Specific tyrosine phosphorylation sites on cortactin regulate Nck1-dependent actin polymerization in invadopodia.
ABSTRACT Invadopodia are matrix-degrading membrane protrusions in invasive carcinoma cells enriched in proteins that regulate actin polymerization. The on-off regulatory switch that initiates actin polymerization in invadopodia requires phosphorylation of tyrosine residues 421, 466, and 482 on cortactin. However, it is unknown which of these cortactin tyrosine phosphorylation sites control actin polymerization. We investigated the contribution of individual tyrosine phosphorylation sites (421, 466, and 482) on cortactin to the regulation of actin polymerization in invadopodia. We provide evidence that the phosphorylation of tyrosines 421 and 466, but not 482, is required for the generation of free actin barbed ends in invadopodia. In addition, these same phosphotyrosines are important for Nck1 recruitment to invadopodia via its SH2 domain, for the direct binding of Nck1 to cortactin in vitro, and for the FRET interaction between Nck1 and cortactin in invadopodia. Furthermore, matrix proteolysis-dependent tumor cell invasion is dramatically inhibited in cells expressing a mutation in phosphotyrosine 421 or 466. Together, these results identify phosphorylation of tyrosines 421 and 466 on cortactin as the crucial residues that regulate Nck1-dependent actin polymerization in invadopodia and tumor cell invasion, and suggest that specifically blocking either tyrosine 421 or 466 phosphorylation might be effective at inhibiting tumor cell invasion in vivo.
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ABSTRACT: Metastasis is the cause of death for patients with many types of cancer, but the process of tumour cell dissemination is poorly understood. As primary tumours are three-dimensional, departure of cells from primary tumours has been difficult to study. Multiphoton microscopy has been developed for in vivo imaging and, using this technique, we are beginning to understand how invasive tumour cells move.Nature reviews. Cancer 01/2004; 3(12):921-30. · 35.00 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Invadopodia are branched actin-rich structures associated with extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation that collectively form the invasive machinery of aggressive cancer cells. Cortactin is a prominent component and a specific marker of invadopodia. Amplification of cortactin is associated with poor prognosis in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC), possibly because of its activity in invadopodia. Although the role of cortactin in invadopodia has been attributed to signaling and actin assembly, it is incompletely understood. We made HNSCC cells deficient in cortactin by RNA interference knockdown methods. In these cortactin knockdown cells, invadopodia were reduced in number and lost their ability to degrade ECM. In the reverse experiment, overexpression of cortactin dramatically increased ECM degradation, far above and beyond the effect on formation of actin/Arp3-positive invadopodia puncta. Secretion of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) MMP-2 and MMP-9, as well as plasma membrane delivery of MT1-MMP correlated closely with cortactin expression levels. MMP inhibitor treatment of control cells mimicked the cortactin knockdown phenotype, with abolished ECM degradation and fewer invadopodia, suggesting a positive feedback loop in which degradation products from MMP activity promote new invadopodia formation. Collectively, these data suggest that a major role of cortactin in invadopodia is to regulate the secretion of MMPs and point to a novel mechanism coupling dynamic actin assembly to the secretory machinery, producing enhanced ECM degradation and invasiveness. Furthermore, these data provide a possible explanation for the observed association between cortactin overexpression and enhanced invasiveness and poor prognosis in HNSCC patients.Cancer Research 06/2007; 67(9):4227-35. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: When migrating away from a primary tumour, cancer cells interact with and remodel the extracellular matrix (ECM). Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and in particular the transmembrane MT1-MMP (also known as MMP-14), are key enzymes in tumour-cell invasion. Results from recent in vitro studies highlight that MT1-MMP is implicated both in the breaching of basement membranes by tumour cells and in cell invasion through interstitial type-I collagen tissues. Remarkably, MT1-MMP accumulates at invadopodia, which are specialized ECM-degrading membrane protrusions of invasive cells. Here we review current knowledge about MT1-MMP trafficking and its importance for the regulation of protease activity at invadopodia. In invasive cells, endocytosis of MT1-MMP by clathrin- and caveolae-dependent pathways can be counteracted by several mechanisms, which leads to protease stabilization at the cell surface and increased pericellular degradation of the matrix. Furthermore, the recent identification of cellular components that control delivery of MT1-MMP to invadopodia brings new insight into mechanisms of cancer-cell invasion and reveals potential pharmacological targets.Journal of Cell Science 10/2009; 122(Pt 17):3015-24. · 5.88 Impact Factor