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PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e37008. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037008. Epub 2012 May 16.

N-terminal 1-54 amino acid sequence and Armadillo repeat domain are indispensable for P120-catenin isoform 1A in regulating E-cadherin.

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Department of Pathology, First Affiliated Hospital and College of Basic Medical Sciences, China Medical University, Shenyang, China.


P120-catenin (p120ctn) exerts important roles in regulating E-cadherin and invasiveness in cancer cells. However, the mechanisms by which p120ctn isoforms 1 and 3 modulate E-cadherin expression are poorly understood. In the current study, HBE, H460, SPC and LTE cell lines were used to examine the effects of p120ctn isoforms 1A and 3A on E-cadherin expression and cell invasiveness. E-cadherin was localized on the cell membrane of HBE and H460 cells, while it was confined to the cytoplasm in SPC and LTE cells. Depletion of endogenous p120ctn resulted in reduced E-cadherin expression; however, p120ctn ablation showed opposite effects on invasiveness in the cell lines by decreasing invasiveness in SPC and LTE cells and increasing it in HBE and H460 cells. Restitution of 120ctn isoform 1A restored E-cadherin on the cell membrane and blocked cell invasiveness in H460 and HBE cells, while it restored cytoplasmic E-cadherin and enhanced cell invasiveness in SPC and LTE cells. P120ctn isoform 3A increased the invasiveness in all four cell lines despite the lack of effect on E-cadherin expression, suggesting a regulatory pathway independent of E-cadherin. Moreover, five p120ctn isoform 1A deletion mutants were constructed and expressed in H460 and SPC cells. The results showed that only the M4 mutant, which contains N-terminal 1-54 amino acids and the Armadillo repeat domain, was functional in regulating E-cadherin and cell invasiveness, as observed in p120ctn isoform 1A. In conclusion, the N-terminal 1-54 amino acid sequence and Armadillo repeat domain of p120ctn isoform 1A are indispensable for regulating E-cadherin protein. P120ctn isoform 1A exerts opposing effects on cell invasiveness, corresponding to the subcellular localization of E-cadherin.

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