The outgrowth of micrometastases is enabled by the formation of filopodium-like protrusions.
ABSTRACT: Disseminated cancer cells that have extravasated into the tissue parenchyma must interact productively with its extracellular matrix components to survive, proliferate, and form macroscopic metastases. The biochemical and cell biologic mechanisms enabling this interaction remain poorly understood. We find that the formation of elongated integrin ?(1)-containing adhesion plaques by cancer cells that have extravasated into the lung parenchyma enables the proliferation of these cells via activation of focal adhesion kinase. These plaques originate in and appear only after the formation of filopodium-like protrusions (FLP) that harbor integrin ?(1) along their shafts. The cytoskeleton-regulating proteins Rif and mDia2 contribute critically to the formation of these protrusions and thereby enable the proliferation of extravasated cancer cells. Hence, the formation of FLPs represents a critical rate-limiting step for the subsequent development of macroscopic metastases.Although the mechanisms of metastatic dissemination have begun to be uncovered, those involved in the establishment of extravasated cancer cells in foreign tissue microenvironments remained largely obscure. We have studied the behavior of recently extravasated cancer cells in the lungs and identified a series of cell biologic processes involving the formation of filopodium-like protrusions and the subsequent development of elongated, mature adhesion plaques, which contribute critically to the rapid proliferation of the micrometastatic cells and thus are prerequisites to the eventual lung colonization by these cells.
Project description:Recently extravasated metastatic cancer cells use the Rif/mDia2 actin-nucleating/polymerizing machinery in order to extend integrin ?1-containing, filopodium-like protrusions (FLPs), which enable them to interact productively with the surrounding extracellular matrix; this process governs the initial proliferation of these cancer cells. Here, we identify the signaling pathway governing FLP lifetime, which involves integrin-linked kinase (ILK) and ?-parvin, two integrin:actin-bridging proteins that block cofilin-mediated actin-filament severing. Notably, the combined actions of Rif/mDia2 and ILK/?-parvin/cofilin pathways on FLPs are required not only for metastatic outgrowth but also for primary tumor formation following experimental implantation. This provides one mechanistic explanation for how the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program imparts tumor-initiating powers to carcinoma cells, since it enhances FLP formation through the activation of ILK/?-parvin/cofilin pathway.
Project description:Tumor metastasis and invasion are both hallmarks of cancer malignancy and the leading cause of cancer death. Here we show that the adaptor protein SORBS1 (Sorbin and SH3 domain-containing protein 1, also known as CAP/ponsin) is expressed at low levels in clinical cancer samples. In addition, low-level expression of SORBS1 was significantly associated with poor clinical outcomes and the increased tumor cell invasive capacity in breast cancer patients. We demonstrate that depletion of SORBS1 increases protrusions and filopodium-like protrusions (FLPs) formation, as well as the migratory and invasive abilities of cancer cells, via activation of JNK/cJun. Furthermore, silencing of SORBS1 promotes the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process and attenuates chemical drug sensitivity especially that to cisplatin, by inhibition of p53 in breast cancer cells. Thus, we illustrate that SORBS1 is a potential inhibitor of metastasis in cancer and may be a promising target in chemotherapy.
Project description:Actin-based structures play fundamental roles in cellular functions. However it remains controversial how cells cope with the absence of F-actin structures. This report focuses on short- and long-term effects of cytochalasin B (CB) on actin-complexes in fibroblasts and myoblasts. Thirty min of CB treatment dispersed subplasma actin cortices, lamellipodia, ruffled membranes, stress fibers and adhesion plaques into actin patches in fibroblasts and muscle cells. In contrast, 72 hrs CB treatment showed distinct morphological effects. Fibroblasts became giant multinucleated-finger shaped with 5 to 10 protrusions, 3-8 ?m in width, and >200 ?m in length. They lacked cortical actin, stress fibers, adhesion plaques and ruffled membranes but contained immense lamelliopodia with abnormal adhesion plaque protein complexes. Muscle cells transformed into multinucleated globular-shaped but contained normal I-Z-I and A-bands, indicating that CB did not interfere with the assembly of myofibrils. Within 30 min after CB removal, finger-shaped fibroblasts returned to their original shape and actin-containing structures rapidly reappeared, whereas muscle cells respond slowly to form elongated myotubes following CB washout. The capacity to grow, complete several nuclear cycles, assemble intermediate filaments and microtubules without a morphologically recognizable actin cytoskeleton raises interesting issues related to the role of the actin compartments in eukaryotic cells.
Project description:Filopodia, dynamic membrane protrusions driven by polymerization of an actin filament core, can adhere to the extracellular matrix and experience both external and cell-generated pulling forces. The role of such forces in filopodia adhesion is however insufficiently understood. Here, we study filopodia induced by overexpression of myosin X, typical for cancer cells. The lifetime of such filopodia positively correlates with the presence of myosin IIA filaments at the filopodia bases. Application of pulling forces to the filopodia tips through attached fibronectin-coated laser-trapped beads results in sustained growth of the filopodia. Pharmacological inhibition or knockdown of myosin IIA abolishes the filopodia adhesion to the beads. Formin inhibitor SMIFH2, which causes detachment of actin filaments from formin molecules, produces similar effect. Thus, centripetal force generated by myosin IIA filaments at the base of filopodium and transmitted to the tip through actin core in a formin-dependent fashion is required for filopodia adhesion.
Project description:Filopodia are slender cellular protrusions that dynamically extend and retract to facilitate directional cell migration, pathogen sensing, and cell-cell adhesion. Each filopodium contains a rigid and organized bundle of parallel actin filaments, which are elongated at filopodial tips by formins and Ena/VASP proteins. However, relatively little is known about how the actin filaments in the filopodial shaft are spatially organized to form a bundle with appropriate dimensions and mechanical properties. Here, we report that the mammalian formin Daam1 (Disheveled-associated activator of morphogenesis 1) is a potent actin-bundling protein and localizes all along the filopodial shaft, which differs from other formins that localize specifically to the tips. Silencing of Daam1 led to severe defects in filopodial number, integrity, and architecture, similar to silencing of the bundling protein fascin. This led us to investigate the potential relationship between Daam1 and fascin. Fascin and Daam1 coimmunoprecipitated from cell extracts, and silencing of fascin led to a striking loss of Daam1 localization to filopodial shafts, but not tips. Furthermore, purified fascin bound directly to Daam1, and multicolor single-molecule TIRF imaging revealed that fascin recruited Daam1 to and stabilized Daam1 on actin bundles in vitro. Our results reveal an unanticipated and direct collaboration between Daam1 and fascin in bundling actin, which is required for proper filopodial formation.
Project description:Filopodia are highly dynamic finger-like cell protrusions filled with parallel bundles of actin filaments. Previously we have shown that Diaphanous-related formin dDia2 is involved in the formation of filopodia. Another key player for the formation of filopodia across many species is vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP). It has been proposed that the essential role of VASP for formation of filopodia is its competition with capping proteins for filament barbed-end interaction. To better understand the function of VASP in filopodium formation, we analyzed the in vitro and in vivo properties of Dictyostelium VASP (DdVASP) and extended our findings to human VASP. Recombinant VASP from both species nucleated and bundled actin filaments, but did not compete with capping proteins or block depolymerization from barbed ends. Together with the finding that DdVASP binds to the FH2 domain of dDia2, these data indicate that the crucial role of VASP in filopodium formation is different from uncapping of actin filaments. To identify the activity of DdVASP required in this process, rescue experiments of DdVASP-null cells with mutant DdVASP constructs were performed. Only WT DdVASP, but not a mutant lacking the F-actin bundling activity, could rescue the ability of these cells to form WT-like filopodia. Our data suggest that DdVASP is complexed with dDia2 in filopodial tips and support formin-mediated filament elongation by bundling nascent actin filaments.
Project description:Protein-protein interactions and/or signaling activities at focal adhesions, where integrin-mediated adhesion to extracellular matrix occurs, are critical for the regulation of adhesion-dependent cellular functions. Although the phosphorylation and activities of focal adhesion molecules have been intensively studied, the effects of the O-GlcNAc modification of their Ser/Thr residues on cellular functions have been largely unexplored. We investigated the effects of O-GlcNAc modification on actin reorganization and morphology of rat insulinoma INS-1 cells after glucosamine (GlcN) treatment. We found that paxillin, a key adaptor molecule in focal adhesions, could be modified by O-GlcNAc in INS-1 cells treated with GlcN and in pancreatic islets from mice treated with streptozotocin. Ser-84/85 in human paxillin appeared to be modified by O-GlcNAc, which was inversely correlated to Ser-85 phosphorylation (Ser-83 in rat paxillin). Integrin-mediated adhesion signaling inhibited the GlcN treatment-enhanced O-GlcNAc modification of paxillin. Adherent INS-1 cells treated with GlcN showed restricted protrusions, whereas untreated cells showed active protrusions for multiple-elongated morphologies. Upon GlcN treatment, expression of a triple mutation (S83A/S84A/S85A) resulted in no further restriction of protrusions. Together these observations suggest that murine pancreatic ? cells may have restricted actin organization upon GlcN treatment by virtue of the O-GlcNAc modification of paxillin, which can be antagonized by a persistent cell adhesion process.
Project description:Excitatory synapses in the brain play key roles in learning and memory. The formation and functions of postsynaptic mushroom-shaped structures, dendritic spines, and possibly of presynaptic terminals, rely on actin cytoskeleton remodeling. However, the cytoskeletal architecture of synapses remains unknown hindering the understanding of synapse morphogenesis. Using platinum replica electron microscopy, we characterized the cytoskeletal organization and molecular composition of dendritic spines, their precursors, dendritic filopodia, and presynaptic boutons. A branched actin filament network containing Arp2/3 complex and capping protein was a dominant feature of spine heads and presynaptic boutons. Surprisingly, the spine necks and bases, as well as dendritic filopodia, also contained a network, rather than a bundle, of branched and linear actin filaments that was immunopositive for Arp2/3 complex, capping protein, and myosin II, but not fascin. Thus, a tight actin filament bundle is not necessary for structural support of elongated filopodia-like protrusions. Dynamically, dendritic filopodia emerged from densities in the dendritic shaft, which by electron microscopy contained branched actin network associated with dendritic microtubules. We propose that dendritic spine morphogenesis begins from an actin patch elongating into a dendritic filopodium, which tip subsequently expands via Arp2/3 complex-dependent nucleation and which length is modulated by myosin II-dependent contractility.
Project description:Invasive cancer cell migration is a key feature of metastatic human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), yet the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated modes of cancer cell invasion using two pancreatic cancer cell lines with differential epithelial-mesenchymal status, PANC-1 and BxPC-3, under 3D culture conditions. Multicellular tumor spheroids (TSs) were grown in a collagen matrix co-cultured with pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) using microchannel chips. PANC-1 cells showed individual migration from TSs via invadopodium formation. BxPC-3 cells showed plasticity between collective and individual migration in either mesenchymal mode, with filopodium-like protrusions, or blebby amoeboid mode. These two cell lines showed significantly different patterns of extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling, with MMP-dependent degradation in a limited area of ECM around invadopodia for PANC-1 cells, or MMP-independent extensive deformation of ECM for BxPC-3 cells. Cancer cell migration out of the collagen channel significantly increased by PSCs and directional cancer cell migration was mediated by fibronectin deposited by PSCs. Our results highlight the phenotypic heterogeneity and plasticity of PDAC cell migration and ECM remodeling under 3D culture conditions. This 3D co-culture model of pancreatic cancer cells and PSCs offers a useful tool for studying cancer cell migration and ECM remodeling to identify and develop potential molecular targets and anti-cancer agents against human PDAC.
Project description:The cell-adhesion glycoprotein PODXL is associated with an aggressive tumor phenotype in several forms of cancer. Here, we report that high PODXL expression was an independent predictor of worse overall survival of pancreatic cancer patients, and that PODXL promoted pancreatic cancer cell motility and invasion by physically binding to the cytoskeletal protein gelsolin. Suppression of PODXL or gelsolin decreased membrane protrusions with abundant peripheral actin structures, and in turn inhibited cell motility and invasion. Transfection of a PODXL-rescue construct renewed the expression of gelsolin bound to peripheral actin structures in cell protrusions, and abrogated the decreased cell protrusions caused by the knockdown of PODXL. Furthermore, transfection of a PODXL-rescue construct into pancreatic cancer cells in which both PODXL and gelsolin were suppressed failed to increase the formation of the protrusions. Thus, PODXL enhances motility and invasiveness through an increase in gelsolin-actin interactions in cell protrusions.