JOURNAL ARTICLE

Involvement of RHO GTPases and ERK in synuclein-gamma enhanced cancer cell motility

Zhong-Zong Pan, Wendy Bruening, Andrew K Godwin
International Journal of Oncology 2006, 29 (5): 1201-5
17016652
Synuclein-gamma is aberrantly expressed in more than 70% of stage III/IV breast and ovarian carcinomas. Ectopic overexpression of synuclein-gamma enhanced MDA-MB-435 cell migration in vitro and metastasis in a nude mouse model. However, the mechanism of how synuclein-gamma promotes cell motility is not clear. In our previous studies, we showed that synuclein-gamma overexpression activates ERK. In the present study, we overexpressed synuclein-gamma in several breast and ovarian cancer cell lines and evaluated the effect of synuclein-gamma on the activity of small G-protein RHO family members. We found that at least one of the RHO/RAC/CDC42 GTPases showed a higher level of the GTP-bound active form. Consistent with their role in regulating the intracellular motile machinery, inhibition of the RHO/RAC/CDC42 by C. difficile Toxin B blocked cell migration in both parental cells and synuclein-gamma overexpressing cells. The ERK inhibitor U0126 also blocked the cell migration in both parental cells and synuclein-gamma overexpressing cells. Collectively, our data indicate that synuclein-gamma might be involved in late stage breast and ovarian cancer metastasis by enhancing cell motility through activation of the RHO family small-GTPases and ERK.

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