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Am J Pathol. 2010 Dec;177(6):3145-58. doi: 10.2353/ajpath.2010.100228. Epub 2010 Oct 22.

Matriptase is involved in ErbB-2-induced prostate cancer cell invasion.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, R817, 8F, No. 1, Section 1, Jen-Ai Rd, Taipei, Taiwan.


Deregulation of both ErbB-2 signaling and matriptase activity has been associated with human prostate cancer (PCa) progression. In this communication, we investigated the roles of both ErbB-2 signaling in matriptase zymogen activation and matriptase in ErbB-2-induced PCa malignancy. In a human PCa cell progression model, we observed that advanced PCa C-81 LNCaP cells exhibited an aggressive phenotype with increased cell migration and invasion capacity; these cells concurrently showed both enhanced ErbB-2 phosphorylation and increased matriptase zymogen activation compared with parental C-33 LNCaP cells. Moreover, ErbB2 activation, both ligand-dependent (eg, epidermal growth factor treatment) and ligand-independent (eg, overexpression), was able to induce matriptase zymogen activation in this cell line. Inhibition of ErbB-2 activity by either the specific inhibitor, AG825, in epidermal growth factor-treated C-33 LNCaP cells or ErbB-2 knockdown in C-81 LNCaP cells, reduced matriptase activation. These observations were confirmed by similar studies using both DU145 and PC3 cells. Together, these data suggest that ErbB-2 signaling plays an important role in matriptase zymogen activation. ErbB-2-enhanced matriptase activation was suppressed by a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor (ie, LY294002) but not by a MEK inhibitor (ie, PD98059). Suppression of matriptase expression by small hairpin RNA knockdown in ErbB-2-overexpressing LNCaP cells dramatically suppressed cancer cell invasion. In summary, our data indicate that ErbB-2 signaling via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway results in up-regulated matriptase zymogen activity, which contributes to PCa cell invasion.

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