Ectokinases as novel cancer markers and drug targets in cancer therapy.
ABSTRACT: While small-molecule kinase inhibitors became the most prominent anticancer drugs, novel combinatorial strategies need to be developed as the fight against cancer is not yet won. We review emerging literature showing that the release of several ectokinases is significantly upregulated in body fluids from cancer patients and that they leave behind their unique signatures on extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Our analysis of proteomic data reveals that fibronectin is heavily phosphorylated in cancer tissues particularly within its growth factor binding sites and on domains that regulate fibrillogenesis. We are thus making the case that cancer is not only a disease of cells but also of the ECM. Targeting extracellular kinases or the extracellular signatures they leave behind might thus create novel opportunities in cancer diagnosis as well as new avenues to interfere with cancer progression and malignancy.
Project description:Fibronectin (FN) is a critical regulator of extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling through its availability and stepwise polymerization for fibrillogenesis. Availability of FN is regulated by its synthesis and turnover, and fibrillogenesis is a multistep, integrin-dependent process essential for cell migration, proliferation, and tissue function. Transforming growth factor ? (TGF-?) is an established regulator of ECM remodeling via transcriptional control of ECM proteins. Here we show that TGF-?, through increased FN trafficking in a transcription- and SMAD-independent manner, is a direct and rapid inducer of the fibrillogenesis required for TGF-?-induced cell migration. Whereas TGF-? signaling is dispensable for rapid fibrillogenesis, stable interactions between the cytoplasmic domain of the type II TGF-? receptor (T?RII) and the FN receptor (?5?1 integrin) are required. We find that, in response to TGF-?, cell surface-internalized FN is not degraded by the lysosome but instead undergoes recycling and incorporation into fibrils, a process dependent on T?RII. These findings are the first to show direct use of trafficked and recycled FN for fibrillogenesis, with a striking role for TGF-? in this process. Given the significant physiological consequences associated with FN availability and polymerization, our findings provide new insights into the regulation of fibrillogenesis for cellular homeostasis.
Project description:The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a complex mixture composed of fibrillar collagens as well as additional protein and carbohydrate components. Proteoglycans (PGs) contribute to the heterogeneity of the ECM and play an important role in its structure and function. While the small leucine rich proteoglycans (SLRPs), including decorin and lumican, have been studied extensively as mediators of collagen fibrillogenesis and organization, the function of large matrix PGs in collagen matrices is less well known. In this study, we showed that different matrix PGs have distinct roles in regulating collagen behaviors. We found that versican, a large chondroitin sulfate PG, promotes collagen fibrillogenesis in a turbidity assay and upregulates cell-mediated collagen compaction and reorganization, whereas aggrecan, a structurally-similar large PG, has different and often opposing effects on collagen. Compared to versican, decorin and lumican also have distinct functions in regulating collagen behaviors. The different ways in which matrix PGs interact with collagen have important implications for understanding the role of the ECM in diseases such as fibrosis and cancer, and suggest that matrix PGs are potential therapeutic targets.
Project description:The extracellular matrix is essential for tissue formation and regeneration through the control of cellular behavior. Deregulation of extracellular matrix components is associated to disease, including neurodegeneration. After peripheral nerve injury, Schwann cells guide regrowing axons to their targets. These glial cells migrate collectively and provide an extracellular environment to enable neural repair. How this occurs remains poorly understood. Here, we show that Sox2 controls fibronectin fibrillogenesis in Schwann cells to provide a highly oriented extracellular matrix, which supports their rapid collective migration with a continuous cellular flow. Sox2 directly activates fibronectin expression in Schwann cells, leading to an increase in fibrillogenesis and cellular huddling. Accordingly, loss of fibrillogenesis leads to glial disassembly and disorganized axon regrowth. In vivo, 7 days post nerve injury, we found that pro-regenerative Schwann cells co-express Sox2 and the EIIIA-containing fibronectin splicing isoform. This mechanism is conserved in mammals, including humans, but absent in zebrafish. Taken together, our results demonstrate that Sox2 directly controls fibrillogenesis and provide a novel mechanism for the modification of the environmental architecture by glial cells during neuronal repair. Overall design: To identify Sox2 target genes and pathways with a focus on extracellular matrix (ECM) we measured expression arrays of two different clones of Sox2-positive Schwann cells (i.e. three replicates of RSC96_Sox2+ cells for each clone) and control cells (i.e. three replicates of RSC96 cells)
Project description:The linearization of the stromal extracellular matrix (ECM) by cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) facilitates tumor cell growth and metastasis. However, the mechanism by which the ECM is remodeled is not fully understood. Hic-5 (TGF?1i1), a focal adhesion scaffold protein, has previously been reported to be crucial for stromal ECM deposition and remodeling in vivo. Herein we show that CAFs lacking Hic-5 exhibit a significant reduction in the ability to form fibrillar adhesions, a specialized form of focal adhesion that promote fibronectin fibrillogenesis. Hic-5 was found to promote fibrillar adhesion formation through a newly characterized interaction with tensin1. Furthermore, Src-dependent phosphorylation of Hic-5 facilitated the interaction with tensin1 to prevent ?1 integrin internalization and trafficking to the lysosome. The interaction between Hic-5 and tensin1 was mechanosensitive, promoting fibrillar adhesion formation and fibronectin fibrillogenesis in a rigidity-dependent fashion. Importantly, this Src-dependent mechanism was conserved in three-dimensional (3D) ECM environments. Immunohistochemistry of tensin1 showed enrichment in CAFs in vivo, which was abrogated upon deletion of Hic-5. Interestingly, elevated Hic-5 expression correlates with reduced distant metastasis-free survival in patients with basal-like, HER2+ and grade 3 tumors. Thus, we have identified Hic-5 as a crucial regulator of ECM remodeling in CAFs by promoting fibrillar adhesion formation through a novel interaction with tensin1.
Project description:The extracellular matrix (ECM) consists of polymerized protein monomers that form a unique fibrous network providing stability and structural support to surrounding cells. We harnessed the fibrillogenesis mechanisms of naturally occurring ECM proteins to produce artificial fibers with a heterogeneous protein makeup. Using ECM proteins as fibril building blocks, we created uniquely structured multi-component ECM fibers. Sequential incubation of fibronectin (FN) and laminin (LAM) resulted in self-assembly into locally stacked fibers. In contrast, simultaneous incubation of FN with LAM or collagen (COL) produced molecularly stacked multi-component fibers because both proteins share a similar assembly mechanism or possess binding domains specific to each other. Sequential incubation of COL on FN fibers resulted in fibers with sandwiched layers because COL molecules bind to the external surface of FN fibers. By choosing proteins for incubation according to the interplay of their fibrillogenesis mechanisms and their binding domains (exposed when they unfold), we were able to create ECM protein fibers that have never before been observed.
Project description:Resistance to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the main challenge for advanced fatal prostate cancer (PCa), which can gradually develop into metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). However, the pathologic mechanisms of mCRPC are still far from clear. Given the high incidence and mortality related to mCRPC, understanding the causes and pathogenesis of this condition as well as identifying potential biomarkers are of great importance. In the research reported here, we integrated several gene expression profiles from hormone sensitive prostate cancer (HSPC) and mCRPC datasets to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs), key biological pathways, and cellular components. We found that extracellular matrix (ECM) genes were significantly enriched, and further filtered them using Pearson correlation analysis and stepwise regression to find ECM signatures to differentiate between the HSPC and mCRPC phenotypes. Six ECM signatures were input into K-nearest neighbor, logistic regression, naive Bayes, and random forest classifiers models. Random forest algorithm with the six-gene prognostic signatures showed best performance, which had high sensitivity and specificity for HSPC and mCRPC classification and further the six ECM signatures were validated in organoid models. Among the six ECM genes, SPP1 was identified as the key hub signature for PCa metastasis and drug resistance development; we found that both protein and mRNA expression levels of SPP1 were remarkably up-regulated in mCRPC compared with HSPC in organoid models and could regulate the androgen receptor signaling pathway. Therefore, SPP1 is a potential novel biomarker and therapeutic target for mCRPC. Further understanding of the role of SPP1 in mCRPC development may help to explore effectively therapeutic approaches for the prevention and intervention of drug resistance and metastasis.
Project description:Despite the crucial role of extracellular matrix (ECM) in directing cell fate in healthy and diseased tissues--particularly in development, wound healing, tissue regeneration and cancer--the mechanisms that direct the assembly and regulate hierarchical architectures of ECM are poorly understood. Collagen I matrix assembly in vivo requires active fibronectin (Fn) fibrillogenesis by cells. Here we exploit Fn-FRET probes as mechanical strain sensors and demonstrate that collagen I fibres preferentially co-localize with more-relaxed Fn fibrils in the ECM of fibroblasts in cell culture. Fibre stretch-assay studies reveal that collagen I's Fn-binding domain is responsible for the mechano-regulated interaction. Furthermore, we show that Fn-collagen interactions are reciprocal: relaxed Fn fibrils act as multivalent templates for collagen assembly, but once assembled, collagen fibres shield Fn fibres from being stretched by cellular traction forces. Thus, in addition to the well-recognized, force-regulated, cell-matrix interactions, forces also tune the interactions between different structural ECM components.
Project description:Colorectal cancer is the third most frequently diagnosed cancer and the third cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Despite the fact that tumor cell-intrinsic mechanisms controlling colorectal carcinogenesis have been identified, novel prognostic and diagnostic tools as well as novel therapeutic strategies are still needed to monitor and target colon cancer progression. We and others have previously shown, using mouse models, that the extracellular matrix (ECM), a major component of the tumor microenvironment, is an important contributor to tumor progression. In order to identify candidate biomarkers, we sought to define ECM signatures of metastatic colorectal cancers and their metastases to the liver.We have used enrichment of extracellular matrix (ECM) from human patient samples and proteomics to define the ECM composition of primary colon carcinomas and their metastases to liver in comparison with normal colon and liver samples.We show that robust signatures of ECM proteins characteristic of each tissue, normal and malignant, can be defined using relatively small samples from small numbers of patients. Comparisons with gene expression data from larger cohorts of patients confirm the association of subsets of the proteins identified by proteomic analysis with tumor progression and metastasis.The ECM protein signatures of metastatic primary colon carcinomas and metastases to liver defined in this study, offer promise for development of diagnostic and prognostic signatures of metastatic potential of colon tumors. The ECM proteins defined here represent candidate serological or tissue biomarkers and potential targets for imaging of occult metastases and residual or recurrent tumors and conceivably for therapies. Furthermore, the methods described here can be applied to other tumor types and can be used to investigate other questions such as the role of ECM in resistance to therapy.
Project description:TGF-? and myofibroblasts play a key role in fibrosis, characterized by aberrant synthesis and deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, such as fibronectin (Fn) and collagen type I. There are two major roles played by integrins in the fibrotic pathology: (i) Fn-integrin interaction, coupled with cytokines like TGF-?, facilitates the self-polymerization of Fn and regulates cell-matrix fibrillar adhesions, thereby promoting fibrillogenesis; (ii) Integrin interaction with an RGD (arginine-glycine-aspartic) consensus sequence in the latent TGF-?, resulting in its activation. This study describes an anti-fibrotic strategy using a combination of two antibodies: Fn52 (targeted against the N-terminal 30?kDa region of fibronectin, a major site for Fn self-association), and its engineered form, Fn52RGDS (which binds to integrins). Interestingly, a synergistic effect of the cocktail in causing a decline in fibrotic features was confirmed in the context of fibrotic posterior capsular opacification (PCO), mediated by the lens epithelial cells (left behind after cataract surgery). Inclusion of Fn52RGDS to Fn52 aids in better diffusion of the antibodies; such combination therapies could be useful in the context of pathologies involving extensive remodeling of the fibronectin matrix, where the thick ECM offers a major challenge for efficient drug delivery.
Project description:The stromal reaction surrounding tumors leads to the formation of a tumor-specific microenvironment, which may play either a restrictive role or a supportive role in the growth and progression of the tumors. Lumican, a small leucine-rich proteoglycan (SLRP) of the extracellular matrix (ECM), regulates collagen fibrillogenesis. Recently, lumican has also been shown to regulate cell behavior during embryonic development, tissue repair and tumor progression. The role of lumican in cancer varies according to the type of tumor. In this study we analyze the role of lumican in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer both in vivo and in vitro. Overall lumican up-regulation was observed in the primary tumors analyzed through both real-time PCR and immunostaining. The increase in lumican expression was observed in the reactive stroma surrounding prostate primary tumors with fibrotic deposition surrounding the acinar glands. In vitro analysis demonstrated that lumican inhibited both the migration and invasion of metastatic prostate cancer cells isolated from lymph node, bone and brain. Moreover, prostate cancer cells seeded on lumican presented a decrease in the formation of cellular projections, lamellipodia detected by a decreased rearrangement in ZO-1, keratin 8/18, integrin ?1 and MT1-MMP, and invadopodia detected by disruption of ?-smooth muscle actin, cortactin and N-WASP. Moreover, a significant increase in prostate cancer cell invasion was observed through the peritoneum of lumican knockout mice, further demonstrating the restrictive role lumican present in the ECM has on prostate cancer invasion. In conclusion, lumican present in the reactive stroma surrounding prostate primary tumors plays a restrictive role on cancer progression, and we therefore postulate that lumican could be a valuable marker in prostate cancer staging.