Send to

Choose Destination
FASEB J. 2019 Apr;33(4):4802-4813. doi: 10.1096/fj.201802004R. Epub 2018 Dec 28.

Neuronal calcium sensor 1 (NCS1) promotes motility and metastatic spread of breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA; and.
Department of Pathology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.


Increased levels of the calcium-binding protein neuronal calcium sensor 1 (NCS1) predict an unfavorable patient outcome in several aggressive cancers, including breast and liver tumors. Previous studies suggest that NCS1 overexpression facilitates metastatic spread of these cancers. To investigate this hypothesis, we explored the effects of NCS1 overexpression on cell proliferation, survival, and migration patterns in vitro in 2- and 3-dimensional (2/3-D). Furthermore, we translated our results into an in vivo mouse xenograft model. Cell-based proliferation assays were used to demonstrate the effects of overexpression of NCS1 on growth rates. In vitro colony formation and wound healing experiments were performed and 3-D migration dynamics were studied using collagen gels. Nude mice were injected with breast cancer cells to monitor NCS1-dependent metastasis formation over time. We observed that increased NCS1 levels do not change cellular growth rates, but do significantly increase 2- and 3-D migration dynamics in vitro. Likewise, NCS1-overexpressing cells have an increased capacity to form distant metastases and demonstrate better survival and less necrosis in vivo. We found that NCS1 preferentially localizes to the leading edge of cells and overexpression increases the motility of cancer cells. Furthermore, this phenotype is correlated with an increased number of metastases in a xenograft model. These results lay the foundation for exploring the relevance of an NCS1-mediated pathway as a metastatic biomarker and as a target for pharmacologic interventions.-Apasu, J. E., Schuette, D., LaRanger, R., Steinle, J. A., Nguyen, L. D., Grosshans, H. K., Zhang, M., Cai, W. L., Yan, Q., Robert, M. E., Mak, M., Ehrlich, B. E. Neuronal calcium sensor 1 (NCS1) promotes motility and metastatic spread of breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.


Ca signaling; calcium binding protein; cell migration; metastasis; xenograft model

[Available on 2020-04-01]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center