Down-regulation of FRα Inhibits Proliferation and Promotes Apoptosis of Cervical Cancer Cells in Vitro


Folate receptor alpha (FRα ) mediates folate uptake by endocytosis, and while folate is essential to DNAmethylation and synthesis and may have an important role in proliferating cells. FRα is known to be expressedin rapidly proliferating cells, including many cancer cell lines, but there has been no systematic assessmentof expression in cervical cancer cell lines. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of FRα onproliferation and apoptosis of cervical cells and correlation mechanism. In this study, we investigated the biologicalfunction of FRα in Hela cells using RNA interference. Cell proliferation was evaluated by Cell Counting Kit-8(CCK8) assay, while cell cycling and apoptosis were assessed by flow cytometry, mRNA levels by real time-PCR and protein levels of FRα, c-Fos and c-Jun by Western blotting. The results revealed that FRα was highlyexpressed in Hela cells and its silencing with a small interfering RNA (siRNA) inhibited cell proliferation andinduced cell apoptosis, arresting the cell cycle in G0/G1 stages while decreasing the proportion in S and G2/Mstages, and suppressed the expression levels of c-Fos and c-Jun. In conclusion, the results of this study indicatedthat FRα down-regulation might be capable of suppressing cervical cancer cell proliferation and promotingapoptosis. It suggested that FRα might be a novel therapeutic target for cervical cancer.