Cadherin composition and multicellular aggregate invasion in organotypic models of epithelial ovarian cancer intraperitoneal metastasis.
ABSTRACT: During epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) progression, intraperitoneally disseminating tumor cells and multicellular aggregates (MCAs) present in ascites fluid adhere to the peritoneum and induce retraction of the peritoneal mesothelial monolayer prior to invasion of the collagen-rich submesothelial matrix and proliferation into macro-metastases. Clinical studies have shown heterogeneity among EOC metastatic units with respect to cadherin expression profiles and invasive behavior; however, the impact of distinct cadherin profiles on peritoneal anchoring of metastatic lesions remains poorly understood. In the current study, we demonstrate that metastasis-associated behaviors of ovarian cancer cells and MCAs are influenced by cellular cadherin composition. Our results show that mesenchymal N-cadherin-expressing (Ncad+) cells and MCAs invade much more efficiently than E-cadherin-expressing (Ecad+) cells. Ncad+ MCAs exhibit rapid lateral dispersal prior to penetration of three-dimensional collagen matrices. When seeded as individual cells, lateral migration and cell-cell junction formation precede matrix invasion. Neutralizing the Ncad extracellular domain with the monoclonal antibody GC-4 suppresses lateral dispersal and cell penetration of collagen gels. In contrast, use of a broad-spectrum matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibitor (GM6001) to block endogenous membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) activity does not fully inhibit cell invasion. Using intact tissue explants, Ncad+ MCAs were also shown to efficiently rupture peritoneal mesothelial cells, exposing the submesothelial collagen matrix. Acquisition of Ncad by Ecad+ cells increased mesothelial clearance activity but was not sufficient to induce matrix invasion. Furthermore, co-culture of Ncad+ with Ecad+ cells did not promote a 'leader-follower' mode of collective cell invasion, demonstrating that matrix remodeling and creation of invasive micro-tracks are not sufficient for cell penetration of collagen matrices in the absence of Ncad. Collectively, our data emphasize the role of Ncad in intraperitoneal seeding of EOC and provide the rationale for future studies targeting Ncad in preclinical models of EOC metastasis.
Project description:Characterizing endogenous protein expression, interaction and function, this study identifies in vivo interactions and competitive balance between N-cadherin and E-cadherin in developing avian (Gallus gallus) neural and neural crest cells. Numerous cadherin proteins, including neural cadherin (Ncad) and epithelial cadherin (Ecad), are expressed in the developing neural plate as well as in neural crest cells as they delaminate from the newly closed neural tube. To clarify independent or coordinate function during development, we examined their expression in the cranial region. The results revealed surprising overlap and distinct localization of Ecad and Ncad in the neural tube. Using a proximity ligation assay and co-immunoprecipitation, we found that Ncad and Ecad formed heterotypic complexes in the developing neural tube, and that modulation of Ncad levels led to reciprocal gain or reduction of Ecad protein, which then alters ectodermal cell fate. Here, we demonstrate that the balance of Ecad and Ncad is dependent upon the availability of ?-catenin proteins, and that alteration of either classical cadherin modifies the proportions of the neural crest and neuroectodermal cells that are specified.
Project description:Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the most lethal gynecological malignancy. EOC dissemination is predominantly via direct extension of cells and multicellular aggregates (MCAs) into the peritoneal cavity, which adhere to and induce retraction of peritoneal mesothelium and proliferate in the submesothelial matrix to generate metastatic lesions. Metastasis is facilitated by the accumulation of malignant ascites (500?ml to >2?l), resulting in physical discomfort and abdominal distension, and leading to poor prognosis. Although intraperitoneal fluid pressure is normally subatmospheric, an average intraperitoneal pressure of 30?cmH2O (22.1?mmHg) has been reported in women with EOC. In this study, to enable experimental evaluation of the impact of high intraperitoneal pressure on EOC progression, two new in vitro model systems were developed. Initial experiments evaluated EOC MCAs in pressure vessels connected to an Instron to apply short-term compressive force. A Flexcell Compression Plus system was then used to enable longer-term compression of MCAs in custom-designed hydrogel carriers. Results show changes in the expression of genes related to epithelial-mesenchymal transition as well as altered dispersal of compressed MCAs on collagen gels. These new model systems have utility for future analyses of compression-induced mechanotransduction and the resulting impact on cellular responses related to intraperitoneal metastatic dissemination.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first authors of the paper.
Project description:The majority of women diagnosed with epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC) succumb due to complications of metastatic disease, suggesting that antimetastatic therapies may improve patient survival. EOC metastasis involves intraperitoneal shedding of cells from the primary tumor, followed by adhesion and localized penetration of the submesothelial matrix to anchor metastatic implants. Accumulation of malignant ascites is also common. Thus, a unique microenvironmental niche is established, which includes malignant cells and a plethora of soluble factors secreted by-or in response to-tumor cells. As cells penetrating the submesothelial surface encounter an interstitial collagen-rich extracellular matrix, we have used three-dimensional type I collagen gels to model early events resulting from intraperitoneal anchoring. In this study, we show a novel pathway of CXCR4 upregulation through beta1 integrin - and NFkappaB-dependent signaling pathways in response to three-dimensional type I collagen. We also show the involvement of CXCR4-SDF1 axis in collagen invasion and proliferation, relevant to the metastatic EOC. Our data show that CXCR4 expression in human EOCs, as well as SDF1 presence in the ascites, is correlated with disease progression and metastasis. These data emphasize the importance of the CXCR4-SDF1 axis in EOC metastasis and suggest that this mechanism should be accounted for when targeting EOC metastasis.
Project description:An early event in the metastasis of epithelial ovarian carcinoma is shedding of cells from the primary tumor into the peritoneal cavity followed by diffuse i.p. seeding of secondary lesions. Anchorage-independent metastatic cells are present as both single cells and multicellular aggregates (MCA), the latter of which adhere to and disaggregate on human mesothelial cell monolayers, subsequently forming invasive foci. Although this unique metastatic mechanism presents a distinct set of therapeutic challenges, factors that regulate MCA formation and dissemination have not been extensively evaluated. Proteolytic activity is important at multiple stages in i.p. metastasis, catalyzing migration through the mesothelial monolayer and invasion of the collagen-rich submesothelial matrix to anchor secondary lesions, and acquisition of membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP; MMP-14) expression promotes a collagen-invasive phenotype in ovarian carcinoma. MT1-MMP is regulated posttranslationally through multiple mechanisms including phosphorylation of its cytoplasmic tail, and the current data using ovarian cancer cells expressing wild-type, phosphomimetic (T567E-MT1-MMP), and phosphodefective (T567A-MT1-MMP) MT1-MMP show that MT1-MMP promotes MCA formation. Confluent T567E-MT1-MMP-expressing cells exhibit rapid detachment kinetics, spontaneous release as cell-cell adherent sheets concomitant with MT1-MMP-catalyzed alpha(3) integrin ectodomain shedding, and robust MCA formation. Expansive growth within three-dimensional collagen gels is also MT1-MMP dependent, with T567E-MT1-MMP-expressing cells exhibiting multiple collagen invasive foci. Analysis of human ovarian tumors shows elevated MT1-MMP in metastases relative to paired primary tumors. These data suggest that MT1-MMP activity may be key to ovarian carcinoma metastatic success by promoting both formation and dissemination of MCAs.
Project description:Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) metastasis occurs by exfoliation of cells and multicellular aggregates (MCAs) from the tumor into the peritoneal cavity, adhesion to and retraction of peritoneal mesothelial cells and subsequent anchoring. Elevated levels of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) have been linked to aberrant cell proliferation, oncogenesis, and metastasis. LPA disrupts junctional integrity and epithelial cohesion in vitro however, the fate of free-floating cells/MCAs and the response of host peritoneal tissues to LPA remain unclear. EOC MCAs displayed significant LPA-induced changes in surface ultrastructure with the loss of cell surface protrusions and poor aggregation, resulting in increased dissemination of small clusters compared to untreated control MCAs. LPA also diminished the adhesive capacity of EOC single cells and MCAs to murine peritoneal explants and impaired MCA survival and mesothelial clearance competence. Peritoneal tissues from healthy mice injected with LPA exhibited enhanced mesothelial surface microvilli. Ultrastructural alterations were associated with restricted peritoneal susceptibility to metastatic colonization by single cells as well as epithelial-type MCAs. The functional consequence is an LPA-induced dissemination of small mesenchymal-type clusters, promoting a miliary mode of peritoneal seeding that complicates surgical removal and is associated with worse prognosis.
Project description:Fibrosis of the peritoneal cavity remains a serious, life-threatening problem in the treatment of kidney failure with peritoneal dialysis. The mechanism of fibrosis remains unclear partly because the fibrogenic cells have not been identified with certainty. Recent studies have proposed mesothelial cells to be an important source of myofibroblasts through the epithelial-mesenchymal transition; however, confirmatory studies in vivo are lacking. Here, we show by inducible genetic fate mapping that type I collagen-producing submesothelial fibroblasts are specific progenitors of ?-smooth muscle actin-positive myofibroblasts that accumulate progressively in models of peritoneal fibrosis induced by sodium hypochlorite, hyperglycemic dialysis solutions, or TGF-?1. Similar genetic mapping of Wilms' tumor-1-positive mesothelial cells indicated that peritoneal membrane disruption is repaired and replaced by surviving mesothelial cells in peritoneal injury, and not by submesothelial fibroblasts. Although primary cultures of mesothelial cells or submesothelial fibroblasts each expressed ?-smooth muscle actin under the influence of TGF-?1, only submesothelial fibroblasts expressed ?-smooth muscle actin after induction of peritoneal fibrosis in mice. Furthermore, pharmacologic inhibition of the PDGF receptor, which is expressed by submesothelial fibroblasts but not mesothelial cells, attenuated the peritoneal fibrosis but not the remesothelialization induced by hypochlorite. Thus, our data identify distinctive fates for injured mesothelial cells and submesothelial fibroblasts during peritoneal injury and fibrosis.
Project description:Epithelial-cadherin (Ecad) deregulation affects cell-cell adhesion and results in increased invasiveness of distinct human carcinomas. In gastric cancer, loss of Ecad expression is a common event and is associated with disease aggressiveness and poor prognosis. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the invasive process associated to Ecad dysfunction are far from understood. We hypothesized that deregulation of cell-matrix interactions could play an important role during this process. Thus, we focussed on LM-332, which is a major matrix component, and in Ecad/LM-332 crosstalk in the process of Ecad-dependent invasion. To verify whether matrix deregulation was triggered by Ecad loss, we used the Drosophila model. To dissect the key molecules involved and unveil their functional significance, we used gastric cancer cell lines. The relevance of this relationship was then confirmed in human primary tumours. In vivo, Ecad knockdown induced apoptosis; nonetheless, at the invasive front, cells ectopically expressed Laminin A and ?PS integrin. In vitro, we demonstrated that, in two different gastric cancer cell models, Ecad-defective cells overexpressed Laminin ?2 (LM-?2), ?1 and ?4 integrin, when compared with Ecad-competent ones. We showed that LM-?2 silencing impaired invasion and enhanced cell death, most likely via pSrc and pAkt reduction, and JNK activation. In human gastric carcinomas, we found a concomitant decrease in Ecad and increase in LM-?2. This is the ?rst evidence that ectopic Laminin expression depends on Ecad loss and allows Ecad-dysfunctional cells to survive and invade. This opens new avenues for using LM-?2 signalling regulators as molecular targets to impair gastric cancer progression.
Project description:We conditionally substituted E-cadherin (E-cad; cadherin 1) with N-cadherin (N-cad; cadherin 2) during intestine development by generating mice in which an Ncad cDNA was knocked into the Ecad locus We used microarray to follow gene expression changes derived from lack of E-cadherin on intestinal epithelial cells Overall design: Epithelial cells were harvested from the small intestine of 14 days old mice harboring N-cadherin and no E-cadherin and from E-cadherin-positive littermates.
Project description:Background:For patients using peritoneal dialysis (PD), the peritoneal membrane can develop fibrosis and angiogenesis, leading to ultrafiltration failure, chronic hypervolemia and increased risk of technique failure and mortality. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and specifically the gelatinases (MMP2 and MMP9), may be involved in peritoneal membrane injury. Methods:From stable PD patients, mesothelial cells were assayed for MMP gene expression. MMP9 was overexpressed in mouse peritoneum by adenovirus, and MMP9 -/- mice were subjected to transforming growth factor ? (TGF-?)-induced peritoneal fibrosis. Results:MMP9 mRNA expression correlated with peritoneal membrane solute transport properties. Overexpression of MMP9 in the mouse peritoneum induced submesothelial thickening and angiogenesis. MMP9 induced mesothelial cell transition to a myofibroblast phenotype measured by increased alpha smooth muscle actin and decreased E-cadherin expression. Angiogenesis was markedly reduced in MMP9 -/- mice treated with an adenovirus expressing active TGF-? compared with wild-type mice. TGF-?-mediated E-cadherin cleavage was MMP9 dependent, and E-cadherin cleavage led to ?-catenin-mediated signaling. A ?-catenin inhibitor blocked the angiogenic response induced by AdMMP9. Conclusions:Our data suggest that MMP9 is involved in peritoneal membrane injury possibly through cleavage of E-cadherin and induction of ?-catenin signaling. MMP9 is a potential biomarker for peritoneal membrane injury and is a therapeutic target to protect the peritoneal membrane in PD patients.
Project description:The expression of N-cadherin (NCAD) has been shown to correlate with increased tumor cell motility and metastasis. However, NCAD-mediated adhesion is a robust phenomenon and therefore seems to be inconsistent with the "release" from intercellular adhesion required for invasion. We show that in the most invasive melanoma and brain tumor cells, altered posttranslational processing results in abundant nonadhesive precursor N-cadherin (proNCAD) at the cell surface, although total NCAD levels remain constant. We demonstrate that aberrantly processed proNCAD promotes cell migration and invasion in vitro. Furthermore, in human tumor specimens, we find high levels of proNCAD as well, supporting an overall conclusion that proNCAD and mature NCAD coexist on these tumor cell surfaces and that it is the ratio between these functionally antagonistic moieties that directly correlates with invasion potential. Our work provides insight into what may be a widespread mechanism for invasion and metastasis and challenges the current dogma of the functional roles played by classic cadherins in tumor progression.