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Biochemistry. 2012 Dec 4;51(48):9689-97. doi: 10.1021/bi3012324. Epub 2012 Nov 16.

Site-specific S-nitrosylation of integrin α6 increases the extent of prostate cancer cell migration by enhancing integrin β1 association and weakening adherence to laminin-1.

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Cancer and Cell Biology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA.


The increased mortality in prostate cancer is usually the result of metastatic progression of the disease from the organ-confined location. Among the major events in this progression cascade are enhanced cell migration and loss of adhesion. Moreover, elevated levels of nitric oxide (NO) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) found within the tumor microenvironment are hallmarks of progression of this cancer. To understand the role of nitrosative stress in prostate cancer progression, we investigated the effects of NO and iNOS on prostate cancer cell migration and adhesion. Our results indicate that ectopic expression of iNOS in prostate cancer cells increased the extent of cell migration, which could be blocked by selective ITGα6 blocking antibody or iNOS inhibitors. Furthermore, iNOS was found to cause S-nitrosylation of ITGα6 at Cys86 in prostate cancer cells. By comparing the activities of wild-type ITGα6 and a Cys86 mutant, we showed that treatment of prostate cancer cells with NO increased the level of ITGα6 heterodimerization with ITGβ1 but not with ITGβ4. Finally, S-nitrosylation of ITGα6 weakened its binding to laminin-β1 and weakened the adhesion of prostate cancer cells to laminin-1. In conclusion, S-nitrosylation of ITGα6 increased the extent of prostate cancer cell migration, which could be a potential mechanism of NO- and iNOS-induced enhancement of prostate cancer metastasis.

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