Cancer Res. 2005 Jul 15;65(14):6167-77.
Proteolytic processing converts the repelling signal Sema3E into an inducer of invasive growth and lung metastasis
Christensen C, Ambartsumian N, Gilestro GF, Thomsen B, Comoglio P, Tamagnone L, Guldberg P, Lukanidin E.
We have previously shown that the expression of a semaphorin, known as a repelling cue in axon guidance, Sema3E, correlates with the ability to form lung metastasis in murine adenocarcinoma cell models. Now, besides providing evidence for the relevance of SEMA3E to human disease by showing that SEMA3E is frequently expressed in human cancer cell lines and solid tumors from breast cancer patients, we show biological activities of Sema3E, which support the implication of Sema3E in tumor progression and metastasis. In vivo, expression of Sema3E in mammary adenocarcinoma cells induces the ability to form experimental lung metastasis, and in vitro, the Sema3E protein exhibits both migration and growth promoting activity on endothelial cells and pheochromocytoma cells. This represents the first evidence of a metastasis-promoting function of a class 3 semaphorin, as this class of genes has hitherto been implicated in tumor biology only as tumor suppressors and negative regulators of growth. Moreover, we show that the full-size Sema3E protein is converted into a p61-Sema3E isoform due to furin-dependent processing, and by analyzing processing-deficient and truncated forms, we show that the generation of p61-Sema3E is required and sufficient for the function of Sema3E in lung metastasis, cell migration, invasive growth, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 activation of endothelial cells. These findings suggest that certain breast cancer cells may increase their lung-colonizing ability by converting the growth repellent, Sema3E, into a growth attractant and point to a type of semaphorin signaling different from the conventional signaling induced by full-size dimeric class 3 semaphorins.
EMBO Rep. 2004 Jul;5(7):710-4. Epub 2004 Jun 25.
Plexin-B3 is a functional receptor for semaphorin 5A
Artigiani S, Conrotto P, Fazzari P, Gilestro GF, Barberis D, Giordano S, Comoglio PM, Tamagnone L.
Semaphorins are a large family of molecular cues implicated in neural development and in a variety of functions outside the nervous system. Semaphorin 5A (Sema5A) is a transmembrane semaphorin, containing seven thrombospondin type-1 repeats, which was recently found to control axon guidance. Here we show that plexin-B3 is a high-affinity receptor specific for Sema5A. We further demonstrate that plexin-B3 activation by Sema5A mediates functional responses in plexin-B3-expressing cells (either fibroblasts, epithelial and primary endothelial cells). In addition, Sema5A can trigger the intracellular signalling of the hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor receptor, Met, associated in a complex with plexin-B3. We thus conclude that Sema5A is able to elicit multiple functional responses through its receptor plexin-B3.
Nat Cell Biol. 2002 Sep;4(9):720-4.
The semaphorin 4D receptor controls invasive growth by coupling with Met
Giordano S, Corso S, Conrotto P, Artigiani S, Gilestro GF, Barberis D, Tamagnone L, Comoglio PM.
Semaphorins are cell surface and soluble signals that control axonal guidance. Recently, semaphorin receptors (plexins) have been discovered and shown to be widely expressed. Their biological activities outside the nervous system and the signal transduction mechanism(s) they utilize are largely unknown. Here, we show that in epithelial cells, Semaphorin 4D (Sema 4D) triggers invasive growth, a complex programme that includes cell#150;cell dissociation, anchorage-independent growth and branching morphogenesis. Interestingly, the same response is also controlled by scatter factors through their tyrosine kinase receptors, which share striking structural homology with plexins in their extracellular domain. We found that in cells expressing the endogenous proteins, Plexin B1 (the Sema 4D Receptor) and Met (the Scatter Factor 1/ Hepatocyte Growth Factor Receptor) associate in a complex. In addition, binding of Sema 4D to Plexin B1 stimulates the tyrosine kinase activity of Met, resulting in tyrosine phosphorylation of both receptors. Finally, cells lacking Met expression do not respond to Sema 4D unless exogenous Met is expressed. This work identifies a novel biological function of semaphorins and suggests the involvement of an unexpected signalling mechanism, namely, the coupling of a plexin to a tyrosine kinase receptor.
Nature. 2002 Mar 14;416(6877):187-90.
Petrelli A, Gilestro GF, Lanzardo S, Comoglio PM, Migone N, Giordano S.
CNR-CIOS and Department of Genetics, Biology and Biochemistry, University of Torino, 10126 Torino, Italy.
Ligand-dependent downregulation of tyrosine kinase receptors is a critical step for modulating their activity. Upon ligand binding, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) receptor (Met) is polyubiquitinated and degraded; however, the mechanisms underlying HGF receptor endocytosis are not yet known. Here we demonstrate that a complex involving endophilins, CIN85 and Cbl controls this process. Endophilins are regulatory components of clathrin-coated vesicle formation. Through their acyl-transferase activity they are thought to modify the membrane phospholipids and induce negative curvature and invagination of the plasma membrane during the early steps of endocytosis. Furthermore, by means of their Src-homology 3 domains, endophilins are able to bind CIN85, a recently identified protein that interacts with the Cbl proto-oncogene. Cbl, in turn, binds and ubiquitinates activated HGF receptor, and by recruiting the endophilin-CIN85 complex, it regulates receptor internalization. Inhibition of complex formation is sufficient to block HGF receptor internalization and to enhance HGF-induced signal transduction and biological responses. These data provide further evidence of a relationship between receptor-mediated signalling and endocytosis, and disclose a novel functional role for Cbl in HGF receptor signalling.