Specific expression of the human voltage-gated proton channel Hv1 in highly metastatic breast cancer cells, promotes tumor progression and metastasis

Yifan Wang, Shu Jie Li, Juncheng Pan, Yongzhe Che, Jian Yin, Qing Zhao
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 2011 August 26, 412 (2): 353-9
The newly discovered human voltage-gated proton channel Hv1 is essential for proton transfer, which contains a voltage sensor domain (VSD) without a pore domain. We report here for the first time that Hv1 is specifically expressed in the highly metastatic human breast tumor tissues, but not in poorly metastatic breast cancer tissues, detected by immunohistochemistry. Meanwhile, real-time RT-PCR and immunocytochemistry showed that the expression levels of Hv1 have significant differences among breast cancer cell lines, MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, MDA-MB-453, T-47D and SK-BR-3, in which Hv1 is expressed at a high level in highly metastatic human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231, but at a very low level in poorly metastatic human breast cancer cell line MCF-7. Inhibition of Hv1 expression in the highly metastatic MDA-MB-231 cells by small interfering RNA (siRNA) significantly decreases the invasion and migration of the cells. The intracellular pH of MDA-MB-231 cells down-regulated Hv1 expression by siRNA is obviously decreased compared with MDA-MB-231 with the scrambled siRNA. The expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and gelatinase activity in MDA-MB-231 cells suppressed Hv1 by siRNA were reduced. Our results strongly suggest that Hv1 regulates breast cancer intracellular pH and exacerbates the migratory ability of metastatic cells.

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