Send to

Choose Destination
Exp Cell Res. 2005 Mar 10;304(1):116-26. Epub 2004 Nov 26.

CD44 cross-linking induces integrin-mediated adhesion and transendothelial migration in breast cancer cell line by up-regulation of LFA-1 (alpha L beta2) and VLA-4 (alpha4beta1).

Author information

Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Yang Ming University, 155, Sec. 2, Lih-Nong Street, Shih-Pai, 112, Peitou, Taipei 112, Taiwan, ROC.


CD44, a widely expressed cell surface glycoprotein, plays a major role in cell-cell adhesion, cell-substrate interaction, lymphocyte homing, and tumor metastasis. For tumor metastasis to occur through the blood vessel and lymphatic vessel pathway, the tumor cells must first adhere to endothelial cells. Recent studies have shown that high expression of CD44 in certain types of tumors is associated with the hematogenic spread of cancer cells. However, the functional relevance of CD44 to tumor cell metastasis remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of CD44 cross-linking-induced adhesion and transendothelial migration of tumor cells using MDA-MB-435S breast cancer cell line. Breast cancer cells were found to express high levels of CD44. Using flow cytometric analysis and immunofluorescence staining, we demonstrated that cross-linking of CD44 resulted in a marked induction of the expression of lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) and very late antigen-4 (VLA-4) by exocytosis. These results were also observed with the Hs578T breast cancer cell line. Furthermore, LFA-1- and VLA-4-mediated adhesion and transendothelial cancer cell migration were also studied. Anti-LFA-1 mAb or anti-VLA-4 mAb alone had no effect on adhesion or transendothelial cancer cell migration, but were able to inhibit both of these functions when added together. This shows that CD44 cross-linking induces LFA-1 and VLA-4 expression in MDA-MB-435S cells and increases integrin-mediated adhesion to endothelial cells, resulting in the transendothelial migration of breast cancer cells. These observations provide direct evidence of a new function for CD44 that is involved in the induction of LFA-1 and VLA-4 expression by exocytosis in MDA-MB-435S cells. Because these induced integrins promote tumor cell migration into the target tissue, it may be possible to suppress this by pharmacological means, and thus potentially cause a reduction in invasive capability and metastasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center