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Eur J Cell Biol. 2012 Nov-Dec;91(11-12):847-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcb.2012.04.004. Epub 2012 Jun 4.

pH regulators in invadosomal functioning: proton delivery for matrix tasting.

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Nutrition, Growth and Cancer, Université François-Rabelais de Tours, Inserm U, France.


Invadosomes are actin-rich finger-like cellular structures sensing and interacting with the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM) and involved in its proteolytic remodeling. Invadosomes are structures distinct from other adhesion complexes, and have been identified in normal cells that have to cross tissue barriers to fulfill their function such as leukocytes, osteoclasts and endothelial cells. They also represent features of highly aggressive cancer cells, allowing them to escape from the primary tumor, to invade surrounding tissues and to reach systemic circulation. They are localized to the ventral membrane of cells grown under 2-dimensional conditions and are supposed to be present all around cells grown in 3-dimensional matrices. Indeed invadosomes are key structures in physiological processes such as inflammation and the immune response, bone remodeling, tissue repair, but also in pathological conditions such as osteopetrosis and the development of metastases. Invadosomes are subdivided into podosomes, found in normal cells, and into invadopodia specific for cancer cells. While these two structures exhibit differences in organization, size, number and half-life, they share similarities in molecular composition, participation in cell-matrix adhesion and promoting matrix degradation. A key determinant in invadosomal function is the recruitment and release of proteases, such as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), serine proteases and cysteine cathepsins, together with their activation in a tightly controlled and highly acidic microenvironment. Therefore numerous pH regulators such as V-ATPases and Na(+)/H(+) exchangers, are found in invadosomes and are directly involved in their constitution as well as their functioning. This review focuses on the participation of pH regulators in invadosome function in physiological and pathological conditions, with a particular emphasis on ECM remodeling by osteoclasts during bone resorption and by cancer cells.

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