SEMA4C is a novel target to limit osteosarcoma growth, progression, and metastasis

Branden A. Smeester, Nicholas J. Slipek, Emily J. Pomeroy, Heather E. Bomberger, Ghaidan A. Shamsan, Joseph J. Peterson, Margaret R. Crosby, Garrett M. Draper, Kelsie L. Becklin, Eric P. Rahrmann, James B. McCarthy, David J. Odde, David K. Wood, David A. Largaespada, Branden S. Moriarity

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Semaphorins, specifically type IV, are important regulators of axonal guidance and have been increasingly implicated in poor prognoses in a number of different solid cancers. In conjunction with their cognate PLXNB family receptors, type IV members have been increasingly shown to mediate oncogenic functions necessary for tumor development and malignant spread. In this study, we investigated the role of semaphorin 4C (SEMA4C) in osteosarcoma growth, progression, and metastasis. We investigated the expression and localization of SEMA4C in primary osteosarcoma patient tissues and its tumorigenic functions in these malignancies. We demonstrate that overexpression of SEMA4C promotes properties of cellular transformation, while RNAi knockdown of SEMA4C promotes adhesion and reduces cellular proliferation, colony formation, migration, wound healing, tumor growth, and lung metastasis. These phenotypic changes were accompanied by reductions in activated AKT signaling, G1 cell cycle delay, and decreases in expression of mesenchymal marker genes SNAI1, SNAI2, and TWIST1. Lastly, monoclonal antibody blockade of SEMA4C in vitro mirrored that of the genetic studies. Together, our results indicate a multi-dimensional oncogenic role for SEMA4C in metastatic osteosarcoma and more importantly that SEMA4C has actionable clinical potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1049-1062
Number of pages14
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 30 2020


Cite this

Smeester, B. A., Slipek, N. J., Pomeroy, E. J., Bomberger, H. E., Shamsan, G. A., Peterson, J. J., Crosby, M. R., Draper, G. M., Becklin, K. L., Rahrmann, E. P., McCarthy, J. B., Odde, D. J., Wood, D. K., Largaespada, D. A., & Moriarity, B. S. (2020). SEMA4C is a novel target to limit osteosarcoma growth, progression, and metastasis. Oncogene, 39(5), 1049-1062.