Tumor invasion in the absence of epithelial-mesenchymal transition: podoplanin-mediated remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton

Wicki A, Lehembre F, Wick N, Hantusch B, Kerjaschki D, Christofori G
Source: Cancer Cell
Publication Date: (2006)
Issue: 9(4): 261-72
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Cells used in publication:
Species: human
Tissue Origin: breast
MCF7 tet
Species: human
Tissue Origin: breast
Nucleofectorâ„¢ I/II/2b
The expression of podoplanin, a small mucin-like protein, is upregulated in the invasive front of a number of human carcinomas. We have investigated podoplanin function in cultured human breast cancer cells, in a mouse model of pancreatic beta cell carcinogenesis, and in human cancer biopsies. Our results indicate that podoplanin promotes tumor cell invasion in vitro and in vivo. Notably, the expression and subcellular localization of epithelial markers are unaltered, and mesenchymal markers are not induced in invasive podoplanin-expressing tumor cells. Rather, podoplanin induces collective cell migration by filopodia formation via the downregulation of the activities of small Rho family GTPases. In conclusion, podoplanin induces an alternative pathway of tumor cell invasion in the absence of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT).