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J Neurosci. 2009 Apr 8;29(14):4605-15. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5126-08.2009.

ADAM-10-mediated N-cadherin cleavage is protein kinase C-alpha dependent and promotes glioblastoma cell migration.

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Departments of Pathology and Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


MMPs (matrix metalloproteinases) and the related "a disintegrin and metalloproteinases" (ADAMs) promote tumorigenesis by cleaving extracellular matrix and protein substrates, including N-cadherin. Although N-cadherin is thought to regulate cell adhesion, migration, and invasion, its role has not been characterized in glioblastomas (GBMs). In this study, we investigated the expression and function of posttranslational N-cadherin cleavage in GBM cells as well as its regulation by protein kinase C (PKC). N-Cadherin cleavage occurred at a higher level in glioblastoma cells than in non-neoplastic astrocytes. Treatment with the PKC activator phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) increased N-cadherin cleavage, which was reduced by pharmacological inhibitors and short interfering RNA (siRNA) specific for ADAM-10 or PKC-alpha. Furthermore, treatment of GBM cells with PMA induced the translocation of ADAM-10 to the cell membrane, the site at which N-cadherin was cleaved, and this translocation was significantly reduced by the PKC-alpha inhibitor Gö6976 [12-(2-cyanoethyl)-6,7,12,13-tetrahydro-13-methyl-5-oxo-5H-indolo[2,3-a]pyrrolo[3,4-c]carbazole] or PKC-alpha short hairpin RNA. In functional studies, N-cadherin cleavage was required for GBM cell migration, as depletion of N-cadherin cleavage by N-cadherin siRNA, ADAM-10 siRNA, or a cleavage-site mutant N-cadherin, decreased GBM cell migration. Together, these results suggest that N-cadherin cleavage is regulated by a PKC-alpha-ADAM-10 cascade in GBM cells and may be involved in mediating GBM cell migration.

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