[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast cancer heterogeneity demands that prognostic models must be biologically driven and recent clinical evidence indicates that future prognostic signatures need evaluation in the context of early compared with late metastatic risk prediction. In pre-clinical studies, we and others have shown that various protein-protein interactions, pertaining to the actin microfilament-associated proteins, ezrin and cofilin, mediate breast cancer cell migration, a prerequisite for cancer metastasis. Moreover, as a direct substrate for protein kinase Cα, ezrin has been shown to be a determinant of cancer metastasis for a variety of tumour types, besides breast cancer; and has been described as a pivotal regulator of metastasis by linking the plasma membrane to the actin cytoskeleton. In the present article, we demonstrate that our tissue imaging-derived parameters that pertain to or are a consequence of the PKC-ezrin interaction can be used for breast cancer prognostication, with inter-cohort reproducibility. The application of fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded patient samples to probe protein proximity within the typically <10 nm range to address the oncological challenge of tumour heterogeneity, is discussed.
Biochemical Society Transactions 12/2014; 42(6):1498-505. · 3.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While it has been established that a number of microenvironment components can affect the likelihood of metastasis, the link between microenvironment and tumor cell phenotypes is poorly understood. Here we have examined microenvironment control over two different tumor cell motility phenotypes required for metastasis. By high-resolution multiphoton microscopy of mammary carcinoma in mice, we detected two phenotypes of motile tumor cells, different in locomotion speed. Only slower tumor cells exhibited protrusions with molecular, morphological, and functional characteristics associated with invadopodia. Each region in the primary tumor exhibited either fast- or slow-locomotion. To understand how the tumor microenvironment controls invadopodium formation and tumor cell locomotion, we systematically analyzed components of the microenvironment previously associated with cell invasion and migration. No single microenvironmental property was able to predict the locations of tumor cell phenotypes in the tumor if used in isolation or combined linearly. To solve this, we utilized the support vector machine (SVM) algorithm to classify phenotypes in a nonlinear fashion. This approach identified conditions that promoted either motility phenotype. We then demonstrated that varying one of the conditions may change tumor cell behavior only in a context-dependent manner. In addition, to establish the link between phenotypes and cell fates, we photoconverted and monitored the fate of tumor cells in different microenvironments, finding that only tumor cells in the invadopodium-rich microenvironments degraded extracellular matrix (ECM) and disseminated. The number of invadopodia positively correlated with degradation, while the inhibiting metalloproteases eliminated degradation and lung metastasis, consistent with a direct link among invadopodia, ECM degradation, and metastasis. We have detected and characterized two phenotypes of motile tumor cells in vivo, which occurred in spatially distinct microenvironments of primary tumors. We show how machine-learning analysis can classify heterogeneous microenvironments in vivo to enable prediction of motility phenotypes and tumor cell fate. The ability to predict the locations of tumor cell behavior leading to metastasis in breast cancer models may lead towards understanding the heterogeneity of response to treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invadopodia are actin-rich protrusions that degrade the extracellular matrix and are required for penetration through the basement membrane, stromal invasion and intravasation. Invadopodia are enriched in actin regulators, such as cortactin, cofilin, N-WASp, Arp2/3 and fascin. Much of the work to date has centered around identifying the proteins involved in regulating actin polymerization and matrix degradation. Recently, there have been significant advances in characterization of the very early stages of invadopodium precursor assembly and the role of adhesion proteins, such as β1 integrin, talin, FAK and Hic-5, in promoting invadopodium maturation. This review summarizes these findings in the context of our current model of invadopodial function and highlights some of the important unanswered questions in the field.
European Journal of Cell Biology 10/2014; · 3.70 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patient data suggest that colony-stimulating factor-1 (CSF1) and its receptor (CSF1R) have critical roles during breast cancer progression. We have previously shown that in human breast tumors expressing both CSF1 and CSF1R, invasion in vivo is dependent both on a paracrine interaction with tumor-associated macrophages and an autocrine regulation of CSF1R in the tumor cells themselves. Although the role of the paracrine interaction between tumor cells and macrophages has been extensively studied, very little is known about the mechanism by which the autocrine CSF1R signaling contributes to tumor progression. We show here that breast cancer patients of the claudin-low subtype have significantly increased expression of CSF1R. Using a panel of breast cancer cell lines, we confirm that CSF1R expression is elevated and regulated by TGFβ specifically in claudin-low cell lines. Abrogation of autocrine CSF1R signaling in MDA-MB-231 xenografts (a claudin-low cell line) leads to increased tumor size by enhanced proliferation, but significantly reduced invasion, dissemination and metastasis. Indeed, we show that proliferation and invasion are oppositely regulated by CSF1R downstream of TGFβ only in claudin-low cell lines. Intravital multiphoton imaging revealed that inhibition of CSF1R in the tumor cells leads to decreased in vivo motility and a more cohesive morphology. We show that, both in vitro and in vivo, CSF1R inhibition results in a reversal of claudin-low marker expression by significant upregulation of luminal keratins and tight-junction proteins such as claudins. Finally, we show that artificial overexpression of claudins in MDA-MB-231 cells is sufficient to tip the cells from an invasive state to a proliferative state. Our results suggest that autocrine CSF1R signaling is essential in maintaining low claudin expression and that it mediates a switch between the proliferative and the invasive state in claudin-low tumor cells downstream of TGFβ.Oncogene advance online publication, 4 August 2014; doi:10.1038/onc.2014.226.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor microenvironment of metastasis (TMEM), consisting of direct contact between a macrophage, an endothelial cell, and a tumor cell, has been associated with metastasis in both rodent mammary tumors and human breast cancer. We prospectively examined the association between TMEM score and risk of distant metastasis and compared risk associated with TMEM score with that associated with IHC4.
JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute 08/2014; 106(8). · 15.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invadopodia are actin-rich protrusions that degrade the extracellular matrix and are required for stromal invasion, intravasation, and metastasis. The role of the focal adhesion protein talin in regulating these structures is not known. Here, we demonstrate that talin is required for invadopodial matrix degradation and three-dimensional extracellular matrix invasion in metastatic breast cancer cells. The sodium/hydrogen exchanger 1 (NHE-1) is linked to the cytoskeleton by ezrin/radixin/moesin family proteins and is known to regulate invadopodium-mediated matrix degradation. We show that the talin C terminus binds directly to the moesin band 4.1 ERM (FERM) domain to recruit a moesin-NHE-1 complex to invadopodia. Silencing talin resulted in a decrease in cytosolic pH at invadopodia and blocked cofilin-dependent actin polymerization, leading to impaired invadopodium stability and matrix degradation. Furthermore, talin is required for mammary tumor cell motility, intravasation, and spontaneous lung metastasis in vivo. Thus, our findings provide a novel understanding of how intracellular pH is regulated and a molecular mechanism by which talin enhances tumor cell invasion and metastasis.
The Journal of Cell Biology 06/2014; · 9.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rho family GTPases control cell migration and participate in the regulation of cancer metastasis. Invadopodia, associated with invasive tumour cells, are crucial for cellular invasion and metastasis. To study Rac1 GTPase in invadopodia dynamics, we developed a genetically encoded, single-chain Rac1 fluorescence resonance energy (FRET) transfer biosensor. The biosensor shows Rac1 activity exclusion from the core of invadopodia, and higher activity when invadopodia disappear, suggesting that reduced Rac1 activity is necessary for their stability, and Rac1 activation is involved in disassembly. Photoactivating Rac1 at invadopodia confirmed this previously unknown Rac1 function. We describe here an invadopodia disassembly model, where a signalling axis involving TrioGEF, Rac1, Pak1, and phosphorylation of cortactin, causes invadopodia dissolution. This mechanism is critical for the proper turnover of invasive structures during tumour cell invasion, where a balance of proteolytic activity and locomotory protrusions must be carefully coordinated to achieve a maximally invasive phenotype.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic metastasis is the dissemination of cancer cells from the primary tumor to distant organs and is the primary cause of death in cancer patients. How do cancer cells leave the primary tumor mass? The ability of the tumor cells to form different types of actin-rich protrusions including invasive protrusions (invadopodia) and locomotory protrusions (lamellipodia [2D] or pseudopodia [3D]), facilitate the invasion and dissemination of the tumor cells. Rho-family of p21 small GTPases plays a direct role in regulating the actin dynamics in these intracellular compartments. Recent studies have shown that the signaling molecules including RhoC/p190RhoGEF/p190RhoGAP acts as a "molecular compass" in order to direct the spatial and temporal dynamics of the formation of these invasive and locomotory protrusions leading to efficient invasion.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invadopodia are dynamic protrusions in motile tumor cells whose function is to degrade extracellular matrix so that cells can enter into new environments. Invadopodia are specifically identified by microscopy as proteolytic invasive protrusions containing TKS5 and cortactin. The increasing complexity in models for the study of invadopodia, including engineered 3D environments, explants, or animal models in vivo, entails a higher level of microenvironment complexity as well as cancer cell heterogeneity. Such experimental setups are rich in information and offer the possibility of contextualizing invadopodia and other motility-related structures. That is, they hold the promise of revealing more realistic microenvironmental conditions under which the invadopodium assembles and functions or in which tumor cells switch to a different cellular phenotype (focal adhesion, lamellipodia, proliferation, and apoptosis). For such an effort, we need a systemic approach to microscopy, which will integrate information from multiple modalities. While the individual technologies needed to achieve this are mostly available, data integration and standardization is not a trivial process. In a systems microscopy approach, microscopy is used to extract information on cell phenotypes and the microenvironment while -omics technologies assess profiles of cancer cell and microenvironment genetic, transcription, translation, and protein makeups. Data are classified and linked via in silico modeling (including statistical and mathematical models and bioinformatics). Computational considerations create predictions to be validated experimentally by perturbing the system through use of genetic manipulations and molecular biology. With such a holistic approach, a deeper understanding of function of invadopodia in vivo will be reached, opening the potential for personalized diagnostics and therapies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Growth factor-dependent pairing and motility between tumor cells and tumor-associated macrophages on extracellular matrix (ECM) fibers of the tumor microenvironment have been shown to enhance intravasation and metastatic spread of breast carcinomas. We describe an in vitro motility assay that combines time-lapse wide-field microscopy and micro-patterned linear adhesive substrates to reconstitute the in vivo behavior between macrophages, tumor cells, and ECM fibers in orthotopic rodent tumor models observed by intravital imaging. Commercially available linear stripes of 650 nm dye-labeled fibronectin microlithographed onto glass cover slips are sequentially plated with fluorescently labeled MTLn3 tumor cells and bone marrow-derived macrophages and time-lapse imaged for up to 8 h. Incubation with pharmacological inhibitors during the assay can identify important paracrine or autocrine signaling pathways involved in the macrophage-tumor cell interaction. This high-resolution motility assay will lead to a more detailed description of immune cell-tumor cell behavior as well as interrogating additional cell types within the tumor microenvironment which use cytokine/growth factor paracrine signaling interactions to facilitate intravasation and metastasis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rapid polymerization of actin filament barbed ends generates protrusive forces at the cell edge, leading to cell migration. Two important regulators of free barbed ends, cofilin and Arp2/3, have been shown to work in synergy (net effect greater than additive). To explore this synergy, we model the dynamics of F-actin at the leading edge, motivated by data from EGF-stimulated mammary carcinoma cells. We study how synergy depends on the localized rates and relative timing of cofilin and Arp2/3 activation at the cell edge. The model incorporates diffusion of cofilin, membrane protrusion, F-actin capping, aging, and severing by cofilin and branch nucleation by Arp2/3 (but not G-actin recycling). In a well-mixed system, cofilin and Arp2/3 can each generate a large pulse of barbed ends on their own, but have little synergy; high synergy occurs only at low activation rates, when few barbed ends are produced. In the full spatially distributed model, both synergy and barbed-end production are significant over a range of activation rates. Furthermore, barbed-end production is greatest when Arp2/3 activation is delayed relative to cofilin. Our model supports a direct role for cofilin-mediated actin polymerization in stimulated cell migration, including chemotaxis and cancer invasion.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tks5 regulates invadopodium formation, but the precise timing during invadopodium lifetime (initiation, stabilization, maturation) when Tks5 plays a role is not known.
We report new findings based on high-resolution spatiotemporal live-cell imaging of invadopodium precursor assembly. Cortactin, N-WASP, cofilin, and actin arrive together to form the invadopodium precursor, followed by Tks5 recruitment. Tks5 is not required for precursor initiation but is needed for precursor stabilization, which requires the interaction of the phox homology (PX) domain of Tks5 with PI(3,4)P2. During precursor formation, PI(3,4)P2 is uniformly distributed but subsequently starts accumulating at the precursor core 3-4 min after core initiation, and conversely, PI(3,4,5)P3 gets enriched in a ring around the precursor core. SHIP2, a 5'-inositol phosphatase, localizes at the invadopodium core and regulates PI(3,4)P2 levels locally at the invadopodium. The timing of SHIP2 arrival at the invadopodium precursor coincides with the onset of PI(3,4)P2 accumulation. Consistent with its late arrival, we found that SHIP2 inhibition does not affect precursor formation but does cause decreases in mature invadopodia and matrix degradation, whereas SHIP2 overexpression increases matrix degradation.
Together, these findings lead us to propose a new sequential model that provides novel insights into molecular mechanisms underlying invadopodium precursor initiation, stabilization, and maturation into a functional invadopodium.
Current biology: CB 11/2013; 23(21):2079-2089. · 10.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most cancer patients die as a result of metastasis, thus it is important to understand the molecular mechanisms of dissemination, including intra- and extravasation. Although the mechanisms of extravasation have been vastly studied in vitro and in vivo, the process of intravasation is still unclear. Furthermore, how cells in the tumor microenvironment facilitate tumor cell intravasation is still unknown. Using high-resolution imaging, we found that macrophages enhance tumor cell intravasation upon physical contact. Macrophage and tumor cell contact induce RhoA activity in tumor cells, triggering the formation of actin-rich degradative protrusions called invadopodia, enabling tumor cells to degrade and break through matrix barriers during tumor cell transendothelial migration. Interestingly, we show that macrophage-induced invadopodium formation and tumor cell intravasation also occur in patient-derived tumor cells and in vivo models, revealing a conserved mechanism of tumor cell intravasation. Our results illustrate a novel heterotypic cell contact-mediated signaling role for RhoA, as well as yield mechanistic insight into the ability of cells within the tumor microenvironment to facilitate steps of the metastatic cascade.Oncogene advance online publication, 23 September 2013; doi:10.1038/onc.2013.377.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased expression of HBEGF in estrogen receptor-negative breast tumors is correlated with enhanced metastasis to distant organ sites and more rapid disease recurrence upon removal of the primary tumor. Our previous work has demonstrated a paracrine loop between breast cancer cells and macrophages in which the tumor cells are capable of stimulating macrophages through the secretion of colony-stimulating factor-1 while the tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), in turn, aid in tumor cell invasion by secreting epidermal growth factor. To determine how the autocrine expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) ligands by carcinoma cells would affect this paracrine loop mechanism, and in particular whether tumor cell invasion depends on spatial ligand gradients generated by TAMs, we generated cell lines with increased HBEGF expression. We found that autocrine HBEGF expression enhanced in vivo intravasation and metastasis and resulted in a novel phenomenon in which macrophages were no longer required for in vivo invasion of breast cancer cells. In vitro studies revealed that expression of HBEGF enhanced invadopodium formation, thus providing a mechanism for cell autonomous invasion. The increased invadopodium formation was directly dependent on EGFR signaling, as demonstrated by a rapid decrease in invadopodia upon inhibition of autocrine HBEGF/EGFR signaling as well as inhibition of signaling downstream of EGFR activation. HBEGF expression also resulted in enhanced invadopodium function via upregulation of matrix metalloprotease 2 (MMP2) and MMP9 expression levels. We conclude that high levels of HBEGF expression can short-circuit the tumor cell/macrophage paracrine invasion loop, resulting in enhanced tumor invasion that is independent of macrophage signaling.Oncogene advance online publication, 9 September 2013; doi:10.1038/onc.2013.363.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A paracrine interaction between epidermal growth factor (EGF)-secreting tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF-1)-secreting breast carcinoma cells promotes invasion and metastasis. Here, we show that mice deficient in the hematopoietic-cell-specific Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) are unable to support TAM-dependent carcinoma cell invasion and metastasis in both orthotopic and transgenic models of mammary tumorigenesis. Motility and invasion defects of tumor cells were recapitulated ex vivo upon coculture with WASp(-/-) macrophages. Mechanistically, WASp is required for macrophages to migrate toward CSF-1-producing carcinoma cells, as well as for the release of EGF through metalloprotease-dependent shedding of EGF from the cell surface of macrophages. Our findings suggest that WASp acts to support both the migration of TAMs and the production of EGF, which in concert promote breast tumor metastasis.