Project description:The prometastatic protein NEDD9 (neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally downregulated 9) is highly expressed in many cancers and is required for mesenchymal individual cell migration and progression to the invasive stage. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanisms of NEDD9-driven migration and the downstream targets effecting metastasis are not well defined. In the current study, knockdown of NEDD9 in highly metastatic tumor cells drastically reduces their migratory capacity due to disruption of actin dynamics at the leading edge. Specifically, NEDD9 deficiency leads to a decrease in the persistence and stability of lamellipodial protrusions similar to knockdown of cortactin (CTTN). Mechanistically, it was shown that NEDD9 binds to and regulates acetylation of CTTN in an Aurora A kinase (AURKA)/HDAC6-dependent manner. The knockdown of NEDD9 or AURKA results in an increase in the amount of acetylated CTTN and a decrease in the binding of CTTN to F-actin. Overexpression of the deacetylation mimicking (9KR) mutant of CTTN is sufficient to restore actin dynamics at the leading edge and migration proficiency of the tumor cells. Inhibition of AURKA and HDAC6 activity by alisertib and Tubastatin A in xenograft models of breast cancer leads to a decrease in the number of pulmonary metastases. Collectively, these findings identify CTTN as the key downstream component of NEDD9-driven migration and metastatic phenotypes.This study provides a mechanistic platform for therapeutic interventions based on AURKA and HDAC6 inhibition for patients with metastatic breast cancer to prevent and/or eradicate metastases.
Project description:BACKGROUND: A major player in the process of metastasis is the actin cytoskeleton as it forms key structures in both invasion mechanisms, mesenchymal and amoeboid migration. We tested the actin binding compound Chondramide as potential anti-metastatic agent. METHODS: In vivo, the effect of Chondramide on metastasis was tested employing a 4T1-Luc BALB/c mouse model. In vitro, Chondramide was tested using the highly invasive cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 in Boyden-chamber assays, fluorescent stainings, Western blot and Pull down assays. Finally, the contractility of MDA-MB-231 cells was monitored in 3D environment and analyzed via PIV analysis. RESULTS: In vivo, Chondramide treatment inhibits metastasis to the lung and the migration and invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells is reduced by Chondramide in vitro. On the signaling level, RhoA activity is decreased by Chondramide accompanied by reduced MLC-2 and the stretch induced guanine nucleotide exchange factor Vav2 activation. At same conditions, EGF-receptor autophosphorylation, Akt and Erk as well as Rac1 are not affected. Finally, Chondramide treatment disrupted the actin cytoskeleton and decreased the ability of cells for contraction. CONCLUSIONS: Chondramide inhibits cellular contractility and thus represents a potential inhibitor of tumor cell invasion.
Project description:Aurora A kinase (AURKA) is overexpressed in 96% of human cancers and is considered an independent marker of poor prognosis. While the majority of tumors have elevated levels of AURKA protein, few have AURKA gene amplification, implying that posttranscriptional mechanisms regulating AURKA protein levels are significant. Here, we show that NEDD9, a known activator of AURKA, is directly involved in AURKA stability. Analysis of a comprehensive breast cancer tissue microarray revealed a tight correlation between the expression of both proteins, significantly corresponding with increased prognostic value. A decrease in AURKA, concomitant with increased ubiquitination and proteasome-dependent degradation, occurs due to depletion or knockout of NEDD9. Reexpression of wild-type NEDD9 was sufficient to rescue the observed phenomenon. Binding of NEDD9 to AURKA is critical for AURKA stabilization, as mutation of S296E was sufficient to disrupt binding and led to reduced AURKA protein levels. NEDD9 confers AURKA stability by limiting the binding of the cdh1-substrate recognition subunit of APC/C ubiquitin ligase to AURKA. Depletion of NEDD9 in tumor cells increases sensitivity to AURKA inhibitors. Combination therapy with NEDD9 short hairpin RNAs and AURKA inhibitors impairs tumor growth and distant metastasis in mice harboring xenografts of breast tumors. Collectively, our findings provide rationale for the use of AURKA inhibitors in treatment of metastatic tumors and predict the sensitivity of the patients to AURKA inhibitors based on NEDD9 expression.
Project description:Aims and Hypothesis: NEDD9 is highly expressed in gastric cancer and has a significant involvement in its pathogenesis. However, the mechanism behind hypoxia-promoted cancer cell migration and its regulation because of NEDD9 is still unknown. The aim of this study is to investigate the involvement of NEDD9 in gastric cancer cell migration under hypoxia and explore the underlying potential molecular mechanisms. Methods:Cell motility was measured by wound healing and transwell assay. NEDD9 and MICAL1 expressions were examined by western blot analysis. Interaction between NEDD9 and MICAL1 was assessed by immunohistochemistry and co-immunoprecipitation assay, respectively. Cells were transfected with plasmids or siRNA to upregulate or downregulate the expression of NEDD9 and MICAL1. Rac1, Cdc42, and RhoA activation was assessed by pulldown assay. Results:The mRNA and protein level of NEDD9 increased as a result of hypoxia in gastric cancer cell lines BGC-823 and SGC-7901 while decreased levels of NEDD9 caused reduced cell migratory potential in response to hypoxia. Hypoxia also caused the enhancement of MICAL1 expression. Furthermore, it was revealed that there is a positive correlation between NEDD9 and MICAL1 protein while hypoxia played role in increasing their interaction. Under hypoxic conditions, silencing of NEDD9 caused reduction in the stability of MICAL1 protein, while depletion of MICAL1 also inhibited the migration of NEDD9-overexpressing gastric cancer cells. In addition, silencing of NEDD9 or MICAL1 expression reversed the increased GTP forms of Rac1 and Cdc42 in hypoxic cells. However, only the upregulation of Rac1-GTP level was observed in gastric cancer cells that were already overexpressed by MICAL1. Conclusion:In all, it is concluded that MICAL1 is regulated by NEDD9 that facilitates hypoxia-induced gastric cancer cell migration via Rac1-dependent manner.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Controlling vascular growth is a challenging aim for the inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis. The amoeboid and mesenchymal types of invasiveness are two modes of migration interchangeable in cancer cells: the Rac-dependent mesenchymal migration requires the activity of proteases; the Rho-ROCK-dependent amoeboid motility is protease-independent and has never been described in endothelial cells. METHODS:A cocktail of physiologic inhibitors (Ph-C) of serine-proteases, metallo-proteases and cysteine-proteases, mimicking the physiological environment that cells encounter during their migration within the angiogenesis sites was used to induce amoeboid style migration of Endothelial colony forming cells (ECFCs) and mature endothelial cells (ECs). To evaluate the mesenchymal-ameboid transition RhoA and Rac1 activation assays were performed along with immunofluorescence analysis of proteins involved in cytoskeleton organization. Cell invasion was studied in Boyden chambers and Matrigel plug assay for the in vivo angiogenesis. RESULTS:In the present study we showed in both ECFCs and ECs, a decrease of activated Rac1 and an increase of activated RhoA upon shifting of cells to the amoeboid conditions. In presence of Ph-C inhibitors both cell lines acquired a round morphology and Matrigel invasion was greatly enhanced with respect to that observed in the absence of protease inhibition. We also observed that the urokinase-plasminogen-activator (uPAR) receptor silencing and uPAR-integrin uncoupling with the M25 peptide abolished both mesenchymal and amoeboid angiogenesis of ECFCs and ECs in vitro and in vivo, indicating a role of the uPAR-integrin-actin axis in the regulation of amoeboid angiogenesis. Furthermore, under amoeboid conditions endothelial cells seem to be indifferent to VEGF stimulation, which induces an amoeboid signaling pattern also in mesenchymal conditions. CONCLUSION:Here we first provide a data set disclosing that endothelial cells can move and differentiate into vascular structures in vitro and in vivo also in the absence of proteases activity, performing a new type of neovascularization: the "amoeboid angiogenesis". uPAR is indispensable for ECs and ECFCs to perform an efficient amoeboid angiogenesis. Therefore, uPAR silencing or the block of its integrin-interaction, together with standard treatment against VEGF, could be a possible solution for angiogenesis inhibition.
Project description:Tumor cells exhibit two interconvertible modes of cell motility referred to as mesenchymal and amoeboid migration. Mesenchymal mode is characterized by elongated morphology that requires high GTPase Rac activation, whereas amoeboid mode is dependent on actomyosin contractility induced by Rho/Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK) signaling. While elongated morphology is driven by Rac-induced protrusion at the leading edge, how Rho/ROCK signaling controls amoeboid movement is not well understood. We identified FilGAP, a Rac GTPase-activating protein (GAP), as a mediator of Rho/ROCK-dependent amoeboid movement of carcinoma cells. We show that depletion of endogenous FilGAP in carcinoma cells induced highly elongated mesenchymal morphology. Conversely, forced expression of FilGAP induced a round/amoeboid morphology that requires Rho/ROCK-dependent phosphorylation of FilGAP. Moreover, depletion of FilGAP impaired breast cancer cell invasion through extracellular matrices and reduced tumor cell extravasation in vivo. Thus phosphorylation of FilGAP by ROCK appears to promote amoeboid morphology of carcinoma cells, and FilGAP contributes to tumor invasion.
Project description:Neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally downregulated 9 (NEDD9) supports oncogenic signaling in a number of solid and hematologic tumors. Little is known about the role of NEDD9 in ovarian carcinoma (OC), but available data suggest elevated mRNA and protein expression in advanced stage high-grade cancers. We used a transgenic MISIIR-TAg mouse OC model combined with genetic ablation of Nedd9 to investigate its action in the development and progression of OC. A Nedd9-/- genotype delayed tumor growth rate, reduced incidence of ascites, and reduced expression and activation of signaling proteins including SRC, STAT3, E-cadherin, and AURKA. Cell lines established from MISIIR-TAg;Nedd9-/- and MISIIR-TAg;Nedd9+/+ mice exhibited altered migration and invasion. Growth of these cells in a syngeneic allograft model indicated that systemic Nedd9 loss in the microenvironment had little impact on tumor allograft growth, but in a Nedd9 wild-type background Nedd9-/- allografts exhibited significantly reduced growth, dissemination, and oncogenic signaling compared to Nedd9+/+ allografts. Gene expression analysis revealed that Nedd9+/+ tumors exhibited more mesenchymal "stem-like" transcriptional program, including increased expression of Aldh1a1 and Aldh1a2. Conversely, loss of Nedd9 resulted in increased expression of differentiation genes, including fallopian tube markers Foxj1, Ovgp1, and Pax8. Collectively, these data suggest that tumor cell-intrinsic Nedd9 expression promotes OC development and progression by broad induction of oncogenic protein signaling and stem/mesenchymal gene expression.
Project description:Vimentin is an intermediate filament protein whose expression correlates with increased metastatic disease, reduced patient survival and poor prognosis across multiple tumor types. Despite these well-characterized correlations, the molecular role of vimentin in cancer cell motility remains undefined. To approach this, we used an unbiased phosphoproteomics screen in lung cancer cell lines to discover cell motility proteins that show significant changes in phosphorylation upon vimentin depletion. We identified the guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF), VAV2, as having the greatest loss of phosphorylation owing to vimentin depletion. Since VAV2 serves as a GEF for the small Rho GTPase Rac1, a key player in cell motility and adhesion, we explored the vimentin-VAV2 pathway as a potential novel regulator of lung cancer cell motility. We show that VAV2 localizes to vimentin-positive focal adhesions (FAs) in lung cancer cells and complexes with vimentin and FA kinase (FAK). Vimentin loss impairs both pY142-VAV2 and downstream pY397-FAK activity showing that vimentin is critical for maintaining VAV2 and FAK activity. Importantly, vimentin depletion reduces the activity of the VAV2 target, Rac1, and a constitutively active Rac1 rescues defects in FAK and cell adhesion when vimentin or VAV2 is compromised. Based upon this data, we propose a model whereby vimentin promotes FAK stabilization through VAV2-mediated Rac1 activation. This model may explain why vimentin expressing metastatic lung cancer cells are more motile and invasive.
Project description:The scaffolding protein NEDD9 is an established prometastatic marker in several cancers. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanisms of NEDD9-driven metastasis in cancers remain ill-defined. Here, using a comprehensive breast cancer tissue microarray, it was shown that increased levels of NEDD9 protein significantly correlated with the transition from carcinoma in situ to invasive carcinoma. Similarly, it was shown that NEDD9 overexpression is a hallmark of highly invasive breast cancer cells. Moreover, NEDD9 expression is crucial for the protease-dependent mesenchymal invasion of cancer cells at the primary site but not at the metastatic site. Depletion of NEDD9 is sufficient to suppress invasion of tumor cells in vitro and in vivo, leading to decreased circulating tumor cells and lung metastases in xenograft models. Mechanistically, NEDD9 localized to invasive pseudopods and was required for local matrix degradation. Depletion of NEDD9 impaired invasion of cancer cells through inactivation of membrane-bound matrix metalloproteinase MMP14 by excess TIMP2 on the cell surface. Inactivation of MMP14 is accompanied by reduced collagenolytic activity of soluble metalloproteinases MMP2 and MMP9. Reexpression of NEDD9 is sufficient to restore the activity of MMP14 and the invasive properties of breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Collectively, these findings uncover critical steps in NEDD9-dependent invasion of breast cancer cells.This study provides a mechanistic basis for potential therapeutic interventions to prevent metastasis.
Project description:Cancer progression requires a significant reprogramming of cellular signaling to support the essential tumor-specific processes that include hyperproliferation, invasion (for solid tumors) and survival of metastatic colonies. NEDD9 (also known as CasL and HEF1) encodes a multi-domain scaffolding protein that assembles signaling complexes regulating multiple cellular processes relevant to cancer. These include responsiveness to signals emanating from the T and B cell receptors, integrins, chemokine receptors, and receptor tyrosine kinases, as well as cytoplasmic oncogenes such as BCR-ABL and FAK- and SRC-family kinases. Downstream, NEDD9 regulation of partners including CRKL, WAVE, PI3K/AKT, ERK, E-cadherin, Aurora-A (AURKA), HDAC6, and others allow NEDD9 to influence functions as pleiotropic as migration, invasion, survival, ciliary resorption, and mitosis. In this review, we summarize a growing body of preclinical and clinical data that indicate that while NEDD9 is itself non-oncogenic, changes in expression of NEDD9 (most commonly elevation of expression) are common features of tumors, and directly impact tumor aggressiveness, metastasis, and response to at least some targeted agents inhibiting NEDD9-interacting proteins. These data strongly support the relevance of further development of NEDD9 as a biomarker for therapeutic resistance. Finally, we briefly discuss emerging evidence supporting involvement of NEDD9 in additional pathological conditions, including stroke and polycystic kidney disease.