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Mol Endocrinol. 2013 Jul;27(7):1048-64. doi: 10.1210/me.2012-1322. Epub 2013 Jun 6.

PAK1 regulates breast cancer cell invasion through secretion of matrix metalloproteinases in response to prolactin and three-dimensional collagen IV.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toledo, 2801 West Bancroft Street, Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390, USA.


p21-Activated serine-threonine kinase (PAK1) is implicated in breast cancer. We have shown previously that PAK1 is tyrosyl phosphorylated by prolactin (PRL)-activated Janus tyrosine kinase (JAK2). Although a role for both PRL and PAK1 in breast cancer is widely acknowledged, the mechanism remains poorly understood. In the present study, PRL-activated PAK1 stimulates the invasion of TMX2-28 human breast cancer cells through Matrigel. Three-dimensional (3D) collagen IV stimulates the secretion of the matrix proteases, metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and -3 that is further enhanced by the PRL-dependent tyrosyl phosphorylation of PAK1. 3D collagen IV also stimulates the expression and secretion of MMP-2, but in contrast to MMP-1 and -3, PRL/PAK1 signaling down-regulates MMP-2 expression and secretion. In contrast, MMP-9 expression and secretion are stimulated by 3D collagen I, not collagen IV, and are not affected by PRL but are down-regulated by PAK1. MMP-1 and -3 are required and MMP-2 contributes to PRL-dependent invasion. ERK1/2 signaling appears to be required for the enhanced expression and secretion of MMP-1 and -3 and enhanced PRL-dependent invasion. p38 MAPK and c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1/2 pathways participate in production of MMP-1 and -3 as well as in PRL/PAK1-dependent cell invasion. Together, these data illustrate the complex interaction between the substratum and PRL/PAK1 signaling in human breast cancer cells and suggest a pivotal role for PRL-dependent PAK1 tyrosyl phosphorylation in MMP secretion.

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