Int J Med Sci 2014; 11(6):608-613. doi:10.7150/ijms.8428

Research Paper

The Expression of Toll-like Receptor 8 and Its Relationship with VEGF and Bcl-2 in Cervical Cancer

Yun Zhang1, Heng Yang1, Prince Amoah Barnie1, Peifang Yang2, Zhaoliang Su1, Jianguo Chen2, Zhijun Jiao2, Liwei Lu3, Shengjun Wang1✉, Huaxi Xu1✉

1. Department of Immunology, School of Medical Science and Laboratory Medicine, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, PR China
2. Department of gynaecology and obstetrics, Affiliated Hospital of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212001, PR China
3. Department of Pathology and Centre of Infection and Immunology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, PR China

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Zhang Y, Yang H, Barnie PA, Yang P, Su Z, Chen J, Jiao Z, Lu L, Wang S, Xu H. The Expression of Toll-like Receptor 8 and Its Relationship with VEGF and Bcl-2 in Cervical Cancer. Int J Med Sci 2014; 11(6):608-613. doi:10.7150/ijms.8428. Available from

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BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide, often associated with the infection of human papillomavirus (HPV). Toll-like receptor 8 (TLR8), a pattern recognition receptor, is involved in viral nucleic acid sensing. Recently TLR8 has been shown to be expressed in cancer cells, and it has been suggested that it may help cancer cell growth and tumor development. The objective of this study is to investigate the expression of TLR8 expression and its relationship with Bcl-2 and VEGF in cervical cancer cells.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL: The mRNA expression levels of Bcl-2, VEGF and TLR-7,-8,-9 in newly diagnosed cervical cancer patients were detected by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT- PCR). Epifluorescence microscope was used to determine the presence of TLR8 protein in Hela cells. The cell cycle and apoptosis were analyzed by flow cytometer, and the cell proliferation was measured by MTT assay. Our data showed the increased mRNA levels of TLR8 in human cervical cancer samples as well as in HeLa cells, a cell line derived from a human cervical cancer. In addition, there was a positive correlation between the expression levels of TLR8 and Bcl-2 and VEGF in cervical cancer patients. When Hela cells were treated with TLR8 agonist CL075, the percentage of cells in G2/M +S was remarkably increased, accompanied by increased COX-2, BCL-2 and VEGF mRNA levels.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The mRNA expression level of TLR8 in the patients with cervical cancer and Hela cells were up-regulated, it consistent with the increased expression of VEGF and Bcl-2. The results suggest that TLR8 may be an interesting therapeutic target in cervical cancer.

Keywords: TLR8, Bcl-2, VEGF, human cervical cancer