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The proprotein convertase furin contributes to rhabdomyosarcoma malignancy by promoting vascularization, migration and invasion


Jaaks, Patricia; D'Alessandro, Valentina; Grob, Nicole; Büel, Sina; Hajdin, Katarina; Schäfer, Beat W; Bernasconi, Michele (2016). The proprotein convertase furin contributes to rhabdomyosarcoma malignancy by promoting vascularization, migration and invasion. PLoS ONE, 11(8):e0161396.

Abstract

The proprotein convertase (PC) furin cleaves precursor proteins, an important step in the activation of many cancer-associated proteins. Substrates of furin and furin-like PCs play a role in proliferation, metastasis and invasion. Some of them are involved in the progression of the pediatric soft tissue sarcoma rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). In this study, we show that PCs, and in particular furin, are expressed in RMS cell lines. To investigate the functional role of furin, we generated RMS cell lines with modulated furin activity. Silencing or stable inhibition of furin delayed tumor growth in Rh30 and RD xenografts in vivo, and was correlated with lower microvessel density. Reduced furin activity also decreased migration and invasion abilities in vitro, and inhibition of furin in RMS cells diminished processing of IGF1R, VEGF-C, PDGF-B and MT1-MMP, leading to lower levels of mature proteins. Furthermore, we found that furin activity is required for proper IGF signaling in RMS cells, as furin silencing resulted in reduced phosphorylation of Akt upon IGF1 stimulation. Taken together, our results suggest that furin plays an important role in the malignant phenotype of RMS cells by activating proteins involved in tumor growth and vascularization, metastasis and invasion.

Abstract

The proprotein convertase (PC) furin cleaves precursor proteins, an important step in the activation of many cancer-associated proteins. Substrates of furin and furin-like PCs play a role in proliferation, metastasis and invasion. Some of them are involved in the progression of the pediatric soft tissue sarcoma rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). In this study, we show that PCs, and in particular furin, are expressed in RMS cell lines. To investigate the functional role of furin, we generated RMS cell lines with modulated furin activity. Silencing or stable inhibition of furin delayed tumor growth in Rh30 and RD xenografts in vivo, and was correlated with lower microvessel density. Reduced furin activity also decreased migration and invasion abilities in vitro, and inhibition of furin in RMS cells diminished processing of IGF1R, VEGF-C, PDGF-B and MT1-MMP, leading to lower levels of mature proteins. Furthermore, we found that furin activity is required for proper IGF signaling in RMS cells, as furin silencing resulted in reduced phosphorylation of Akt upon IGF1 stimulation. Taken together, our results suggest that furin plays an important role in the malignant phenotype of RMS cells by activating proteins involved in tumor growth and vascularization, metastasis and invasion.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:22 August 2016
Deposited On:16 Jan 2017 15:49
Last Modified:06 Aug 2017 02:52
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0161396
PubMed ID:27548722

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