Ableson kinases negatively regulate invadopodia function and invasion in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma by inhibiting an HB-EGF autocrine loop.
ABSTRACT: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) has a proclivity for locoregional invasion. HNSCC mediates invasion in part through invadopodia-based proteolysis of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Activation of Src, Erk1/2, Abl and Arg downstream of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) modulates invadopodia activity through phosphorylation of the actin regulatory protein cortactin. In MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, Abl and Arg function downstream of Src to phosphorylate cortactin, promoting invadopodia ECM degradation activity and thus assigning a pro-invasive role for Ableson kinases. We report that Abl kinases have an opposite, negative regulatory role in HNSCC where they suppress invadopodia and tumor invasion. Impairment of Abl expression or Abl kinase activity with imatinib mesylate enhanced HNSCC matrix degradation and 3D collagen invasion, functions that were impaired in MDA-MB-231. HNSCC lines with elevated EGFR and Src activation did not contain increased Abl or Arg kinase activity, suggesting that Src could bypass Abl/Arg to phosphorylate cortactin and promote invadopodia ECM degradation. Src-transformed Abl(-/-)/Arg(-/-) fibroblasts produced ECM degrading invadopodia containing pY421 cortactin, indicating that Abl/Arg are dispensable for invadopodia function in this system. Imatinib-treated HNSCC cells had increased EGFR, Erk1/2 and Src activation, enhancing cortactin pY421 and pS405/418 required for invadopodia function. Imatinib stimulated shedding of the EGFR ligand heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF) from HNSCC cells, where soluble HB-EGF enhanced invadopodia ECM degradation in HNSCC but not in MDA-MB-231. HNSCC cells treated with inhibitors of the EGFR-invadopodia pathway indicated that EGFR and Src are required for invadopodia function. Collectively, our results indicate that Abl kinases negatively regulate HNSCC invasive processes through suppression of an HB-EGF autocrine loop responsible for activating a EGFR-Src-cortactin cascade, in contrast to the invasion promoting functions of Abl kinases in breast and other cancer types. Our results provide mechanistic support for recent failed HNSCC clinical trials utilizing imatinib.
Project description:Invasive carcinoma cells use specialized actin polymerization-driven protrusions called invadopodia to degrade and possibly invade through the extracellular matrix (ECM) during metastasis. Phosphorylation of the invadopodium protein cortactin is a master switch that activates invadopodium maturation and function. Cortactin was originally identified as a hyperphosphorylated protein in v-Src-transformed cells, but the kinase or kinases that are directly responsible for cortactin phosphorylation in invadopodia remain unknown. In this study, we provide evidence that the Abl-related nonreceptor tyrosine kinase Arg mediates epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced cortactin phosphorylation, triggering actin polymerization in invadopodia, ECM degradation, and matrix proteolysis-dependent tumor cell invasion. Both Src and Arg localize to invadopodia and are required for EGF-induced actin polymerization. Notably, Arg overexpression in Src knockdown cells can partially rescue actin polymerization in invadopodia while Src overexpression cannot compensate for loss of Arg, arguing that Src indirectly regulates invadopodium maturation through Arg activation. Our findings suggest a novel mechanism by which an EGFR-Src-Arg-cortactin pathway mediates functional maturation of invadopodia and breast cancer cell invasion. Furthermore, they identify Arg as a novel mediator of invadopodia function and a candidate therapeutic target to inhibit tumor invasion in vivo.
Project description:The Abl tyrosine kinases, Abl and Arg, play a role in the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton by modulating cell-cell adhesion and cell motility. Deregulation of both the actin cytoskeleton and Abl kinases have been implicated in cancers. Abl kinase activity is elevated in a number of metastatic cancers and these kinases are activated downstream of several oncogenic growth factor receptor signaling pathways. However, the role of Abl kinases in regulation of the actin cytoskeleton during tumor progression and invasion remains elusive. Here we identify the Abl kinases as essential regulators of invadopodia assembly and function. We show that Abl kinases are activated downstream of the chemokine receptor, CXCR4, and are required for cancer cell invasion and matrix degradation induced by SDF1?, serum growth factors, and activated Src kinase. Moreover, Abl kinases are readily detected at invadopodia assembly sites and their inhibition prevents the assembly of actin and cortactin into organized invadopodia structures. We show that active Abl kinases form complexes with membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP), a critical invadopodia component required for matrix degradation. Further, loss of Abl kinase signaling induces internalization of MT1-MMP from the cell surface, promotes its accumulation in the perinuclear compartment and inhibits MT1-MMP tyrosine phosphorylation. Our findings reveal that Abl kinase signaling plays a critical role in invadopodia formation and function, and have far-reaching implications for the treatment of metastatic carcinomas.
Project description:The nonreceptor tyrosine kinase Pyk2 is highly expressed in invasive breast cancer, but the mechanism by which it potentiates tumor cell invasiveness is unclear at present. Using high-throughput protein array screening and bioinformatic analysis, we identified cortactin as a novel substrate and interactor of proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2). Pyk2 colocalizes with cortactin to invadopodia of invasive breast cancer cells, where it mediates epidermal growth factor-induced cortactin tyrosine phosphorylation both directly and indirectly via Src-mediated Abl-related gene (Arg) activation, leading to actin polymerization in invadopodia, extracellular matrix degradation, and tumor cell invasion. Both Pyk2 and the closely related focal adhesion kinase (FAK) regulate tumor cell invasion, albeit via distinct mechanisms. Although Pyk2 regulates tumor cell invasion by controlling invadopodium-mediated functions, FAK controls invasiveness of tumor cells by regulating focal adhesion-mediated motility. Collectively, our findings identify Pyk2 as a unique mediator of invadopodium formation and function and also provide a novel insight into the mechanisms by which Pyk2 mediates tumor cell invasion.
Project description:The proto-oncogene Src tyrosine kinase (Src) is overexpressed in human cancers and is currently a target of anti-invasive therapies. Activation of Src is an essential catalyst of invadopodia production. Invadopodia are cellular structures that mediate extracellular matrix (ECM) proteolysis, allowing invasive cell types to breach confining tissue barriers. Invadopodia assembly and maturation is a multistep process, first requiring the targeting of actin-associated proteins to form pre-invadopodia, which subsequently mature by recruitment and activation of matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) that facilitate ECM degradation. We demonstrate that active, oncogenic Src alleles require the presence of a wild-type counterpart to induce ECM degradation at invadopodia sites. In addition, we identify the phosphorylation of the invadopodia regulatory protein cortactin as an important mediator of invadopodia maturation downstream of wild-type Src. Distinct phosphotyrosine-based protein-binding profiles in cells forming pre-invadopodia and mature invadopodia were identified by SH2-domain array analysis. These results indicate that although elevated Src kinase activity is required to target actin-associated proteins to pre-invadopodia, regulated Src activity is required for invadopodia maturation and matrix degradation activity. Our findings describe a previously unappreciated role for proto-oncogenic Src in enabling the invasive activity of constitutively active Src alleles.
Project description:Metastatic mammary carcinoma cells, which have previously been observed to form mature, matrix degrading invadopodia on a thick ECM matrix, are able to form invadopodia with similar characteristics on glass without previously applied matrix. They form in response to epidermal growth factor (EGF), and contain the usual invadopodium core proteins N-WASP, Arp2/3, cortactin, cofilin, and F-actin. The study of invadopodia on glass allows for higher resolution analysis including the use of total internal reflection microscopy and analysis of their relationship to other cell motility events, in particular, lamellipodium extension and chemotaxis toward an EGF gradient. Invadopodium formation on glass requires N-WASP and cortactin but not microtubules. In a gradient of EGF more invadopodia form on the side of the cells facing the source of EGF. In addition, depletion of N-WASP or cortactin, which blocks invadopodium fromation, inhibits chemotaxis of cells towards EGF. This appears to be a localized defect in chemotaxis since depletion of N-WASP or cortactin via siRNA had no effect on lamellipodium protrusion or barbed end generation at the lamellipodium's leading edge. Since chemotaxis to EGF by breast tumor cells is involved in metastasis, inhibiting N-WASP activity in breast tumor cells might prevent metastasis of tumor cells while not affecting chemotaxis-dependent innate immunity which depends on WASp function in macrophages.
Project description:Malregulation of the actin cytoskeleton enhances tumor cell motility and invasion. The actin-binding protein cortactin facilitates branched actin network formation through activation of the actin-related protein (Arp) 2/3 complex. Increased cortactin expression due to gene amplification is observed in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and other cancers, corresponding with elevated tumor progression and poor patient outcome. Arp2/3 complex activation is responsible for driving increased migration and extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation by governing invadopodia formation and activity. Although cortactin-mediated activation of Arp2/3 complex and invadopodia regulation has been well established, signaling pathways responsible for governing cortactin binding to Arp2/3 are unknown and potentially present a new avenue for anti-invasive therapeutic targeting. Here we identify casein kinase (CK) 2? phosphorylation of cortactin as a negative regulator of Arp2/3 binding. CK2? directly phosphorylates cortactin at a conserved threonine (T24) adjacent to the canonical Arp2/3 binding motif. Phosphorylation of cortactin T24 by CK2? impairs the ability of cortactin to bind Arp2/3 and activate actin nucleation. Decreased invadopodia activity is observed in HNSCC cells with expression of CK2? phosphorylation-null cortactin mutants, shRNA-mediated CK2? knockdown, and with the CK2? inhibitor Silmitasertib. Silmitasertib inhibits HNSCC collective invasion in tumor spheroids and orthotopic tongue tumors in mice. Collectively these data suggest that CK2?-mediated cortactin phosphorylation at T24 is critical in regulating cortactin binding to Arp2/3 complex and pro-invasive activity, identifying a potential targetable mechanism for impairing HNSCC invasion. IMPLICATIONS: This study identifies a new signaling pathway that contributes to enhancing cancer cell invasion.Visual Overview: http://mcr.aacrjournals.org/content/molcanres/17/4/987/F1.large.jpg.
Project description:Elevated Src kinase activity is linked to the progression of solid tumors, including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Src regulates HNSCC proliferation and tumor invasion, with the Src-targeted small molecule inhibitor saracatinib displaying potent anti-invasive effects in preclinical studies. However, the pro-invasive cellular mechanism(s) perturbed by saracatinib are unclear. The anti-proliferative and anti-invasive effects of saracatinib on HNSCC cell lines were therefore investigated in pre-clinical cell and mouse model systems. Saracatinib treatment inhibited growth, cell cycle progression and transwell Matrigel invasion in HNSCC cell lines. Dose-dependent decreases in Src activation and phosphorylation of the invasion-associated substrates focal adhesion kinase, p130 CAS and cortactin were also observed. While saracatinib did not significantly impact HNSCC tumor growth in a mouse orthotopic model of tongue squamous cell carcinoma, impaired perineural invasion and cervical lymph node metastasis was observed. Accordingly, saracatinib treatment displayed a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on invadopodia formation, extracellular matrix degradation and matrix metalloprotease 9 activation. These results suggest that inhibition of Src kinase by saracatinib impairs the pro-invasive activity of HNSCC by inhibiting Src substrate phosphorylation important for invadopodia formation and associated matrix metalloprotease activity.
Project description:We recently identified an endomembrane-based signalling cascade that is activated by the KDEL receptor (KDELR) on the Golgi complex. At the Golgi, the KDELR acts as a traffic sensor (presumably via binding to chaperones that leave the ER) and triggers signalling pathways that balance membrane fluxes between ER and Golgi. One such pathway relies on Gq and Src. Here, we examine if KDELR might control other cellular modules through this pathway. Given the central role of Src in extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation, we investigated the impact of the KDELR-Src pathway on the ability of cancer cells to degrade the ECM. We find that activation of the KDELR controls ECM degradation by increasing the number of the degradative structures known as invadopodia. The KDELR induces Src activation at the invadopodia and leads to phosphorylation of the Src substrates cortactin and ASAP1, which are required for basal and KDELR-stimulated ECM degradation. This study furthers our understanding of the regulatory circuitry underlying invadopodia-dependent ECM degradation, a key phase in metastases formation and invasive growth.
Project description:Tumor cells use actin-rich protrusions called invadopodia to degrade extracellular matrix (ECM) and invade tissues; related structures, termed podosomes, are sites of dynamic ECM interaction. We show here that supervillin (SV), a peripheral membrane protein that binds F-actin and myosin II, reorganizes the actin cytoskeleton and potentiates invadopodial function. Overexpressed SV induces redistribution of lamellipodial cortactin and lamellipodin/RAPH1/PREL1 away from the cell periphery to internal sites and concomitantly increases the numbers of F-actin punctae. Most punctae are highly dynamic and colocalize with the podosome/invadopodial proteins, cortactin, Tks5, and cdc42. Cortactin binds SV sequences in vitro and contributes to the formation of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-SV induced punctae. SV localizes to the cores of Src-generated podosomes in COS-7 cells and with invadopodia in MDA-MB-231 cells. EGFP-SV overexpression increases average numbers of ECM holes per cell; RNA interference-mediated knockdown of SV decreases these numbers. Although SV knockdown alone has no effect, simultaneous down-regulation of SV and the closely related protein gelsolin reduces invasion through ECM. Together, our results show that SV is a component of podosomes and invadopodia and that SV plays a role in invadopodial function, perhaps as a mediator of cortactin localization, activation state, and/or dynamics of metalloproteinases at the ventral cell surface.
Project description:Metastasis is a major cause of mortality in cancer patients. Invadopodia are considered to be crucial structures that allow cancer cells to penetrate across the extracellular matrix (ECM) by using matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Previously, we isolated a highly invasive A431-III subline from parental A431 cells by Boyden chamber assay. The A431-III cells possess higher invasive and migratory abilities, elevated levels of MMP-9 and an enhanced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenotype. In this study, we discovered that A431-III cells had an increased potential to form invadopodia and an improved capacity to degrade ECM compared with the original A431 cells. We also observed enhanced phosphorylation levels of cortactin and Src in A431-III cells; these phosphorylated proteins have been reported to be the main regulators of invadopodia formation. Flavonoids, almost ubiquitously distributed in food plants and plant food products, have been documented to exhibit anti-tumor properties. Therefore, it was of much interest to explore the effects of flavonoid antioxidants on the metastatic activity of A431-III cells. Exposure of A431-III cells to two potent dietary flavonoids, namely luteolin (Lu) and quercetin (Qu), caused inhibition of invadopodia formation and decrement in ECM degradation. We conclude that Lu and Qu attenuate the phosphorylation of cortactin and Src in A431-III cells. As a consequence, there ensues a disruption of invadopodia generation and the suppression of MMP secretion. These changes, in concert, bring about a reduction in metastasis.