The plasminogen (Plg)/plasminogen activator (PA) system plays a key role in cancer progression, presumably via mediating extracellular matrix degradation and tumor cell migration. Consequently, urokinase-type PA (uPA)/plasmin antagonists are currently being developed for suppression of tumor growth and angiogenesis. Paradoxically, however, high levels of PA inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) are predictive of a poor prognosis for survival of patients with cancer. We demonstrated previously that PAI-1 promoted tumor angiogenesis, but by an unresolved mechanism. We anticipated that PAI-1 facilitated endothelial cell migration via its known interaction with vitronectin (VN) and integrins. However, using adenoviral gene transfer of PAI-1 mutants, we observed that PAI-1 promoted tumor angiogenesis, not by interacting with VN, but rather by inhibiting proteolytic activity, suggesting that excessive plasmin proteolysis prevents assembly of tumor vessels. Single deficiency of uPA, tissue-type PA (tPA), uPA receptor, or VN, as well as combined deficiencies of uPA and tPA did not impair tumor angiogenesis, whereas lack of Plg reduced it. Overall, these data indicate that plasmin proteolysis, even though essential, must be tightly controlled during tumor angiogenesis, probably to allow vessel stabilization and maturation. These data provide insights into the clinical paradox whereby PAI-1 promotes tumor progression and warrant against the uncontrolled use of uPA/plasmin antagonists as tumor angiogenesis inhibitors.
The proto-oncogene c-myc (myc) encodes a transcription factor (Myc) that promotes growth, proliferation and apoptosis. Myc has been suggested to induce these effects by induction/repression of downstream genes. Here we report the identification of potential Myc target genes in a human B cell line that grows and proliferates depending on conditional myc expression. Oligonucleotide microarrays were applied to identify downstream genes of Myc at the level of cytoplasmic mRNA. In addition, we identified potential Myc target genes in nuclear run-on experiments by changes in their transcription rate. The identified genes belong to gene classes whose products are involved in amino acid/protein synthesis, lipid metabolism, protein turnover/folding, nucleotide/DNA synthesis, transport, nucleolus function/RNA binding, transcription and splicing, oxidative stress and signal transduction. The identified targets support our current view that myc acts as a master gene for growth control and increases transcription of a large variety of genes.
The c-Myc protein (Myc) is a transcription factor, and deregulated expression of the c-myc gene (myc) is frequently found in tumours. In Burkitt's lymphoma (BL), myc is transcriptionally activated by chromosomal translocation. We have used a B-cell line called P493-6 that carries a conditional myc allele to elucidate the role of Myc in the proliferation of BL cells. Regulation of proliferation involves the coordination of cell growth (accumulation of cell mass) and cell division   . Here, we show that division of P493-6 cells was strictly dependent on the expression of the conditional myc allele and the presence of foetal calf serum (FCS). More importantly, cell growth was regulated by Myc without FCS: Myc alone induced an increase in cell size and positively regulated protein synthesis. An increase in protein synthesis is thought to be one of the causes of cell mass increase. Furthermore, Myc stimulated metabolic activities, as indicated by the acidification of culture medium and the activation of mitochondrial enzymes. Our results confirm the model that Myc is involved in the regulation of cell growth  and provide, for the first time, direct evidence that Myc induces cell growth, that is, an increase in cell size, uncoupled from cell division.
SummaryThe glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored membrane protein urokinase plasminogen activator-receptor (uPA-R; CD87) is one of the key molecules involved in migration of leukocytes and tumor cells, uPA bound to uPA-R provides the cell proteolytic potential used for degradation of extracellular matrix, uPA-R is also involved in induction of ceU adhesion and chemotaxis. Here, we provide a molecular explanation for these uPA-R-related cdlular events. By size ffactionation of monocyte lysate and af~nity isolation on its natural ligand uPA, we demonstrate uPA-R as a component of a receptor complex of relatively large size. Reprecipitation and immunoblotting techniques allowed us to detect the protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) p60fY ", p53/56 lyn, p58/64 hck, and p59f~ as components of this "uPA-R complex". Activation of monocytes even with enzymatically inactivated uPA resulted in induction of tyrosine phosphorylation, suggesting modulation of uPA-R-associated PTKs upon ligand binding. In spite of their presence in large complexes, we did not find the GPI-linked proteins CD14, CD58, and CD59 in the uPA-R complex, which indicates the presence of different receptor domains containing GPI-linked proteins in monocytes. However, we identified the leukocyte integrins LFA-1 and CR3 as components of the uPA-R complex as indicated by coisolation of these molecules, as well as by cocapping and comodulation of uPA-R and leukocyte integrins on the monocyte surface. The assemblage of uPA-R, PTKs and membrane spanning 32-integrins in one receptor complex indicates functional cooperation. In regard to the involvement of these molecules in pericellular proteolysis, signal transduction, as weU as adhesion and chemotactic movement, we suggest uPA-R complex as a potential cellular device for call migration.
Trop-2 is a calcium signal transducer that is associated with transformed cell growth in experimental systems. However, its role in human cancer remains essentially unknown. In this study, we profiled Trop-2 expression in normal human tissues at the mRNA and protein levels. We then systematically compared Trop-2 mRNA and protein levels in tumours with their tissues of origin. We find that Trop-2 expression is invariably upregulated in tumours, regardless of baseline expression in normal tissues, which suggests a corresponding selective advantage. Thus, we investigated the outcome of Trop-2 upregulation on tumour growth. Overexpression of wild-type Trop-2 was shown to be necessary and sufficient to drive cancer growth in a widely invariant manner across cell type and species. Upregulation of Trop-2 was shown to quantitatively stimulate tumour growth, as proportional to expression levels in vivo, and tumour cell growth was abrogated by somatic knockdown of Trop-2 expression. On the other hand, we found no evidence of tumour-associated TROP2 mutations, nor of TROP2 induction of oncogenic transformation per se. Our data support a model where above-baseline expression of wild-type Trop-2 is a key driver of human cancer growth.
Pro-MMP2 activation is a two-step process resulting in (1) an intermediate 64 kDa form generated by the MT1-MMP activity, and (2) a mature 62 kDa form. Addition of plasminogen to HT1080 cells cultured under various conditions, or to their membrane preparation, induced a complete conversion of the intermediate MMP-2 form to the mature one, and processing of pro-MMP-9. The pro-MMP-2 activation was inhibited by plasmin inhibitors and anti-uPA antibody. These results provide evidence for involvement of the PA/plasmin system in the second step of MMP-2 activation.
Expression of activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM)/CD166 correlates with the aggregation and metastatic capacity of human melanoma cell lines (Am J Pathol 1998, 152:805-813). Immunohistochemistry on a series of human melanocytic lesions reveals that ALCAM expression correlates with melanoma progression. Most nevi (34/38) and all thin melanomas studied (Clark levels I and II) did not express ALCAM. In contrast, immunoreactivity was detected in the invasive, vertical growth phase of 2 of the 13 Clark level III lesions tested. The fraction of positive lesions further increased in Clark level IV (13/19) and in Clark level V (4/4) lesions. ALCAM expression was exclusively detectable in the vertical growth phase of the primary tumor. In melanoma metastases, approximately half of the lesions tested (13/28) were ALCAM positive. According to the Breslow-thickness, ALCAM expression was observed in less than 10% of the lesions that were thinner than 1.5 mm and in over 70% of the lesions that were thicker than 1.5 mm. Our results strongly suggest that ALCAM plays an important role in melanocytic tumor progression and depict it as a new molecular marker for neoplastic progression of primary human melanoma.
Activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM/ CD166), a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily with five extracellular immunoglobulin-like domains, facilitates heterophilic (ALCAM-CD6) and homophilic (ALCAM-ALCAM) cell-cell interactions. While expressed in a wide variety of tissues and cells, ALCAM is restricted to subsets of cells usually involved in dynamic growth and/or migration processes. A structure-function analysis, using two monoclonal anti-ALCAM antibodies and a series of amino-terminally deleted ALCAM constructs, revealed that homophilic cell adhesion depended on ligand binding mediated by the membranedistal amino-terminal immunoglobulin domain and on avidity controlled by ALCAM clustering at the cell surface involving membrane-proximal immunoglobulin domains. Co-expression of a transmembrane ALCAM deletion mutant, which lacks the ligand binding domain, and endogenous wild-type ALCAM inhibited homophilic cell-cell interactions by interference with ALCAM avidity, while homophilic, soluble ligand binding remained unaltered. The extracellular structures of ALCAM thus provide two structurally and functionally distinguishable modules, one involved in ligand binding and the other in avidity. Functionality of both modules is required for stable homophilic ALCAM-ALCAM cell-cell adhesion.Adhesion molecules play an important role in development, leukocyte function, and homeostasis in multicellular organisms, which are mainly governed by inter-and intracellular communication via cell-cell interactions. Alterations in cellular adhesion and communication can contribute to uncontrolled cell growth (1) and life-threatening syndromes like leukocyte adhesion deficiency (2). Activation of adhesion molecules generally involves both modulation of affinity and avidity. The affinity of adhesion molecules often reflects a specific conformation of the extracellular ligand-binding domain. Avidity modulation involves changes in the cell surface distribution of adhesion molecules (e.g. lateral oligomerization), which leads to clusters of molecules and thereby specifically increases the number of available receptors at the site of cell-cell interaction.Activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM/MEMD/ CD166) 1 is a type I transmembrane protein and a member of the Ig superfamily. It has over 90% homology with the chicken adhesion molecule BEN/SC1/DM-GRASP (3-5), and it has 30% identity and 50% similarity with the human melanoma cell adhesion molecule Mel-CAM/MUC18/CD146 (6). Furthermore, ALCAM has 93% sequence identity with the candidate liver high density lipoprotein receptor HB2 (7). ALCAM is involved in various physiological processes including hematopoiesis (8, 9), thymus development (10), the immune response (11), neurite extension (12), neural cell migration (13), and osteogenesis (14).ALCAM has a short cytoplasmic tail and its extracellular part comprises five Ig domains: two amino-terminal variable (V) type Ig domains followed by three constant (C) type Ig domains (V 1 V 2 C 1 C 2 C 3 ). ALCAM was first ident...
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