Author(s): Kunigal S, Gondi CS, Gujrati M, Lakka SS, Dinh DH,
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Abstract Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) is highly expressed in human gliomas where it promotes invasion and delays tumor growth, both in vitro and in vivo. SPARC, which interacts at the cell surface, has an impact on intracellular signaling and downstream gene expression changes, which might account for some of its effects on invasion and growth. Additionally in vitro studies demonstrated that SPARC delays growth, increases attachment, and modulates migration of tumor cells in an extracellular matrix-specific and concentration-dependent manner. Because the signaling aspect of this migration is neither well understood nor characterized, we overexpressed SPARC in both the minimally-invasive U87 cell line and in the most aggressive invasive cell line, SNB19. We first performed RT-PCR analysis and observed an upregulation of uPA and its receptor, uPAR. We also observed increased expression levels of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9 (MMP-2 and MMP-9). Western blot analysis confirmed these results, and the enzymatic activity of the metalloproteinases and uPA was further supported by zymography. Downstream of the uPA-uPAR interaction, upregulation of PI3-K occurred in cells overexpressing SPARC. Using GST-TRBD, we showed the upregulation of active GTP-bound RhoA, but neither Rac1 nor Cdc42 were activated. The inhibition of uPA and uPAR downregulated PI3-K activity and cell migration, as shown by matrigel invasion assay. A dorsal skin-fold chamber model revealed the high angiogenic activity of SPARC, though the proliferation of SPARC overexpressing cells was unaffected. Our results show that the small GTPase RhoA was a critical mediator of invasion or migration in the uPA-uPAR/PI3-K signaling pathway.
This article was published in Int J Oncol
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology