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Eur J Cell Biol. 2008 Sep;87(8-9):555-67. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcb.2008.02.008. Epub 2008 Apr 15.

A role for the podosome/invadopodia scaffold protein Tks5 in tumor growth in vivo.

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Burnham Institute for Medical Research, Tumor Microenvironment Program, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Podosomes and invadopodia are electron-dense, actin-rich protrusions located on the ventral side of the cellular membrane. They are detected in various types of normal cells, but also in human cancer cells and in Src-transformed fibroblasts. Previously we have shown that the scaffold protein Tks5 (tyrosine kinase substrate 5) co-localizes to podosomes/invadopodia in different human cancer cells and in Src-transformed NIH-3T3 cells. Upon reduced expression of Tks5 podosome formation is decreased, which leads to diminished gelatin degradation in vitro in various human cancer cell lines. It is unclear, however, whether cancer cells need podosomes for tumor growth and metastasis in vivo. To test this idea, we evaluated the ability of Src-transformed NIH-3T3 cells, showing stable reduced expression of Tks5 and podosome formation (Tks5 KD), to form subcutaneous tumors in mice. We demonstrate that decreased expression of Tks5 correlated with reduced tumor growth at this site. In addition, we generated lung metastases from these cells following tail vein injection. The lungs of mice injected i.v. with the Tks5 KD showed smaller-sized metastases, but there was no difference in the number of lesions compared to the controls, indicating that podosomes may not be required for extravasation from the blood stream into the lung parenchyma. Independent of the microenvironment however, the reduced tumor growth correlated with decreased tumor vascularization. Our data potentially implicate a novel role of podosomes as mediators of tumor angiogenesis and support further exploration of how podosome formation and Tks5 expression contribute to tumor progression.

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