Silencing of the COPS3 Gene by siRNA Reduces Proliferation of Lung Cancer Cells Most Likely via Induction of Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis


The COPS3 gene has stimulating effect on cell proliferation and progression of osteosarcomas and related cells. However, the features of COPS3 and its potential application as a therapeutic target in other cancers has not yet been studied. In this study, therefore, the effect of COPS3 silencing via COPS3 siRNA on lung cancer cell proliferation was examined. Expression levels of COPS3 gene in COPS3 siRNA infected cells and control siRNA infected cells were compared with real time PCR and Western blot analysis. Cell proliferation levels were comprehensively analyzed by MTT, BrdU incorporationy, and colony formation assays. For mechanistic assessment the effects of COPS3 silencing on cell cycle and apoptosis were analyzed using flow cytometry. Results showed that successful silencing of the COPS3 gene at both translational and transcriptional levels significantly reduced the proliferation and colony formation by lung cancer cells (p<0.01). Flow cytometry showed cell cycle arrest in the G0/G1 phase after COPS3 silencing, and more importantly, apoptosis was induced as a result of COPS3 knockdown, which negatively affected cell survival. Therefore, these results provide another piece of important evidence that the COPS3 gene expressed in lung cancer cells may play a critical role in stimulating proliferation. Down-regulation of COPS3 could significantly inhibit lung cancer cell growth, which was most likely mediated via induction of cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 phase and apoptosis.