RHAMM/ERK interaction induces proliferative activities of cementifying fibroma cells through a mechanism based on the CD44-EGFR

Hiroko Hatano, Hideo Shigeishi, Yasusei Kudo, Koichiro Higashikawa, Kei Tobiume, Takashi Takata, Nobuyuki Kamata
Laboratory Investigation; a Journal of Technical Methods and Pathology 2011, 91 (3): 379-91
We have previously established immortalized cells (HCF) from cementifying fibroma of the jaw bone. Here, we found that the receptor for hyaluronan (HA)-mediated motility (RHAMM) and epiregulin, a ligand for the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), were highly expressed in HCF cells in comparison with osteoblasts by conducting a microarray analysis. The cell growth of HCF cells was significantly decreased by the knockdown of RHAMM using small interfering RNA (siRNA). RHAMM was associated with extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and essential for ERK phosphorylation. HCF cells had characteristic growth mechanisms in which epiregulin functions in an extracellular autocrine loop. Interestingly, exogenous HA induced the phosphorylation of EGFR, which was mainly dependent on CD44. The results raise the novel idea that the EGFR may activate Raf-MEK-ERK signaling in response to the binding of HA to CD44. Moreover, RHAMM was able to associate with TPX2 in the nucleus and was required for HA-induced activation of the Aurora A kinase. The results suggest that RHAMM has a predominant role in the cell cycle in HCF. Here, we report the new machinery by which RHAMM/ERK interaction induces the proliferative activity of cementifying fibroma cells via a specific signaling pathway through the CD44-EGFR axis.

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