A heteromeric molecular complex regulates the migration of lung alveolar epithelial cells during wound healing.
ABSTRACT: Alveolar type II epithelial cells (ATII) are instrumental in early wound healing in response to lung injury, restoring epithelial integrity through spreading and migration. We previously reported in separate studies that focal adhesion kinase-1 (FAK) and the chemokine receptor CXCR4 promote epithelial repair mechanisms. However, potential interactions between these two pathways were not previously considered. In the present study, we found that wounding of rat ATII cells promoted increased association between FAK and CXCR4. In addition, protein phosphatase-5 (PP5) increased its association with this heteromeric complex, while apoptosis signal regulating kinase-1 (ASK1) dissociated from the complex. Cell migration following wounding was decreased when PP5 expression was decreased using shRNA, but migration was increased in ATII cells isolated from ASK1 knockout mice. Interactions between FAK and CXCR4 were increased upon depletion of ASK1 using shRNA in MLE-12 cells, but unaffected when PP5 was depleted. Furthermore, we found that wounded rat ATII cells exhibited decreased ASK1 phosphorylation at Serine-966, decreased serine phosphorylation of FAK, and decreased association of phosphorylated ASK1 with FAK. These changes in phosphorylation were dependent upon expression of PP5. These results demonstrate a unique molecular complex comprising CXCR4, FAK, ASK1, and PP5 in ATII cells during wound healing.
Project description:ASK1 (apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1), a MKKK (mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase), is activated in response to cytotoxic stresses, such as H2O2 and TNFalpha (tumour necrosis factor alpha). ASK1 induction initiates a signalling cascade leading to apoptosis. After exposure of cells to H2O2, ASK1 is transiently activated by autophosphorylation at Thr845. The protein then associates with PP5 (protein serine/threonine phosphatase 5), which inactivates ASK1 by dephosphorylation of Thr845. Although this feedback regulation mechanism has been elucidated, it remains unclear how ASK1 is maintained in the dephosphorylated state under non-stressed conditions. In the present study, we have examined the possible role of PP2Cepsilon (protein phosphatase 2Cepsilon), a member of PP2C family, in the regulation of ASK1 signalling. Following expression in HEK-293 cells (human embryonic kidney cells), wild-type PP2Cepsilon inhibited ASK1-induced activation of an AP-1 (activator protein 1) reporter gene. Conversely, a dominant-negative PP2Cepsilon mutant enhanced AP-1 activity. Exogenous PP2Cepsilon associated with exogenous ASK1 in HEK-293 cells under non-stressed conditions, inactivating ASK1 by decreasing Thr845 phosphorylation. The association of endogenous PP2Cepsilon and ASK1 was also observed in mouse brain extracts. PP2Cepsilon directly dephosphorylated ASK1 at Thr845 in vitro. In contrast with PP5, PP2Cepsilon transiently dissociated from ASK1 within cells upon H2O2 treatment. These results suggest that PP2Cepsilon maintains ASK1 in an inactive state by dephosphorylation in quiescent cells, supporting the possibility that PP2Cepsilon and PP5 play different roles in H2O2-induced regulation of ASK1 activity.
Project description:Krüppel-like factor 8 (KLF8) has been strongly implicated in breast cancer metastasis. However, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. Here we report a novel signaling from KLF8 to C-X-C cytokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) in breast cancer. Overexpression of KLF8 in MCF-10A cells induced CXCR4 expression at both mRNA and protein levels, as determined by quantitative real-time PCR and immunoblotting. This induction was well correlated with increased Boyden chamber migration, matrigel invasion and transendothelial migration (TEM) of the cells towards the ligand CXCL12. On the other hand, knockdown of KLF8 in MDA-MB-231 cells reduced CXCR4 expression associated with decreased cell migration, invasion and TEM towards CXCL12. Histological and database mining analyses of independent cohorts of patient tissue microarrays revealed a correlation of aberrant co-elevation of KLF8 and CXCR4 with metastatic potential. Promoter analysis indicated that KLF8 directly binds and activates the human CXCR4 gene promoter. Interestingly, a CXCR4-dependent activation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), a known upregulator of KLF8, was highly induced by CXCL12 treatment in KLF8-overexpressing, but not KLF8 deficient cells. This activation of FAK in turn induced a further increase in KLF8 expression. Xenograft studies showed that overexpression of CXCR4, but not a dominant-negative mutant of it, in the MDA-MB-231 cells prevented the invasive growth of primary tumor and lung metastasis from inhibition by knockdown of KLF8. These results collectively suggest a critical role for a previously unidentified feed-forward signaling wheel made of KLF8, CXCR4 and FAK in promoting breast cancer metastasis and shed new light on potentially more effective anti-cancer strategies.
Project description:The angiotensin II type I receptor (AGTR1) has a strong influence on tumor growth, angiogenesis, inflammation and immunity. However, the role of AGTR1 on lymph node metastasis (LNM) in breast cancer, which correlates with tumor progression and patient survival, has not been examined. AGTR1 was highly expressed in lymph node-positive tumor tissues, which was confirmed by the Oncomine database. Next, inhibition of AGTR1 reduced tumor growth and LNM in orthotopic xenografts by bioluminescence imaging (BLI). Losartan, an AGTR1-specific inhibitor, decreased the chemokine pair CXCR4/SDF-1α levels <i>in</i> <i>vivo</i> and inhibited AGTR1-induced cell migration and invasion <i>in</i> <i>vitro</i>. Finally, the molecular mechanism of AGTR1-induced cell migration and LNM was assessed by knocking down AGTR1 in normal cells or CXCR4 in AGTR1<sup>high</sup> cells. AGTR1-silenced cells treated with losartan showed lower CXCR4 expression. AGTR1 overexpression caused the upregulation of FAK/RhoA signaling molecules, while knocking down CXCR4 in AGTR1<sup>high</sup> cells downregulated these molecules. Collectively, AGTR1 promotes LNM by increasing the chemokine pair CXCR4/SDF-1α and tumor cell migration and invasion. The potential mechanism of AGTR1-mediated cell movement relies on activating the FAK/RhoA pathway. Our study indicated that inhibiting AGTR1 may be a potential therapeutic target for LNM in early-stage breast cancer.
Project description:NEDD9, a focal adhesion scaffolding protein, has been recently proposed to regulate invasion and metastasis in some cancer types, but unknown in cervical cancer. The aim of this study was to determine if NEDD9 was involved in the progression and metastasis of cervical cancer. The experimental results showed NEDD9 protein was overexpressed in cervical cancer compared with normal cervical epithelium tissues. Overexpression of NEDD9 was correlated with histological grading, lymph node metastasis, and FIGO stage of cervical cancer. Silencing NEDD9 resulted in tyrosine dephosphorylation of FAK and SRC oncoproteins, and decreased cell migration and invasion in the cervical carcinoma SiHa and HeLa cells. Overexpression of NEDD9 led to tyrosine phosphorylation of FAK and SRC oncoproteins, and increased cell migration and invasion. Moreover, tyrosine phosphorylation of NEDD9 was significantly decreased via suppressing tyrosine phosphorylation of FAK or SRC, suggesting a positive feedback loop of tyrosine phosphorylation between NEDD9 and FAK or SRC. In addition, our data showed that silencing NEDD9 decreased Vimentin expression and increased E-cadherin expression in cervical cancer cells, and vice versa. E-cadherin was subject to regulation of NEDD9, FAK and SRC, but altered neither tyrosine-phosphorylated nor total NEDD9. Our findings suggest that NEDD9 is overexpressed in cervical cancer tissues and cells, and overexpressed NEDD9 promotes migration and invasion in cervical carcinoma cells, probably via a positive feedback loop of tyrosine phosphorylation between NEDD9 and FAK or SRC.
Project description:To study the role of FAK signaling complexes in promoting metastatic properties of prostate cancer (PCa) cells, we selected stable, highly migratory variants, termed PC3 Mig-3 and DU145 Mig-3, from two well-characterized PCa cell lines, PC3 and DU145. These variants were not only increased migration and invasion in vitro, but were also more metastatic to lymph nodes following intraprostatic injection into nude mice. Both PC3 Mig-3 and DU145 Mig-3 were specifically increased in phosphorylation of FAK Y861. We therefore examined potential alterations in Src family kinases responsible for FAK phosphorylation and determined only Yes expression was increased. Overexpression of Yes in PC3 parental cells and src-/-fyn-/-yes-/- fibroblasts selectively increased FAK Y861 phosphorylation, and increased migration. Knockdown of Yes in PC3 Mig-3 cells decreased migration and decreased lymph node metastasis following orthotopic implantation of into nude mice. In human specimens, Yes expression was increased in lymph node metastases relative to paired primary tumors from the same patient, and increased pFAK Y861 expression in lymph node metastases correlated with poor prognosis. These results demonstrate a unique role for Yes in phosphorylation of FAK and in promoting PCa metastasis. Therefore, phosphorylated FAK Y861 and increased Yes expression may be predictive markers for PCa metastasis.
Project description:The DNA damage response likely includes a global phosphorylation signaling cascade process for sensing the damaged DNA condition and coordinating responses to cope with and repair the perturbed cellular state. We utilized a label-free liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry approach to evaluate changes in protein phosphorylation associated with PP5 activity during the DNA damage response. Biological replicate analyses of bleomycin-treated HeLa cells expressing either WT-PP5 or mutant inactive PP5 lead to the identification of six potential target proteins of PP5 action. Four of these putative targets have been previously reported to be involved in DNA damage responses. Using phospho-site specific antibodies, we confirmed that phosphorylation of one target, ribosomal protein S6, was selectively decreased in cells overexpressing catalytically inactive PP5. Our findings also suggest that PP5 may play a role in controlling translation and in regulating substrates for proline-directed kinases, such as MAP kinases and cyclin-dependent protein kinases that are involved in response to DNA damage.
Project description:The migration of vascular endothelial cells (ECs) is critical in vascular remodeling. We showed that fluid shear stress enhanced EC migration in flow direction and called this "mechanotaxis." To visualize the molecular dynamics of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) at focal adhesions (FAs), FAK tagged with green fluorescence protein (GFP) was expressed in ECs. Within 10 min of shear stress application, lamellipodial protrusion was induced at cell periphery in the flow direction, with the recruitment of FAK at FAs. ECs under flow migrated with polarized formation of new FAs in flow direction, and these newly formed FAs subsequently disassembled after the rear of the cell moved over them. The cells migrating under flow had a decreased number of FAs. In contrast to shear stress, serum did not significantly affect the speed of cell migration. Serum induced lamellipodia and FAK recruitment at FAs without directional preference. FAK(Y397) phosphorylation colocalized with GFP-FAK at FAs in both shear stress and serum experiments. The total level of FAK(Y397) phosphorylation after shear stress was lower than that after serum treatment, suggesting that the polarized change at cell periphery rather than the total level of FAK(Y397) phosphorylation is important for directional migration. Our results demonstrate the dynamics of FAK at FAs during the directional migration of EC in response to mechanical force, and suggest that mechanotaxis is an important mechanism controlling EC migration.
Project description:Barrier defects and/or alterations in the ability of the gut epithelium to repair itself are critical etiological mechanisms of gastrointestinal disease. Our ongoing studies indicate that the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and its cognate ligand CXCL12 regulate intestinal-epithelial barrier maturation and restitution in cell culture models. Gene-deficient mice lacking CXCR4 expression specifically by the cells of the intestinal epithelium were used to test the hypothesis that CXCR4 regulates mucosal barrier integrity in vivo. Epithelial expression of CXCR4 was assessed by RT-PCR, Southern blot, immunoblot and immunohistochemistry. In vivo wounding assays were performed by addition of 3% dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) in drinking water for 5 days. Intestinal damage and DAI scores were assessed by histological examination. Extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation was assessed in vivo by immunoblot and immunofluorescence. CXCR4 knockdown cells were established using a lentiviral approach and ERK phosphorylation was assessed. Consistent with targeted roles in restitution, epithelium from patients with inflammatory bowel disease indicated that CXCR4 and CXCL12 expression was stable throughout the human colonic epithelium. Conditional CXCR4-deficient mice developed normally, with little phenotypic differences in epithelial morphology, proliferation or migration. Re-epithelialization was absent in CXCR4 conditional knockout mice following acute DSS-induced inflammation. In contrast, heterozygous CXCR4-depleted mice displayed significant improvement in epithelial ulcer healing in acute and chronic inflammation. Mucosal injury repair was correlated with ERK1/2 activity and localization along the crypt-villus axis, with heterozygous mice characterized by increased ERK1/2 activation. Lentiviral depletion of CXCR4 in IEC-6 cells similarly altered ERK1/2 activity and prevented chemokine-stimulated migration. Taken together, these data indicate that chemokine receptors participate in epithelial barrier responses through coordination of the ERK1/2 signaling pathway.
Project description:Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) stimulates the tyrosine phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), increases focal adhesion formation and is chemotactic for human umbilical-vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). In the present study we identified the major sites of VEGF-induced FAK tyrosine phosphorylation and investigated the mechanism mediating this pathway in the action of VEGF. VEGF increased the focal adhesion localization of FAK phosphorylated at Tyr-397 (Y397) and Y861 but stimulated a marked increase in phosphorylation at Y861 without significantly affecting the total level of phospho-Y397 FAK. Inhibition of Src with the specific inhibitor 4-amino-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-7-(t-butyl)pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine (PP2) completely blocked VEGF-induced Y861 phosphorylation without decreasing the level of phospho-Y397 FAK. We also examined the role of Src in mediating endothelial functions of VEGF in which FAK has been implicated as having a role. PP2 markedly inhibited VEGF-induced chemotaxis and wound-healing cell migration. The Src inhibitor also decreased the anti-apoptotic effect of VEGF determined by surface staining of annexin V but did not increase FAK proteolysis or prevent the VEGF-dependent inhibition of FAK proteolysis. In contrast, the specific PtdIns 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002 induced apoptosis and markedly decreased p125(FAK) expression and increased FAK proteolysis but had little effect on Y861 phosphorylation. These findings identify Src-dependent FAK phosphorylation at Y861 as a novel VEGF-induced signalling pathway in endothelial cells and suggest that this pathway might be involved in the mechanisms mediating VEGF-induced endothelial cell migration and anti-apoptosis.
Project description:AIM: JG6 is a novel marine-derived oligosaccharide that has shown to inhibit angiogenesis and tumor metastasis. In this study, we sought to identify the potential target responsible for the anti-cancer activity of JG6. METHODS: Human liver cancer cell line Bel-7402 and human cervical cancer cell line HeLa were examined. CXCL12-stimulated cell proliferation and migration were determined using a CCK-8 kit and a transwell assay, respectively. Western blotting was performed to examine the changes in CXCL12/CXCR4 axis. Molecular docking and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) were performed to characterize the possible interaction between JG6 and the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis. RESULTS: Treatment with CXCL12 potently stimulated the proliferation and migration in both Bel-7402 and HeLa cells. Co-treatment of the cells with JG6 (10, 50 and 100 ?g/mL) dose-dependently impeded the CXCL12-stimulated cell proliferation and migration. Furthermore, CXCL12 rapidly induced phosphorylation of AKT, ERK, FAK and Paxillin in Bel-7402 and HeLa cells, whereas pretreatment with JG6 dose-dependently inhibited the CXCL12-induced phosphorylation of these proteins. The SPR assay showed that JG6 bound to CXCL12 with a high affinity. In molecular docking study, JG6 appeared to interact with CXCL12 via multiple polar interactions, including 6 ionic bonds and 7 hydrogen bonds. CONCLUSION: Inhibition of the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis by JG6 may account for its anticancer activity.