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Cell Cycle. 2007 Jan 15;6(2):160-5. Epub 2007 Jan 28.

GPR56 and TG2: possible roles in suppression of tumor growth by the microenvironment.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Center for Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Metastasis is a complex process that involves multiple levels of cell-cell interaction. Among these interactions, tumor-stroma interactions are being actively investigated. Metastatic cells are hypothesized to show gene expression changes that contribute to their survival and growth at the distant site. Such changes could contribute either to enhancement of growth or to evasion of growth inhibition by the normal tissue environment thus allowing growth as metastases. Our recent report that tumors from highly metastatic melanoma derivatives express low levels of a suppressor of tumor progression, GPR56, is consistent with such a model. GPR56 associates in a complex with Gaq and the tetraspanin protein CD81. We further identified a ligand that interacts with GPR56 in the extracellular matrix (ECM) as TG2, a major crosslinking enzyme in the matrix. TG2 also binds to fibronectin and integrins and affects their cell adhesion functions. TG2 itself has been implicated in suppression of tumor progression; therefore TG2 might serve as a host defense against the invading metastatic cells. The highly metastatic cells may escape from this inhibition by down-regulation of GPR56. Much future work will be needed to test this hypothesis and further our understanding of metastasis in general.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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