Colon carcinomas commonly contain mutations in Ki-ras4B, but very rarely in Ha-ras, suggesting that different Ras isoforms may have distinct functions in colon epithelial cell biology. In an earlier study we had demonstrated that oncogenic Ki-ras4BVal-12, but not oncogenic Ha-rasVal-12, blocks the apicobasal polarization of colon epithelial cells by preventing normal glycosylation of the integrin beta1 chain of the collagen receptor. As a result, only the Ki-ras mutated cells exhibited altered cell to substratum attachment, whereas mutation of either Ras isoform activated mitogen-activated protein kinases. We have now asked whether intercellular adhesion proteins implicated in establishing basolateral polarity in colon epithelial cells are modulated by oncogenic Ki-Ras4BVal-12 proteins but not oncogenic Ha-RasVal-12 proteins. The embryonic adhesion protein carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) was up-regulated on the mRNA and protein levels in each of three stable Ki-rasVal-12 transfectant lines but in none of three stable Ha-rasVal-12 transfectant lines. The elevated protein levels of CEA in Ki-ras4BVal-12 transfectant cells were decreased by blocking expression of Ki-ras4BVal-12 with antisense oligonucleotides. N-cadherin levels were decreased in only the Ki-ras transfectants, whereas E-cadherin levels were unchanged. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated that Ki-ras4BVal-12 transfectant cells did not polarize into cells with discrete apical and basal regions and so could not restrict expression of CEA to the apical region. These unpolarized cells displayed elevated levels of CEA all along their surface membrane where CEA mediated random, multilayered associations of tumor cells. This aggregation was both calcium-independent and blocked by Fab' fragments of anti-CEA monoclonal antibody col-1. Trafficking of the lysosomal cysteine protease cathepsin B may also be altered when cell polarity cannot be established. Ki-ras4BVal-12 transfectant cells expressed 2-fold elevated protein levels of the lysosomal cysteine protease cathepsin B but did not up-regulate cathepsin B mRNA expression. One function of oncogenic c-Ki-Ras proteins in colon cancer progression may be to up-regulate CEA and thus to prevent the lateral adhesion of adjacent colon epithelial cells that normally form a monolayer in vivo.
"Overexpression of this mutated form of KRAS also inhibits glycosylation of the integrin β1-chain, resulting in altered polarisation and increased adhesiveness of colon cancer cells. In addition, expression of this oncogenic form of KRAS protein has been shown to be associated with upregulated carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) expression and disturbance of epithelial cell polarization  "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The KRAS gene (Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog) is an oncogene that encodes a small GTPase transductor protein called KRAS. KRAS is involved in the regulation of cell division as a result of its ability to relay external signals to the cell nucleus. Activating mutations in the KRAS gene impair the ability of the KRAS protein to switch between active and inactive states, leading to cell transformation and increased resistance to chemotherapy and biological therapies targeting epidermal growth factor receptors. This review highlights some of the features of the KRAS gene and the KRAS protein and summarizes current knowledge of the mechanism of KRAS gene regulation. It also underlines the importance of activating mutations in the KRAS gene in relation to carcinogenesis and their importance as diagnostic biomarkers, providing clues regarding human cancer patients' prognosis and indicating potential therapeutic approaches.
BioMed Research International 06/2010; 2010:150960. DOI:10.1155/2010/150960 · 2.71 Impact Factor
"Further potential substrates of cysteine proteases released from tumor cells are proteins of cellcell and cell-matrix contacts. For instance, correlation between degradation of cadherins and integrins and enhanced cathepsin B expression was observed in colon carcinoma (Yan et al., 1997). Elevated tissue levels of cathepsins B and L in gastric and duodenal mucosa in non-malignant diseased tissue were related to ulcer formation and altered wound healing (Herszenyi et al., 1997). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We hypothesized that tissue-specific expression of cathepsin B-enhanced green fluorescent protein (CB-EGFP) can be driven by the A33-antigen promoter that contains positive cis-regulatory elements, including caudal-related homeobox (CDX) binding sites. The intestine-specific transcription factor Cdx1 is crucial for A33-antigen promoter activation and could thereby induce expression of CB-EGFP. This concept was tested by construction of the vector pA33-CathB-EGFP encoding CB-EGFP downstream of the A33-antigen promoter. Its Cdx1 dependence, as an indication of its intestine-specific expression, was tested in Cdx1-negative CHO-K1 cells. Cdx1 expression was achieved upon transfection with pCdx1-DsRed-Express and was indicated by red fluorescence of the simultaneously translated reporter protein. Immunolabeling with Cdx1-specific antibodies showed correct targeting of the transcription factor to its point of action in nuclei of transfected cells. Co-transfection experiments with plasmids pA33-CathB-EGFP and pCdx1-DsRed-Express confirmed the hypothesis that Cdx1 indeed activates CB-EGFP expression in a manner dependent on the A33-antigen promoter. Co-localization with compartment-specific markers and subcellular fractionation confirmed CB-EGFP trafficking along the expected route to endolysosomal compartments. Hence, the A33-antigen promoter represents a potent tool for induction of Cdx1-dependent CB-EGFP expression in vitro. Our proof-of-principle studies confirm the suitability of this approach in visualizing protease transport in Cdx1-positive tissues of the gastrointestinal tract.
"Cathepsin B in Tumor Cell Caveolae Cavallo-Medved et al.  and primary human colorectal carcinomas . In addition , Kim et al.  reported that a mutation in K-ras or an expression of altered forms of N-ras protein increases the tumorigenicity of colorectal carcinomas by inducing the expression of both cathepsin B and cathepsin L. Expression and activity of mature cathepsin B on the plasma membrane of H-ras – transformed MCF-10 breast epithelial cells also have been shown to be upregulated without alterations in cathepsin B mRNA levels . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cathepsin B protein and activity are known to localize to the basal plasma membrane of colon carcinoma cells following the appearance of K-ras mutations. Using immunofluorescence and subcellular fractionation techniques and two human colon carcinoma cell lines - one with a mutated K-ras allele (HCT 116) and a daughter line in which the mutated allele has been disrupted (HKh-2)-we demonstrate that the localization of cathepsin B to caveolae on the surface of these carcinoma cells is regulated by mutant K-ras. In HCT 116 cells, a greater percentage of cathepsin B was distributed to the caveolae, and the secretion of cathepsin B and pericellular (membrane-associated and secreted) cathepsin B activity were greater than observed in HKh-2 cells. Previous studies established the light chain of annexin II tetramer, p11, as a binding site for cathepsin B on the surface of tumor cells. The deletion of active K-ras in HKh-2 cells reduced the steady-state levels of p11 and caveolin-1 and the distribution of p11 to caveolae. Based upon these results, we speculate that cathepsin B, a protease implicated in tumor progression, plays a functional role in initiating proteolytic cascades in caveolae as downstream components of this cascade (e.g., urokinase plasminogen activator and urokinase plasminogen activator receptor) are also present in HCT 116 caveolae.
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