Nerve growth factor receptor TrkA signaling in breast cancer cells involves KU70 to prevent apoptosis

Com E, Lagadec C, Page A, El Yazidi-Belkoura I, Slomianny C, Spencer A, Hammache D, Rudkin BB, Hondermarck H
Source: Mol Cell Proteomics
Publication Date: (2007)
Issue: 6(11): 1842-1854
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Cells used in publication:
Species: human
Tissue Origin: breast
Nucleofectorâ„¢ I/II/2b
The nerve growth factor (NGF) - tyrosine kinase receptor TrkA plays a critical role in various neuronal and non-neuronal cell types by regulating cell survival, differentiation and proliferation. In breast cancer cells, TrkA stimulation results in the activation of cellular growth but downstream signaling largely remains to be described. Here we used a proteomics-based approach to identify partners involved in TrkA signaling in breast cancer cells. Wild type and modified TrkA chimeric constructs with green fluorescent protein were transfected in MCF-7 cells and co-immunoprecipitated proteins were separated by SDS-PAGE before NanoLC-MS/MS analysis. Several TrkA putative signaling partners were identified, among which the DNA repair protein Ku70 which is increasingly reported for its role in cell survival and carcinogenesis. Physiological interaction of Ku70 with endogenous TrkA was induced upon NGF stimulation in non-transfected cells and co-localization was observed with confocal microscopy. Mass spectrometry analysis and western-blotting of phosphotyrosine immunoprecipitates demonstrated the induction of Ku70 tyrosine phosphorylation upon NGF stimulation. Interestingly, no interaction between TrkA and Ku70 was detected in PC12 cells, in the absence or presence of NGF, suggesting that it is not involved in the initiation of neuronal differentiation. In breast cancer cells, RNA interference indicated that whereas Ku70 depletion had no direct effect on cell survival, it induced a strong potentiation of apoptosis in TrkA overexpressing cells. In conclusion, TrkA signaling appears to be pro-apoptotic in the absence of Ku70 and this protein might therefore play a role in the long-time reported ambivalence of tyrosine kinase receptors that can exhibit both anti- and eventually pro-apoptotic activities.