Integrin alpha6Bbeta4 inhibits colon cancer cell proliferation and c-Myc activity.

CIHR Team on the Digestive Epithelium, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, J1H 5N4, Canada.
BMC Cancer (Impact Factor: 3.33). 02/2009; 9:223. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-9-223
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Integrins are known to be important contributors to cancer progression. We have previously shown that the integrin beta4 subunit is up-regulated in primary colon cancer. Its partner, the integrin alpha6 subunit, exists as two different mRNA splice variants, alpha6A and alpha6B, that differ in their cytoplasmic domains but evidence for distinct biological functions of these alpha6 splice variants is still lacking.
In this work, we first analyzed the expression of integrin alpha6A and alpha6B at the protein and transcript levels in normal human colonic cells as well as colorectal adenocarcinoma cells from both primary tumors and established cell lines. Then, using forced expression experiments, we investigated the effect of alpha6A and alpha6B on the regulation of cell proliferation in a colon cancer cell line.
Using variant-specific antibodies, we observed that alpha6A and alpha6B are differentially expressed both within the normal adult colonic epithelium and between normal and diseased colonic tissues. Proliferative cells located in the lower half of the glands were found to predominantly express alpha6A, while the differentiated and quiescent colonocytes in the upper half of the glands and surface epithelium expressed alpha6B. A relative decrease of alpha6B expression was also identified in primary colon tumors and adenocarcinoma cell lines suggesting that the alpha6A/alpha6B ratios may be linked to the proliferative status of colonic cells. Additional studies in colon cancer cells showed that experimentally restoring the alpha6A/alpha6B balance in favor of alpha6B caused a decrease in cellular S-phase entry and repressed the activity of c-Myc.
The findings that the alpha6Bbeta4 integrin is expressed in quiescent normal colonic cells and is significantly down-regulated in colon cancer cells relative to its alpha6Abeta4 counterpart are consistent with the anti-proliferative influence and inhibitory effect on c-Myc activity identified for this alpha6Bbeta4 integrin. Taken together, these findings point out the importance of integrin variant expression in colon cancer cell biology.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although now dogma, the idea that nonvertebrate organisms such as yeast, worms, and flies could inform, and in some cases even revolutionize, our understanding of oncogenesis in humans was not immediately obvious. Aided by the conservative nature of evolution and the persistence of a cohort of devoted researchers, the role of model organisms as a key tool in solving the cancer problem has, however, become widely accepted. In this review, we focus on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and its diverse and sometimes surprising contributions to our understanding of the tumorigenic process. Specifically, we discuss findings in the worm that address a well-defined set of processes known to be deregulated in cancer cells including cell cycle progression, growth factor signaling, terminal differentiation, apoptosis, the maintenance of genome stability, and developmental mechanisms relevant to invasion and metastasis.
    Developmental Dynamics 02/2010; 239(5):1413-48. · 2.59 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recently, autophagy has been found to be strongly activated in colon cancer cells, but few studies have addressed the normal colon mucosa. The aim of this study was to characterize autophagy in normal human intestinal cells. We used the expression of LC3-II and BECN1 as well as SQSTM1 as markers of autophagy activity. Using the normal human intestinal epithelial crypt (HIEC) cell experimental model, we found that autophagy was much more active in undifferentiated cells than in differentiated cells. In the normal adult colonic mucosa, BECN1 was found in the proliferative epithelial cells of the lower part of the gland while SQSTM1 was predominantly found in the differentiated cells of the upper part of the gland and surface epithelium. Interestingly, the weak punctate pattern of SQSTM1 expression in the lower gland colocalized with BECN1-labeled autophagosomes. The usefulness of SQSTM1 as an active autophagy marker was confirmed in colon cancer specimens at the protein and transcript levels. In conclusion, our results show that autophagy is active in the colonic gland and is associated with the intestinal proliferative/undifferentiated and progenitor cell populations.
    Autophagy 06/2012; 8(6):893-902. · 12.04 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 26, 2014