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Biol Open. 2012 Oct 15;1(10):1024-34. doi: 10.1242/bio.20121115. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Membrane microdomain-associated uroplakin IIIa contributes to Src-dependent mechanisms of anti-apoptotic proliferation in human bladder carcinoma cells.

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Division of Biotechnology, The Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto Sangyo University , Kyoto 603-8555 , Japan.


Our previous study demonstrated that tyrosine phosphorylation of p145(met)/β-subunit of hepatocyte growth factor receptor by epidermal growth factor receptor and Src contributes to the anti-apoptotic growth of human bladder carcinoma cell 5637 under serum-starved conditions. Here, we show that some other cell lines of human bladder carcinoma, but not other types of human cancer cells, also exhibit Src-dependent, anti-apoptotic proliferation under serum-starved conditions, and that low-density, detergent-insoluble membrane microdomains (MD) serve as a structural platform for signaling events involving p145(met), EGFR, and Src. As an MD-associated molecule that may contribute to bladder carcinoma-specific cellular function, we identified uroplakin IIIa (UPIIIa), an urothelium-specific protein. Results obtained so far revealed: 1) UPIIIa undergoes partial proteolysis in serum-starved cells; 2) a specific antibody to the extracellular domain of UPIIIa inhibits the proteolysis of UPIIIa and the activation of Src, and promotes apoptosis in serum-starved cells; and 3) knockdown of UPIIIa by short interfering RNA also promotes apoptosis in serum-starved cells. GM6001, a potent inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP), inhibits the proteolysis of UPIIIa and promotes apoptosis in serum-starved cells. Furthermore, serum starvation promotes expression and secretion of the heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor in a manner that depends on the functions of MMP, Src, and UPIIIa. These results highlight a hitherto unknown signaling network involving a subset of MD-associated molecules in the anti-apoptotic mechanisms of human bladder carcinoma cells.


Anti-apoptosis; Bladder cancer; Membrane microdomains; Src; Uroplakin III

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