Author(s): Joo NE, Watanabe T, Chen C, Chekenya M, Stallcup WB,
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Abstract Disruption of cell-matrix interactions can lead to anoikis - apoptosis due to loss of matrix contacts. Altered fibronectin (FN) induces anoikis of primary human fibroblasts by a novel signaling pathway characterized by reduced phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). However, the receptors involved are unknown. FAK phosphorylation is regulated by nerve/glial antigen 2 (NG2) receptor signaling through PKCalpha a point at which signals from integrins and proteoglycans may converge. We found that an altered FN matrix induced anoikis in fibroblasts by upregulating NG2 and downregulating integrin alpha4. Suppressing NG2 expression or overexpressing alpha4 rescued cells from anoikis. NG2 overexpression alone induced apoptosis and, by reducing FAK phosphorylation, increased anoikis induced by an altered matrix. NG2 overexpression or an altered matrix also suppressed PKCalpha expression, but overexpressing integrin alpha4 enhanced FAK phosphorylation independently of PKCalpha. Cotransfection with NG2 cDNA and integrin alpha4 siRNA did not lower PKCalpha and pFAK levels more than transfection with either alone. PKCalpha was upstream of FAK phosphorylation, as silencing PKCalpha decreased FAK phosphorylation. PKCalpha overexpression reversed this behavior and rescued cells from anoikis. Thus, NG2 is a novel proapoptotic receptor, and NG2 and integrin alpha4 oppositely regulate anoikis in fibroblasts. NG2 and integrin alpha4 regulate FAK phosphorylation by PKCalpha-dependent and -independent pathways, respectively.
This article was published in Cell Death Differ
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy