Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Cancer Cell International and BioMed Central.

Open Access Open Badges Primary research

Restoration of klotho gene expression induces apoptosis and autophagy in gastric cancer cells: tumor suppressive role of klotho in gastric cancer

Biao Xie12, Jianping Zhou1, Guoshun Shu1, Dong-cai Liu1, Jiapeng Zhou1, Jinhui Chen2 and Lianwen Yuan1*

Author Affiliations

1 Departemt of Geriatric Surgery, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China

2 Department of General Surgery, 8th Changsha Hospital, Changsha, Hunan, 410015, China

For all author emails, please log on.

Cancer Cell International 2013, 13:18  doi:10.1186/1475-2867-13-18

Published: 21 February 2013



The loss of tumor suppressor gene expression is involved in the carcinogenesis of gastric cancer (GC). Klotho is a recently identified tumor suppressor gene that epigenetically inactivated in gastric cancer. However, the signaling pathways involved in the suppressive role of klotho have rarely been reported in gastric cancer. In this study, we investigated the involvement of klotho in gastric cancer cell proliferation, apoptosis, and autophagy as well as the associated signaling.


Methylation of klotho gene promoter in GC-7901, MNK-45 and AGS gastric cancer cells as well as GES-1 normal gastric epithelial cells was detected by bisulfate-based PCR. Restoration of klotho gene expression was established by applying a demethylating agent and delivering aklotho gene expression vector into GC-7901 cells. Cell viability was measured by CCK-8 assay. Cell apoptosis and cycling were analyzed by flow cytometry. Autophagy was measured by detecting LC3-I and LC3-II expression. Protein levels and phosphorylation were measured by Western blot assay.


Methylation of klotho gene promoter and expression of the klotho gene were detected in GC cells. Restoration of klotho gene expression significantly inhibited cell proliferation, induced cell apoptosis, and increased LC3-I/LC3-II expression in GC cells. Restoration of klotho gene expression downregulated the phosphorylation levels of IGF-1 receptor, IRS-1, PI3K, Akt, and mTOR proteins. Both apoptosis and autophagy inhibitors blocked klotho-induced apoptosis and autophagy.


Klotho is a tumor suppressor in gastric cancer, which regulates IGF-1R phosphorylation and the subsequent activation of IRS-1/PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling, tumor cell proliferation, apoptosis, and autophagy.

Klotho; Gastric cancer; Apoptosis; Autophagy