CD44 is required for two consecutive steps in HGF/c-Met signaling.
ABSTRACT The tyrosine kinase receptor c-Met and its ligand HGF/SF, ezrin, and splice variants of CD44 have independently been identified as tumor metastasis-associated proteins. We now show that these proteins cooperate. A CD44 isoform containing variant exon v6 sequences is strictly required for c-Met activation by HGF/SF in rat and human carcinoma cells, in established cell lines as well as in primary keratinocytes. CD44v6-deficient tumor cells were unable to activate c-Met unless they were transfected with a CD44v6-bearing isoform. Antibodies to two v6-encoded epitopes inhibited autophosphorylation of c-Met by interfering with the formation of a complex formed by c-Met, CD44v6, and HGF/SF. In addition, signal transduction from activated c-Met to MEK and Erk required the presence of the cytoplasmic tail of CD44 including a binding motif for ERM proteins. This suggests a role for ERM proteins and possibly their link to the cortical actin cytoskeleton in signal transfer.
Article: Heparan sulfate signaling in cancer.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Heparan sulfate (HS) is a biopolymer consisting of variably sulfated repeating disaccharide units. The anticoagulant heparin is a highly sulfated intracellular variant of HS. HS has demonstrated roles in embryonic development, homeostasis, and human disease via non-covalent interactions with numerous cellular proteins, including growth factors and their receptors. HS can function as a co-receptor by enhancing receptor-complex formation. In other contexts, HS disrupts signaling complexes or serves as a ligand sink. The effects of HS on growth factor signaling are tightly regulated by the actions of sulfyltransferases, sulfatases, and heparanases. HS has important emerging roles in oncogenesis, and heparin derivatives represent potential therapeutic strategies for human cancers. Here we review recent insights into HS signaling in tumor proliferation, angiogenesis, metastasis, and differentiation. A cancer-specific understanding of HS signaling could uncover potential therapeutic targets in this highly actionable signaling network.Trends in Biochemical Sciences 04/2014; · 13.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Chronic kidney diseases (CKDs) are characterized by tubular atrophy and interstitial fibrosis. We previously showed that in obstructive nephropathy de novo CD44 renal expression contributes to renal fibrosis but attenuates tubular damage/apoptosis. As CD44-standard (CD44s) has been linked to TGF-β1-mediated actions and CD44-variant-3 (CD44v3) favors HGF-c-Met binding, we compared the functional properties of these CD44 isoforms in the progression of obstructive nephropathy, using specific CD44-variant knockout/knockin mice. The presence of CD44v3 diminished tubular damage during obstructive nephropathy, decreased apoptosis, and increased proliferation of tubular epithelial cells, and prevented renal fibrosis development. In contrast, expression of CD44s led to increased tubular damage and tubular epithelial cell apoptosis, and more renal fibrosis. A relative increase in renal β-catenin expression, HGF production, and HGF/c-Met signaling, together with a relative inhibition of TGF-β1 downstream signaling and TGF-β type I receptor expression, was found in CD44v3 mice compared with CD44s littermates. In line with this, Wnt3a/HGF treatment of tubular cells resulted in higher β-catenin/p-AKT levels in CD44v3(+) tubular epithelial cells, whereas TGF-β1 induced a mild collagen I upregulation in CD44v3(+) mouse embryonic fibroblasts as compared with CD44s(+) cells. Thus, CD44s and CD44v3 exert opposite roles in the progression of obstructive nephropathy, with CD44v3-v10 being the protective isoform that delays evolution of the renal pathology.Kidney International advance online publication, 9 April 2014; doi:10.1038/ki.2014.87.Kidney International 04/2014; · 8.52 Impact Factor