The neuropilins (NRPs) contribute to the function of cancer cells in their capacity as VEGF receptors. Given that NRP2 is induced in breast cancer and correlates with aggressive disease, we examined the role of NRP2 in regulating the interaction of breast cancer cells with the ECM. Using epithelial cells from breast tumors, we defined NRP2(high) and NRP2(low) populations that differed in integrin expression and adhesion to laminin. Specifically, the NRP2(high) population adhered more avidly to laminin and expressed high levels of the α6β1 integrin than the NRP2(low) population. The NRP2(high) population formed numerous focal adhesions on laminin that were not seen in the NRP2(low) population. These results were substantiated using breast carcinoma cell lines that express NRP2 and α6β1 integrin. Depletion experiments revealed that adhesive strength on laminin but not collagen is dependent on NRP2, and that VEGF is needed for adhesion on laminin. A specific interaction between NRP2 and α6β1 integrin was detected by co-immunoprecipitation. NRP2 is necessary for focal adhesion formation on laminin and for the association of α6β1 integrin with the cytoskeleton. NRP2 also facilitates α6β1-integrin-mediated activation of FAK and Src. Unexpectedly, we discovered that NRP2 is located in focal adhesions on laminin. The mechanism by which NRP2 regulates the interaction of α6β1 integrin with laminin to form focal adhesions involves PKC activation. Together, our data reveal a new VEGF-NRP2 signaling pathway that activates the α6β1 integrin and enables it to form focal adhesions and signal. This pathway is important in the pathogenesis of breast cancer.
"neuroblastoma) frequently express NRP-2 , and NRP-2 expression is also elevated in high-grade prostate cancers with PTEN loss , a frequent event in glioblastoma . NRP-2 is essential for breast cancer tumor initiation , where it is involved in the formation of focal adhesions  and is associated with metastasis and poor prognosis . NRP-2 also promotes the invasion and migration of thyroid cancer cells in vitro, an effect that could be blocked by a neutralizing anti-NRP-2 antibody . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aberrant expression of microRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small non-coding regulatory RNAs, has been implicated in the development and progression of high-grade gliomas. However, the precise mechanistic role of many miRNAs in this disease remains unclear. Here, we investigate the functional role of miR-331-3p in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). We found that miR-331-3p expression in GBM cell lines is significantly lower than in normal brain, and that transient overexpression of miR-331-3p inhibits GBM cell line proliferation and clonogenic growth, suggesting a possible tumor suppressor role for miR-331-3p in this system. Bioinformatics analysis identified neuropilin-2 (NRP-2) as a putative target of miR-331-3p. Using transfection studies, we validated NRP-2 mRNA as a target of miR-331-3p in GBM cell lines, and show that NRP-2 expression is regulated by miR-331-3p. RNA interference (RNAi) to inhibit NRP-2 expression in vitro decreased the growth and clonogenic growth of GBM cell lines, providing further support for an oncogenic role for NRP-2 in high-grade gliomas. We also show that miR-331-3p inhibits GBM cell migration, an effect due in part to reduced NRP-2 expression. Finally, we identified a significant inverse correlation between miR-331-3p and NRP-2 expression in The Cancer Genome Atlas GBM cohort of 491 patients. Together, our results suggest that a loss of miR-331-3p expression contributes to GBM development and progression, at least in part via upregulating NRP-2 expression and increasing cell proliferation and clonogenic growth.
Journal of Neuro-Oncology 10/2013; 116(1). DOI:10.1007/s11060-013-1271-7 · 3.07 Impact Factor
"Here we expand those studies by observing the association between Nrp1 and p130Cas, and their widespread colocalization. Nrp2 was also reported to be involved in the formation of FAs through the regulation of the activity of integrin a 6 b 1 , and was shown to be abundant in FAs . Interestingly, FlnA had been reported to regulate the recycling of the calcitonin receptor (CTR), a G-protein coupled receptor that is involved in the maintenance of calcium homeostasis . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Though the vascular endothelial growth factor coreceptor neuropilin-1 (Nrp1) plays a critical role in vascular development, its precise function is not fully understood. We identified a group of novel binding partners of the cytoplasmic domain of Nrp1 that includes the focal adhesion protein FlnA. Endothelial cells (ECs) expressing a Nrp1 mutant devoid of a cytoplasmic domain (nrp1cytoΔ/Δ) instead of wild type Nrp1 migrated significantly slower in response to VEGF relative to nrp1+/+ cells. The rate of FA turnover in VEGF-treated nrp1cytoΔ/Δ ECs was an order of magnitude lower in comparison to nrp1+/+ ECs, thus accounting for the slower migration rate of the nrp1cytoΔ/Δ ECs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent findings have drawn attention to the role of membrane traffic in the signaling of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The significance of this development stems from the pivotal function of VEGF in vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. The outline of the regulation of VEGF receptor (VEGFR) signaling by membrane traffic is similar to that of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a prototype of the intertwining between membrane traffic and signaling. There are, however, unique features in VEGFR signaling that are conferred in part by the involvement of the co-receptor neuropilin (Nrp). Nrp1 and VEGFR2 are integrated into membrane traffic through the adaptor protein synectin, which recruits myosin VI, a molecular motor that drives inward trafficking [17,21,64]. The recent detection of only mild vascular defects in a knockin mouse model that expresses Nrp1 lacking a cytoplasmic domain , questions the co-receptor's role in VEGF signaling and membrane traffic. The regulation of endocytosis by ephrin-B2 is another feature unique to VEGR2/3 [18,19], but it awaits a mechanistic explanation. Current models do not fully explain how membrane traffic bridges between VEGFR and the downstream effectors that produce its functional outcome, such as cell migration. VEGF-A appears to accomplish this task in part by recruiting endocytic vesicles carrying RhoA to internalized active VEGFR2 .
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