Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 2003 Aug 8;278(32):29420-34. Epub 2003 May 14.

Hyaluronan-mediated CD44 interaction with RhoGEF and Rho kinase promotes Grb2-associated binder-1 phosphorylation and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling leading to cytokine (macrophage-colony stimulating factor) production and breast tumor progression.

Author information

Department of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco and the Endocrine Unit (111N), Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, Calfornia 94121, USA.


In this study we have examined CD44 (a hyaluronan (HA) receptor) interaction with a RhoA-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor (p115RhoGEF) in human metastatic breast tumor cells (MDA-MB-231 cell line). Immunoprecipitation and immunoblot analyses indicate that both CD44 and p115RhoGEF are expressed in MDA-MB-231 cells and that these two proteins are physically associated as a complex in vivo. The binding of HA to MDA-MB-231 cells stimulates p115RhoGEF-mediated RhoA signaling and Rho kinase (ROK) activity, which, in turn, increases serine/threonine phosphorylation of the adaptor protein, Gab-1 (Grb2-associated binder-1). Phosphorylated Gab-1 promotes PI 3-kinase recruitment to CD44v3. Subsequently, PI 3-kinase is activated (in particular, alpha, beta, gamma forms but not the delta form of the p110 catalytic subunit), AKT signaling occurs, the cytokine (macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF)) is produced, and tumor cell-specific phenotypes (e.g. tumor cell growth, survival and invasion) are up-regulated. Our results also demonstrate that HA/CD44-mediated oncogenic events (e.g. AKT activation, M-CSF production and breast tumor cell-specific phenotypes) can be effectively blocked by a PI 3-kinase inhibitor (LY294002). Finally, we have found that overexpression of a dominant-negative form of ROK (by transfection of MBA-MD-231 cells with the Rho-binding domain cDNA of ROK) not only inhibits HA/CD44-mediated RhoA-ROK activation and Gab-1 phosphorylation but also down-regulates oncogenic signaling events (e.g. Gab-1.PI 3-kinase-CD44v3 association, PI 3-kinase-mediated AKT activation, and M-CSF production) and tumor cell behaviors (e.g. cell growth, survival, and invasion). Taken together, these findings strongly suggest that CD44 interaction with p115RhoGEF and ROK plays a pivotal role in promoting Gab-1 phosphorylation leading to Gab-1.PI 3-kinase membrane localization, AKT signaling, and cytokine (M-CSF) production during HA-mediated breast cancer progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances

Publication types

MeSH terms


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center