JNK Contributes to the Tumorigenic Potential of Human Cholangiocarcinoma Cells through the mTOR Pathway Regulated GRP78 Induction

<div><p>Less is known about the roles of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). Here, we report that JNK exerts its oncogenic action in human CCA cells, partially due to the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway regulated glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) induction. In human CCA cells, the phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor alpha (eIF2α) results in the accumulation of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) and GRP78 independent of unfolded protein response (UPR). Suppression of GRP78 expression decreases the proliferation and invasion of human CCA cells. It's notable that mTOR is required for eIF2α phosphorylation-induced ATF4 and GRP78 expression. Importantly, JNK promotes eIF2α/ATF4-mediated GRP78 induction through regulating the activity of mTOR. Thus, our study implicates JNK/mTOR signaling plays an important role in cholangiocarcinogenesis, partially through promoting the eIF2α/ATF4/GRP78 pathway.</p></div>