DCN with TGFβ in GC and normal gastric epithelium respectively. This study suggests that prevention of ASPN-TGFβ interaction or overexpression of DCN could serve as promising therapeutic strategies for GC patients. Copyright:



Publication Date



Open Access, Gold, Green

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