ABSTRACT: Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma (AC) are the major histological types of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Although both SCCs and ACs have been characterized histologically and clinically, the precise mechanisms underlying their migration and invasion are not yet known. Here, we address the involvement in NSCLC of the p21-associated kinase1 (Pak1)/LIM kinase1 (LIMK1)/cofilin pathway, which recently has been reported to play a critical role in tumor migration and invasion. The Pak1/LIMK1/cofilin pathway was evaluated in tumors from SCC (n=35) and AC (n=35) patients and in SCC- and AC-type cell lines by western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and in vitro migration and invasion assays. The levels of phosphorylated Pak1, LIMK1, and cofilin in lung tumor tissues from SCC patients were increased as compared to normal tissues. In addition, immunohistochemistry showed greater expression of phosphorylated cofilin in SCC tissues. Expression of phosphorylated Pak1 and LIMK1 proteins was also significantly higher in SCC-type cells than in AC-type cells. Moreover, migration and invasion assays revealed that a higher percentage of SCC type cells exhibited migration and invasion compared to AC type cells. Migration was also decreased in LIMK1 knockdown SK-MES-1 cells. These findings suggest that the activation of the Pak1/LIMK1/cofilin pathway could preferentially contribute to greater tumor migration and invasion in SCC, relative to that in AC.
Korean Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 06/2012; 16(3):159-65. · 0.96 Impact Factor