Document Type

Article

Journal Title

British journal of cancer

Publication Date

8-5-2008

Volume

99

Abstract

The mucin MUC4 is a high molecular weight transmembrane glycoprotein. It consists of a mucin-type subunit (MUC4alpha) and a transmembrane growth factor-like subunit (MUC4beta). The mucin MUC4 is overexpressed in many epithelial malignancies including ovarian cancer, suggesting a possible role in the pathogenesis of these cancers. In this study, we investigated the functional role of MUC4 in the human ovarian cancer cell line SKOV3. The mucin MUC4 was ectopically expressed by stable transfection, and its expression was examined by western blot and confocal microscopy analyses. The in vitro studies demonstrated an enhanced motility of MUC4-expressing SKOV3 cells compared with the vector-transfected cells. The mucin MUC4 expression was associated with apparent changes in actin organisation, leading to the formation of microspike, lammelopodia and filopodia-like cellular projections. An enhanced protein expression and activation of HER2, a receptor tyrosine kinase, was also seen, although no significant change was observed in HER-2 transcript levels in the MUC4-transfected SKOV3 cells. Reciprocal co-immunoprecipitation revealed an interaction of MUC4 with HER2. Further, the MUC4-overexpressing SKOV3 cells exhibited an increase in the phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), Akt and ERK, downstream effectors of HER2. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that MUC4 plays a role in ovarian cancer cell motility, in part, by altering actin arrangement and potentiating HER2 downstream signalling in these cells.

MeSH Headings

Base Sequence, Cell Line, Tumor, DNA Primers, Female, Humans, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Mucin-4, Mucins, Neoplasm Metastasis, Ovarian Neoplasms, RNA, Messenger, Receptor, ErbB-2, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Signal Transduction

ISSN

1532-1827

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Share

COinS