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Mol Cancer Res. 2011 Feb;9(2):149-60. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-10-0298. Epub 2011 Jan 4.

EphA2 induces metastatic growth regulating amoeboid motility and clonogenic potential in prostate carcinoma cells.

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  • 1Department of Biochemical Sciences, University of Florence, Tuscany Tumor Institute, Florence, Italy.


EphA2 kinase regulates cell shape, adhesion, and motility and is frequently overexpressed in several cancers, including melanoma, prostate, breast, and colon cancers and lung carcinoma. Although a function in both tumor onset and metastasis has been proposed, the role played by EphA2 in tumor progression is still debated. In melanoma, EphA2 has been reported to affect cell migration and invasiveness allowing cells to move by a proteolysis-independent strategy, commonly referred as amoeboid motility. With the aim to understand the role of EphA2 in prostate cancer metastatic spreading, we stably silenced EphA2 expression in a model of aggressive metastatic prostate carcinoma. Our results show that EphA2 drives the metastatic program of prostate carcinoma, although its involvement greatly differs among metastatic steps. Indeed, EphA2 expression (i) greatly affects prostate carcinoma cell motility style, guiding an amoeboid movement based on Rho-mediated cell rounding and independent from metalloprotases, (ii) is ineffective on transendothelial migration, adhesion onto extracellular matrix proteins, and on resistance to anoikis, (iii) regulates clonogenic potential of prostate carcinoma, thereby increasing anchorage-independent growth and self-renewal, prostasphere formation, tumor onset, dissemination to bone, and growth of metastatic colonies. Our finding indicate that EphA2-overexpressing prostate carcinoma cells gain an invasive benefit from their amoeboid motility style to escape from primary tumors and then, enhancing their clonogenic potential successfully target bone and grow metastases, thereby acknowledging EphA2 as a target for antimetastatic therapy of aggressive prostate cancers.

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