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Oncogene. 2014 May 1;33(18):2363-74. doi: 10.1038/onc.2013.186. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

Desmoglein 3 promotes cancer cell migration and invasion by regulating activator protein 1 and protein kinase C-dependent-Ezrin activation.

Author information

1
Queen Mary University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Centre for Clinical and Diagnostic Oral Sciences, Institute of Dentistry, London, UK.
2
Department of Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry, UCL School of Pharmacy, London, UK.
3
Division of Biomedical Sciences, St George's, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London, UK.
4
Queen Mary University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Centre for Cutaneous Research, Blizard Institute, London, UK.

Abstract

Desmoglein 3 (Dsg3), the pemphigus vulgaris antigen, has recently been shown to be upregulated in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and has been identified as a good tumor-specific marker for clinical staging of cervical sentinel lymph nodes in head and neck SCC. However, little is known about its biological function in cancer. The actin-binding protein Ezrin and the activator protein 1 (AP-1) transcription factor are implicated in cancer progression and metastasis. Here, we report that Dsg3 regulates the activity of c-Jun/AP-1 as well as protein kinase C (PKC)-mediated phosphorylation of Ezrin-Thr567, which contributes to the accelerated motility of cancer cells. Ectopic expression of Dsg3 in cancer cell lines caused enhanced phosphorylation at Ezrin-Thr567 with concomitant augmented membrane protrusions, cell spreading and invasive phenotype. We showed that Dsg3 formed a complex with Ezrin at the plasma membrane that was required for its proper function of interacting with F-actin and CD44 as Dsg3 knockdown impaired these associations. The increased Ezrin phosphorylation in Dsg3-overexpressing cells could be abrogated substantially by various pharmacological inhibitors for Ser/Thr kinases, including PKC and Rho kinase that are known to activate Ezrin. Furthermore, a marked increase in c-Jun S63 phosphorylation, among others, was found in Dsg3-overexpressing cells and the activation of c-Jun/AP-1 was further supported by a luciferase reporter assay. Taken together, our study identifies a novel Dsg3-mediated c-Jun/AP-1 regulatory mechanism and PKC-dependent Ezrin phosphorylation that could be responsible for Dsg3-associated cancer metastasis.

PMID:
23752190
DOI:
10.1038/onc.2013.186
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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