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J Biol Chem. 2001 Apr 6;276(14):10952-62. Epub 2001 Jan 26.

Tumor cell invasion is promoted by activation of protease activated receptor-1 in cooperation with the alpha vbeta 5 integrin.

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  • 1Departments of Oncology and Pharmacology at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Hospital, Jerusalem 91120, Israel, the Department of Hematology, Medical Center, Tel Aviv 64239, Israel.


The first prototype of the protease activated receptor (PAR) family, the thrombin receptor PAR1, plays a central role both in the malignant invasion process of breast carcinoma metastasis and in the physiological process of placental implantation. The molecular mechanism underlying PAR1 involvement in tumor invasion and metastasis, however, is poorly defined. Here we show that PAR1 increases the invasive properties of tumor cells primarily by increased adhesion to extracellular matrix components. This preferential adhesion is accompanied by the cytoskeletal reorganization of F-actin toward migration-favoring morphology as detected by phalloidin staining. Activation of PAR1 increased the phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase and paxillin, and the induced formation of focal contact complexes. PAR1 activation affected integrin cell-surface distribution without altering their level of expression. The specific recruitment of alpha(v)beta(5) to focal contact sites, but not of alpha(v)beta(3) or alpha(5)beta(1), was observed by immunofluorescent microscopy. PAR1 overexpressing cells showed selective reciprocal co-precipitation with alpha(v)beta(5) and paxillin but not with alpha(v)beta(3) that remained evenly distributed under these conditions. This co-immunoprecipitation failed to occur in cells containing the truncated form of PAR1 that lacked the entire cytoplasmic portion of the receptor. Thus, the PAR1 cytoplasmic tail is essential for conveying the cross-talk and recruiting the alpha(v)beta(5) integrin. While PAR1 overexpressing cells were invasive in vitro, as reflected by their migration through a Matrigel barrier, invasion was further enhanced by ligand activation of PAR1. Moreover, the application of anti-alpha(v)beta(5) antibodies specifically attenuated this PAR1 induced invasion. We propose that the activation of PAR1 may lead to a novel cooperation with the alpha(v)beta(5) integrin that supports tumor cell invasion.

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