SEPT9_i1 regulates human breast cancer cell motility through cytoskeletal and RhoA/FAK signaling pathway regulation.
ABSTRACT: Increasing cell mobility is the basis of tumor invasion and metastasis, and is therefore a therapeutic target for preventing the spread of many types of cancer. Septins are a family of cytoskeletal proteins with GTPase activity, and play a role in many important cellular functions, including cell migration. SEPT9 isoform 1 protein (SEPT9_i1) has been associated with breast tumor development and the enhancement of cell migration; however, the exact mechanism of how SEPT9_i1 might affect breast cancer progression remains to be elucidated. Here, we report that the expression of SEPT9_i1 positively correlated with paxillin, and both were significantly upregulated in invasive breast cancer tissues of patients with lymph node metastases. Lentivirus-mediated shRNA knockdown of SEPT9 in MCF-7 cells diminished tumor cell migration, focal adhesion (FA) maturation and the expression of β-actin, β-tubulin, Cdc42, RhoA, and Rac, whereas overexpression of SEPT9_i1 in SEPT9-knockdown MCF-7 cells promoted cell migration, FA maturation and relevant protein expression. Furthermore, overexpression of SEPT9_i1 in MCF-7 cells markedly increased FAK/Src/paxillin signaling, at least in part through RhoA/ROCK1 upstream activation. Transcriptome profiling suggested that SEPT9_i1 may directly affect "Focal adhesion" and "Regulation of actin cytoskeleton" signaling mechanisms. Finally, overexpression of SEPT9_i1 markedly enhanced lung metastases in vivo 6 weeks after tumor inoculation. These findings suggest that a mechanism of Septin-9-induced aberrant cancer cell migration is through cytoskeletal regulation and FA modulation, and encourages the use of SEPT9 as novel therapeutic target in the prevention of tumor metastasis.
Project description:Functions of septin cytoskeletal polymers in tumorigenesis are still poorly defined. Their role in the regulation of cytokinesis and cell migration were proposed to contribute to cancer associated aneuploidy and metastasis. Overexpression of Septin 9 (Sept9) promotes migration of cancer cell lines. SEPT9 mRNA and protein expression is increased in breast tumors compared to normal and peritumoral tissues and amplification of SEPT9 gene was positively correlated with breast tumor progression. However, the existence of multiple isoforms of Sept9 is a confounding factor in the analysis of Sept9 functions. In the present study, we analyze the protein expression of Sept9_i2, an uncharacterized isoform, in breast cancer cell lines and tumors and describe its specific impact on cancer cell migration and Sept9 cytoskeletal distribution. Collectively, our results showed that, contrary to Sept9_i1, Sept9_i2 did not support cancer cell migration, and induced a loss of subnuclear actin filaments. These effects were dependent on Sept9_i2 specific N-terminal sequence. Sept9_i2 was strongly down-regulated in breast tumors compared to normal mammary tissues. Thus our data indicate that Sept9_i2 is a negative regulator of breast tumorigenesis. We propose that Sept9 tumorigenic properties depend on the balance between Sept9_i1 and Sept9_i2 expression levels.
Project description:Septin 9 (SEPT9), a member of the septin gene family, is strongly linked to cancer, particularly breast cancer, where genomic amplification occurs in ~11% of cases. SEPT9 is a putative oncogene as it is amplified in the form of double minute chromosomes in murine models of breast cancer, is a fusion partner of mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) gene in leukemia, and it is a known hot spot of retroviral tagging insertion. SEPT9 contributes to cytoskeleton dynamics, thus oncogenic functions have been proposed based on the broad range of cellular functions it partakes. Yet, a clear mechanism by which SEPT9 elicits tumor-promoting functions is lacking. To obtain unbiased insights on molecular signatures of SEPT9 upregulation in breast tumors, we overexpressed several of its isoforms in breast cancer cell lines. Global transcriptomic profiling supports a role of SEPT9 in invasion. Functional studies indicate that SEPT9 upregulation is sufficient to increase degradation of the extracellular matrix, while its downregulation inhibits this process. The degradation pattern is associated with focal adhesions (FA) at the cell periphery. Increased extracellular matrix digestion during epithelial–mesenchymal transition digestion is significantly associated with increased expression of matrix metalloproteinases. In SEPT9 over expressing cells, MMP3 is secreted to the media at FAs. Downregulation of SEPT9 or chemical inhibition of septin filaments assembly impairs recruitment of MMP3 to FAs. Our results indicate that SEPT9 promotes both trafficking and secretion of MMPs near FAs, thus enhancing migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. Overall design: MCF7_SEPT9_v1, MCF7_SEPT9_v2, and MCF7_SEPT9_v3-overexpressing cell lines and the MCF7 control cells (MCF7_C) were used. A total of 12 samples were used for RNA-Seq analysis (three biological replicates from each of the MCF-7 isoforms and control cells).
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Altered expression of Septin 9 (SEPT9), a septin coding for multiple isoform variants, has been observed in several carcinomas, including colorectal, head and neck, ovarian and breast, compared to normal tissues. The mechanisms regulating its expression during tumor initiation and progression in vivo and the oncogenic function of its different isoforms remain elusive. METHODS:Using an integrative approach, we investigated SEPT9 at the genetic, epigenetic, mRNA and protein levels in breast cancer. We analyzed a panel of breast cancer cell lines, human primary tumors and corresponding tumor-free areas, normal breast tissues from reduction mammoplasty patients, as well as primary mammary gland adenocarcinomas derived from the polyoma virus middle T antigen, or PyMT, mouse model. MCF7 clones expressing individual GFP-tagged SEPT9 isoforms were used to determine their respective intracellular distributions and effects on cell migration. RESULTS:An overall increase in gene amplification and altered expression of SEPT9 were observed during breast tumorigenesis. We identified an intragenic alternative promoter at which methylation regulates SEPT9_v3 expression. Transfection of specific GFP-SEPT9 isoforms in MCF7 cells indicates that these isoforms exhibit differential localization and affect migration rates. Additionally, the loss of an uncharacterized SEPT9 nucleolar localization is observed during tumorigenesis. CONCLUSIONS:In this study, we found conserved in vivo changes of SEPT9 gene amplification and overexpression during human and mouse breast tumorigenesis. We show that DNA methylation is a prominent mechanism responsible for regulating differential SEPT9 isoform expression and that breast tumor samples exhibit distinctive SEPT9 intracellular localization. Together, these findings support the significance of SEPT9 as a promising tool in breast cancer detection and further emphasize the importance of analyzing and targeting SEPT9 isoform-specific expression and function.
Project description:Progesterone (P4) was demonstrated to inhibit migration in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), but to enhance migration in T47D breast cancer cells. To investigate the mechanism responsible for this switch in P4 action, we examined the signaling pathway responsible for the P4-induced migration enhancement in breast cancer cell lines, T47D and MCF-7. Here, we demonstrated that P4 activated the cSrc/AKT signaling pathway, subsequently inducing RSK1 activation, which in turn increased phosphorylation of p27 at T198 and formation of the p27pT198-RhoA complex in the cytosol, thereby preventing RhoA degradation, and eventually enhanced migration in T47D cells. These findings were confirmed in the P4-treated MCF-7. Comparing the P4-induced molecular events in between breast cancer cells and VSMCs, we found that P4 increased p27 phosphorylation at T198 in breast cancer cells through RSK1 activation, while P4 increased p27 phosphorlation at Ser10 in VSMCs through KIS activation. P27pT198 formed the complex with RhoA and prevented RhoA degradation in T47D cells, whereas p-p27Ser10 formed the complex with RhoA and caused RhoA degradation in VSMCs. The results of this study highlight the molecular mechanism underlying P4-enhanced breast cancer cell migration, and suggest that RSK1 activation is responsible for the P4-induced migration enhancement in breast cancer cells.
Project description:Cell migration requires the fine spatiotemporal integration of many proteins that regulate the fundamental processes that drive cell movement. Focal adhesion (FA) dynamics is a continuous process involving coordination between FA and actin cytoskeleton, which is essential for cell migration. We studied the spatiotemporal relationship between the dynamics of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and paxillin at FAs in the protrusion of living endothelial cells. Concurrent dual-color imaging showed that FAK was assembled at FA first, which was followed by paxillin recruitment to the FA. By tracking and quantifying FAK and paxillin in migrating cells, the normalized FAK/Paxillin fluorescence intensity (FI) ratio is > 1 (? 4 fold) at cell front, ? 1 at cell center, and < 1 at cell rear. The significantly higher FAK FI than paxillin FI at cell front indicates that the assembly of FAK-FAs occurs ahead of paxillin at cell front. To determine the time difference between the assemblies of FAK and paxillin at nascent FAs, FAs containing both FAK and paxillin were quantified by image analysis and time correlation. The results show that FAK assembles at the nascent FAs earlier than paxillin in the protrusions at cell front.
Project description:Autophagy is a conserved catabolic process that plays a housekeeping role in eliminating protein aggregates and organelles and is activated during nutrient deprivation to generate metabolites and energy. Autophagy plays a significant role in tumorigenesis, although opposing context-dependent functions of autophagy in cancer have complicated efforts to target autophagy for therapeutic purposes. We demonstrate that autophagy inhibition reduces tumor cell migration and invasion in vitro and attenuates metastasis in vivo. Numerous abnormally large focal adhesions (FAs) accumulate in autophagy-deficient tumor cells, reflecting a role for autophagy in FA disassembly through targeted degradation of paxillin. We demonstrate that paxillin interacts with processed LC3 through a conserved LIR motif in the amino-terminal end of paxillin and that this interaction is regulated by oncogenic SRC activity. Together, these data establish a function for autophagy in FA turnover, tumor cell motility, and metastasis.
Project description:RhoA activity is transiently inhibited at the initial phase of integrin engagement, when Cdc42- and/or Rac1-mediated membrane spreading and ruffling predominantly occur. Paxillin, an integrin-assembly protein, has four major tyrosine phosphorylation sites, and the phosphorylation of Tyr31 and Tyr118 correlates with cell adhesion and migration. We found that mutation of Tyr31/118 caused enhanced activation of RhoA and premature formation of stress fibers with substantial loss of efficient membrane spreading and ruffling in adhesion and migration of NMuMG cells. These phenotypes were similar to those induced by RhoA(G14V) in parental cells, and could be abolished by expression of RhoA(T19N), Rac1(G12V), or p190RhoGAP in the mutant-expressing cells. Phosphorylated Tyr31/118 was found to bind to two src homology (SH)2 domains of p120RasGAP, with coprecipitation of endogenous paxillin with p120RasGAP. p190RhoGAP is known to be a major intracellular binding partner for the p120RasGAP SH2 domains. We found that Tyr31/118-phosphorylated paxillin competes with p190RhoGAP for binding to p120RasGAP, and provides evidence that p190RhoGAP freed from p120RasGAP efficiently suppresses RhoA activity during cell adhesion. We conclude that Tyr31/118-phosphorylated paxillin serves as a template for the localized suppression of RhoA activity and is necessary for efficient membrane spreading and ruffling in adhesion and migration of NMuMG cells.
Project description:The cytoskeletal interacting protein Septin 9 (SEPT9), a member of the septin gene family, has been proposed to have oncogenic functions. It is a known hot spot of retroviral tagging insertion and a fusion partner of both de novo and therapy-induced mixed lineage leukemia (MLL). Of all septins, SEPT9 holds the strongest link to cancer, especially breast cancer. Murine models of breast cancer frequently exhibit SEPT9 amplification in the form of double minute chromosomes, and about 20% of human breast cancer display genomic amplification and protein over expression at the SEPT9 locus. Yet, a clear mechanism by which SEPT9 elicits tumor-promoting functions is lacking. To obtain unbiased insights on molecular signatures of SEPT9 upregulation in breast tumors, we overexpressed several of its isoforms in breast cancer cell lines. Global transcriptomic profiling supports a role of SEPT9 in invasion. Functional studies reveal that SEPT9 upregulation is sufficient to increase degradation of the extracellular matrix, while SEPT9 downregulation inhibits this process. The degradation pattern is peripheral and associated with focal adhesions (FAs), where it is coupled with increased expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). SEPT9 overexpression induces MMP upregulation in human tumors and in culture models and promotes MMP3 secretion to the media at FAs. Downregulation of SEPT9 or chemical inhibition of septin filament assembly impairs recruitment of MMP3 to FAs. Our results indicate that SEPT9 promotes upregulation and both trafficking and secretion of MMPs near FAs, thus enhancing migration and invasion of breast cancer cells.
Project description:Transglutaminase (TG)-2 interacts with matrix proteins and integrins, forming focal adhesions (FA) to initiate cell migration, thus playing a vital role in wound healing. Previously we showed that TG-2 influenced phosphorylation of paxillin and other FA proteins. Here, we aimed to investigate the molecular mechanism of TG-2 regulation of paxillin. Human corneal epithelial cells expressing shRNA against TG-2 (shTG) and scrambled sequence control (shRNA) were cultured. TG-2 was pulled down by anti-paxillin antibody, but not MAP3K12. Cell-free interaction assay with immobilized paxillin shows that TG-2 bind to paxillin directly. JNK was the strongest kinase for paxillin phosphorylation in the in-vitro kinase screen, but TG-2 could not phosphorylate paxillin directly. Increasing TG-2 concentrations did not increase the amount of JNK in the TG-2/paxillin complex. Immunofluoresent staining shows that TG-2 colocalises with vinculin and paxillin in FA of migrating cells. TG-2 binds to paxillin and JNK-containing FA but does not recruit JNK directly. Taken together with previous findings, TG-2 binds paxillin non-covalently, and JNK can phosphorylate paxillin, these processes critically regulate corneal epithelial adhesion and migration.
Project description:Cell migration is of paramount importance to organism development and maintenance as well as multiple pathological processes, including cancer metastasis. The RhoGTPases Rac1 and RhoA are indispensable for cell migration as they regulate cell protrusion, cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions and force transduction. However, the consequences of their activity at a molecular level within the cell remain undetermined. Using a combination of FRET, FRAP and biochemical analyses we show that the interactions between the focal adhesion proteins vinculin and paxillin, as well as the closely related family member Hic-5 are spatially and reciprocally regulated by the activity of Rac1 and RhoA. Vinculin in its active conformation interacts with either paxillin or Hic-5 in adhesions in response to Rac1 and RhoA activation respectively, while inactive vinculin interacts with paxillin in the membrane following Rac1 inhibition. Additionally, Rac1 specifically regulates the dynamics of paxillin as well as its binding partner and F-actin interacting protein actopaxin (?-parvin) in adhesions. Furthermore, FRET analysis of protein:protein interactions within cell adhesions formed in 3D matrices revealed that, in contrast to 2D systems vinculin interacts preferentially with Hic-5. This study provides new insight into the complexity of cell-ECM adhesions in both 2D and 3D matrices by providing the first description of RhoGTPase-coordinated protein:protein interactions in a cellular microenvironment. These data identify discrete roles for paxillin and Hic-5 in Rac1 and RhoA-dependent cell adhesion formation and maturation; processes essential for productive cell migration.