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      Role of MUC4-NIDO domain in the MUC4-mediated metastasis of pancreatic cancer cells

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          MUC4 is a large transmembrane type I glycoprotein that is overexpressed in pancreatic cancer (PC) and has been shown to be associated with its progression and metastasis. However, the exact cellular and molecular mechanism(s) through which MUC4 promotes metastasis of PC cells has been sparsely studied. Here we showed that the NIDO domain of MUC4, which is similar to the G1-domain present in the nidogen or entactin (an extracellular matrix protein), contributes to the protein-protein interaction property of MUC4. By this interaction, MUC4 promotes breaching of basement membrane integrity, and spreading of cancer cells. These observations are corroborated with the data from our study using an engineered MUC4 protein without the NIDO domain, which was ectopically expressed in the MiaPaCa PC cells, lacking endogenous MUC4 and nidogen protein. The in vitro studies demonstrated an enhanced invasiveness of MiaPaCa cells expressing MUC4 (MiaPaCa-MUC4) compared to vector-transfected cells (MiaPaCa-Vec; p=0.003) or cells expressing MUC4 without the NIDO domain (MiaPaCa-MUC4-NIDO Δ; p=0.03). However, the absence of NIDO-domain has no significant role on cell growth and motility (p=0.93). In the in-vivo studies, all the mice orthotopically implanted with MiPaCa-MUC4 cells developed metastasis to the liver as compared to MiaPaCa-Vec or the MiaPaCa-MUC4-NIDO Δ group, hence, supporting our in vitro observations. Additionally, a reduced binding (p=0.0004) of MiaPaCa-MUC4-NIDO Δ cells to the fibulin-2 coated plates compared to MiaPaCa-MUC4 cells indicated a possible interaction between the MUC4-NIDO domain and fibulin-2, a nidogen-interacting protein. Furthermore, in PC tissue samples, MUC4 colocalized with the fibulin-2 present in the basement membrane. Altogether, our findings demonstrate that the MUC4-NIDO domain significantly contributes to the MUC4-mediated metastasis of PC cells. This may be partly due to the interaction between the MUC4-NIDO domain and fibulin-2.

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          Most cited references 32

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          Cancer statistics, 2010.

          Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the number of new cancer cases and deaths expected in the United States in the current year and compiles the most recent data regarding cancer incidence, mortality, and survival based on incidence data from the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries and mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Incidence and death rates are age-standardized to the 2000 US standard million population. A total of 1,529,560 new cancer cases and 569,490 deaths from cancer are projected to occur in the United States in 2010. Overall cancer incidence rates decreased in the most recent time period in both men (1.3% per year from 2000 to 2006) and women (0.5% per year from 1998 to 2006), largely due to decreases in the 3 major cancer sites in men (lung, prostate, and colon and rectum [colorectum]) and 2 major cancer sites in women (breast and colorectum). This decrease occurred in all racial/ethnic groups in both men and women with the exception of American Indian/Alaska Native women, in whom rates were stable. Among men, death rates for all races combined decreased by 21.0% between 1990 and 2006, with decreases in lung, prostate, and colorectal cancer rates accounting for nearly 80% of the total decrease. Among women, overall cancer death rates between 1991 and 2006 decreased by 12.3%, with decreases in breast and colorectal cancer rates accounting for 60% of the total decrease. The reduction in the overall cancer death rates translates to the avoidance of approximately 767,000 deaths from cancer over the 16-year period. This report also examines cancer incidence, mortality, and survival by site, sex, race/ethnicity, geographic area, and calendar year. Although progress has been made in reducing incidence and mortality rates and improving survival, cancer still accounts for more deaths than heart disease in persons younger than 85 years. Further progress can be accelerated by applying existing cancer control knowledge across all segments of the population and by supporting new discoveries in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment. Copyright 2010 American Cancer Society, Inc.
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            Mesenchymal stem cells within tumour stroma promote breast cancer metastasis.

            Mesenchymal stem cells have been recently described to localize to breast carcinomas, where they integrate into the tumour-associated stroma. However, the involvement of mesenchymal stem cells (or their derivatives) in tumour pathophysiology has not been addressed. Here, we demonstrate that bone-marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells, when mixed with otherwise weakly metastatic human breast carcinoma cells, cause the cancer cells to increase their metastatic potency greatly when this cell mixture is introduced into a subcutaneous site and allowed to form a tumour xenograft. The breast cancer cells stimulate de novo secretion of the chemokine CCL5 (also called RANTES) from mesenchymal stem cells, which then acts in a paracrine fashion on the cancer cells to enhance their motility, invasion and metastasis. This enhanced metastatic ability is reversible and is dependent on CCL5 signalling through the chemokine receptor CCR5. Collectively, these data demonstrate that the tumour microenvironment facilitates metastatic spread by eliciting reversible changes in the phenotype of cancer cells.
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              Metastasis: from dissemination to organ-specific colonization.

              Metastasis to distant organs is an ominous feature of most malignant tumours but the natural history of this process varies in different cancers. The cellular origin, intrinsic properties of the tumour, tissue affinities and circulation patterns determine not only the sites of tumour spread, but also the temporal course and severity of metastasis to vital organs. Striking disparities in the natural progression of different cancers raise important questions about the evolution of metastatic traits, the genetic determinants of these properties and the mechanisms that lead to the selection of metastatic cells.

                Author and article information

                15 November 2011
                21 November 2011
                12 July 2012
                12 January 2013
                : 31
                : 28
                : 3346-3356
                [1 ]Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, U.S.A., 68198
                [2 ]Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, U.S.A., 68198
                Author notes
                [* ]To whom correspondence should be addressed: Surinder K. Batra, Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 985870 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-5870, U.S.A., Phone: 402-559-5455; Fax: 402-559-6650, sbatra@

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                Funded by: National Cancer Institute : NCI
                Award ID: R01 CA078590-13 || CA

                Oncology & Radiotherapy

                muc4 domains, muc4, pancreatic cancer, metastasis, nido domain


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