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Original Article

Korean J Physiol Pharmacol 2023; 27(1): 61-73

Published online January 1, 2023

Copyright © Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.

Exosome-mediated lnc-ABCA12-3 promotes proliferation and glycolysis but inhibits apoptosis by regulating the toll-like receptor 4/nuclear factor kappa-B signaling pathway in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

Junliang Ma1,*,#, Yijun Luo1,#, Yingjie Liu2, Cheng Chen1, Anping Chen1, Lubiao Liang1, Wenxiang Wang3, and Yongxiang Song1

1Department of Thoracic Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Zunyi Medical University, 2Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Zuinyi Medical University, Zunyi, Guizhou 563003, 3The Second Department of Thoracic Surgery, Hunan Cancer Hospital and The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410031, China

Correspondence to:Junliang Ma

#These authors contributed equally to this work.

Author contributions: J.M. and Y.L.1 performed the all experiments. Y.L.2, C.C., and A.C. supervised and coordinated the study. L.L., W.W., and Y.S. analyzed the data. J.M. and Y.L.1 wrote the manuscript and revised intellectual content.

Received: August 16, 2022; Revised: October 23, 2022; Accepted: November 3, 2022

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a kind of malignant tumor with high incidence and mortality in the digestive system. The aim of this study is to explore the function of lnc-ABCA12-3 in the development of ESCC and its unique mechanisms. RT-PCR was applied to detect gene transcription levels in tissues or cell lines like TE-1, EC9706, and HEEC cells. Western blot was conducted to identify protein expression levels of mitochondrial apoptosis and toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)/nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) signaling pathway. CCK-8 and EdU assays were carried out to measure cell proliferation, and cell apoptosis was examined by flow cytometry. ELISA was used for checking the changes in glycolysis-related indicators. Lnc-ABCA12-3 was highly expressed in ESCC tissues and cells, which preferred it to be a candidate target. The TE-1 and EC9706 cells proliferation and glycolysis were obviously inhibited with the downregulation of lnc-ABCA12-3, while apoptosis was promoted. TLR4 activator could largely reverse the apoptosis acceleration and relieved the proliferation and glycolysis suppression caused by lnc-ABCA12-3 downregulation. Moreover, the effect of lnc-ABCA12-3 on ESCC cells was actualized by activating the TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway under the mediation of exosome. Taken together, the lnc-ABCA12-3 could promote the proliferation and glycolysis of ESCC, while repressing its apoptosis probably by regulating the TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway under the mediation of exosome.

Keywords: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, Exosomes, Lnc-ABCA12-3, Toll-like receptor 4, NF-kappa B