Cationic amino acid transporter PQLC2 is a potential therapeutic target in gastric cancer

Yun Ji Jeung, Kyeong Lee, Hyo Jin Lee, Eunah Kim, Myung Jin Son, Jiwon Ahn, Han Gyeul Kim, Wantae Kim, Ho Joon Lee, Jin Man Kim, Kyung Sook Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Tumor cells overexpress amino acid transporters to meet the increased demand for amino acids. PQ loop repeat-containing (PQLC)2 is a cationic amino acid transporter that might be involved in cancer progression. Here, we show that upregulation of PQLC2 is critical to gastric cancer (GC) development in vitro and in vivo. Both PQLC2 mRNA and protein were overexpressed in GC tissues, especially of the diffuse type. Overexpression of PQLC2 promoted cell growth, anchorage independence, and tumor formation in nude mice. This was due to activation of MEK/ERK1/2 and PI3K/AKT signaling. Conversely, PQLC2 knockdown caused growth arrest and cell death of cancer cells and suppressed tumor growth in a mouse xenograft model. These results suggest that targeting PQLC2 is an effective strategy for GC treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1453-1463
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • PQLC2
  • gastric cancer
  • metastasis
  • therapeutic target
  • tumor formation


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