Endometrial cancer (EC) is the most commonly diagnosed gynecological malignancy in Australian women. Notably, its incidence and mortality rate is increasing. Despite this, there are limited treatment options for EC. Galectin-7 regulates tumorigenesis in numerous epithelial cancer types, but the role of galectin-7 has not been investigated in EC. It was hypothesized that galectin-7 expression would be altered in EC and contribute to the development of EC. Galectin-7 levels in EC and benign endometrium were quantified by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and ELISA. The effect of recombinant galectin-7 (1 µg/ml) on cell adhesion, proliferation, apoptosis (xCELLigence and flow cytometry), migration (wound healing assay) and gene expression (RT-qPCR) was investigated using three human EC cell lines (Ishikawa, HEC1A and AN3CA). Galectin-7 gene and protein expression was significantly elevated in Grade 3 EC, compared with benign tissues. Galectin-7 was almost undetectable in Ishikawa and AN3CA cells, but highly expressed by HEC1A cells. Recombinant galectin-7 had no significant effect on cell proliferation or apoptosis in any cell line, but significantly reduced cell adhesion in Ishikawa (at 4 and 6 h) and AN3CA (at 2, 3, 4 and 6 h). Galectin‑7 significantly promoted Ishikawa migration and significantly elevated collagen type IV α 1 chain and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM1) gene expression during wound healing. The present study demonstrated that galectin-7 production increased in EC with increasing cancer grade; therefore, galectin-7 may promote the metastasis of EC by reducing cell-cell adhesion and enhancing cell migration.
- Collagen type IV α 1 chain
- Endometrial cancer
- Intercellular adhesion molecule 1