ABSTRACT: Patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma have a poor prognosis due to the extraordinary high invasive capacity of this tumor. Altered integrin and tetraspanin expression is suggested to be an important factor. We recently reported that after protein kinase C activation, colocalization of alpha6beta4 with the tetraspanin CO-029 strongly supports migration of a rat pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The finding led us to explore whether and which integrin-tetraspanin complexes influence the motility of human pancreatic tumors.
Integrin and tetraspanin expression of pancreatic and colorectal adenocarcinoma was evaluated with emphasis on colocalization and the impact of integrin-tetraspanin associations on tumor cell motility.
The majority of pancreatic and colorectal tumors expressed the alpha2, alpha3, alpha6, beta1, and beta4 integrins and the tetraspanins CD9, CD63, CD81, CD151, and CO-029. Expression of alpha6beta4 and CO-029 was restricted to tumor cells, whereas alpha1, alpha2, alpha3, alpha6, beta1, and CD9, CD81, CD151 were also expressed by the surrounding stroma. CD63, CD81, and beta1 expression was observed at comparably high levels in healthy pancreatic tissue. alpha3beta1 frequently colocalized and coimmunoprecipitated with CD9, CD81, and CD151, whereas alpha6beta4 colocalized and coimmunoprecipitated mostly with CD151 and CO-029. Notably, protein kinase C activation strengthened only the colocalization of CD151 and CO-029 with beta4 and was accompanied by internalization of the integrin-tetraspanin complex, decreased laminin 5 adhesion, and increased cell migration.
alpha6beta4 is selectively up-regulated in pancreatic and colorectal cancer. The association of alpha6beta4 with CD151 and CO-029 correlates with increased tumor cell motility.
Clinical Cancer Research 05/2005; 11(8):2840-52. · 7.74 Impact Factor