Tetraspanin TSPAN12 regulates tumor growth and metastasis and inhibits ß-catenin degradation

Knoblich K, Wang HX, Sharma C, Fletcher AL, Turley SJ, Hemler ME
Source: Cell Mol Life Sci
Publication Date: (2014)
Issue: 71(7): 1305-14
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Cells used in publication:
Endothelial, umbilical vein, human (HUVEC)
Species: human
Tissue Origin: vein
Ablation of tetraspanin protein TSPAN12 from human MDA-MB-231 cells significantly decreased primary tumor xenograft growth, while increasing tumor apoptosis. Furthermore, TSPAN12 removal markedly enhanced tumor-endothelial interactions and increased metastasis to mouse lungs. TSPAN12 removal from human MDA-MB-231 cells also caused diminished association between FZD4 (a key canonical Wnt pathway receptor) and its co-receptor LRP5. The result likely explains substantially enhanced proteosomal degradation of ß-catenin, a key effecter of canonical Wnt signaling. Consistent with disrupted canonical Wnt signaling, TSPAN12 ablation altered expression of LRP5, Naked 1 and 2, DVL2, DVL3, Axin 1, and GSKß3 proteins. TSPAN12 ablation also altered expression of several genes regulated by ß-catenin (e.g. CCNA1, CCNE2, WISP1, ID4, SFN, ME1) that may help to explain altered tumor growth and metastasis. In conclusion, these results provide the first evidence for TSPAN12 playing a role in supporting primary tumor growth and suppressing metastasis. TSPAN12 appears to function by stabilizing FZD4-LRP5 association, in support of canonical Wnt-pathway signaling, leading to enhanced ß-catenin expression and function.