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PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e21496. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021496. Epub 2011 Jun 24.

Carcinoma matrix controls resistance to cisplatin through talin regulation of NF-kB.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Craniofacial Biology, School of Dentistry, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America.


Extracellular matrix factors within the tumor microenvironment that control resistance to chemotherapeutics are poorly understood. This study focused on understanding matrix adhesion pathways that control the oral carcinoma response to cisplatin. Our studies revealed that adhesion of HN12 and JHU012 oral carcinomas to carcinoma matrix supported tumor cell proliferation in response to treatment with cisplatin. Proliferation in response to 30 µM cisplatin was not observed in HN12 cells adherent to other purified extracellular matrices such as Matrigel, collagen I, fibronectin or laminin I. Integrin β₁ was important for adhesion to carcinoma matrix to trigger proliferation after treatment with cisplatin. Disruption of talin expression in HN12 cells adherent to carcinoma matrix increased cisplatin induced proliferation. Pharmacological inhibitors were used to determine signaling events required for talin deficiency to regulate cisplatin induced proliferation. Pharmacological inhibition of NF-kB reduced proliferation of talin-deficient HN12 cells treated with 30 µM cisplatin. Nuclear NF-kB activity was assayed in HN12 cells using a luciferase reporter of NF-kB transcriptional activity. Nuclear NF-kB activity was similar in HN12 cells adherent to carcinoma matrix and collagen I when treated with vehicle DMSO. Following treatment with 30 µM cisplatin, NF-kB activity is maintained in cells adherent to carcinoma matrix whereas NF-kB activity is reduced in collagen I adherent cells. Expression of talin was sufficient to trigger proliferation of HN12 cells adherent to collagen I following treatment with 1 and 30 µM cisplatin. Talin overexpression was sufficient to trigger NF-kB activity following treatment with cisplatin in carcinoma matrix adherent HN12 cells in a process disrupted by FAK siRNA. Thus, adhesions within the carcinoma matrix create a matrix environment in which exposure to cisplatin induces proliferation through the function of integrin β₁, talin and FAK pathways that regulate NF-kB nuclear activity.

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