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Cell Signal. 2011 Dec;23(12):1978-87. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2011.07.008. Epub 2011 Jul 23.

SPARC mediates Src-induced disruption of actin cytoskeleton via inactivation of small GTPases Rho-Rac-Cdc42.

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Department of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, IL 61656, USA.


The matricellular glycoprotein Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine (SPARC) plays an important role in the regulation of cell adhesion and proliferation as well as in tumorigenesis and metastasis. Earlier, we reported that, in addition to its potent anti-angiogenic functions, SPARC also induces apoptosis in medulloblastoma cells, mediated by autophagy. We therefore sought to investigate the underlying molecular mechanism through which SPARC inhibits migration and invasion of Daoy medulloblastoma cells, both in vitro and in vivo. For this study, we used SPARC-overexpressing stable Daoy medulloblastoma cells. SPARC overexpression in Daoy medulloblastoma cells inhibited migration and invasion in vitro. Additionally, SPARC overexpression significantly suppressed the activity of Rho, Rac and Cdc42, which all regulate the actin cytoskeleton. This suppression was accompanied by an increase in the phosphorylation of Src at Tyr-416, which led to a loss of actin stress fibers and focal contacts and a decrease in the phosphorylation level of cofilin. The reduced phosphorylation level of cofilin, which is indicative of receding Rho function, in turn led to inhibition of active Rho A. To confirm the role of SPARC in inhibition of migration and invasion of Daoy medulloblastoma cells, we transfected parental and SPARC-overexpressing Daoy cells with a plasmid vector carrying siRNA against SPARC. Transfection with SPARC siRNA reversed Src-mediated disruption of the cytoskeleton organization as well as dephosphorylation of cofilin and activation of Rho A. Taken together, these results establish SPARC as an effector of Src-induced cytoskeleton disruption in Daoy medulloblastoma cells, which subsequently led to decreased migration and invasion.

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