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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Down-regulation of E-cadherin gene expression by collagen type I and type III in pancreatic cancer cell lines.

E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion is reduced in epithelial tumors, which is thought to be a prerequisite to acquire invasive properties. We observed that several pancreatic carcinoma cell lines with high metastatic potential expressed normal levels of E-cadherin and possessed functional E-cadherin/catenin adhesion complexes. When the cell lines PANC-1, BxPC-3, and PaTu8988s were cultured either on type I or type III collagen, E-cadherin gene expression was repressed, and E-cadherin and catenin protein concentrations were reduced. In contrast, growth on fibronectin and collagen type IV had no influence. Collagen type I- or type III-dependent reduction of E-cadherin expression led to decreased cell-cell adhesion, increased proliferation, and migratory activity as well as morphological transformation. Overexpression of activated c-Src in PANC-1 cells mimicked collagen- induced E-cadherin down-regulation and changed the elevated cell proliferation and migration. Conversely, treatment of cells with the Src-inhibitors PP1 or herbimycin A resulted in complete suppression of collagen type I- induced E-cadherin decrease. Our data demonstrate that specific collagens are able to promote metastatic behavior by down-regulation of E-cadherin gene expression in a Src-kinase-dependent manner. This points toward a novel mechanism for substrate-dependent signaling and underlines the significance of extracellular matrix environment for tumor growth and invasiveness.[1]


  1. Down-regulation of E-cadherin gene expression by collagen type I and type III in pancreatic cancer cell lines. Menke, A., Philippi, C., Vogelmann, R., Seidel, B., Lutz, M.P., Adler, G., Wedlich, D. Cancer Res. (2001) [Pubmed]
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