Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)

Essential function for PDLIM2 in cell polarization in three-dimensional cultures by feedback regulation of the β1-integrin-RhoA signaling axis.

PMID 24863845


PDLIM2 is a cytoskeletal and nuclear PDZ-LIM domain protein that regulates the stability of Nuclear Factor kappa-B (NFκB) and other transcription factors, and is required for polarized cell migration. PDLIM2 expression is suppressed by methylation in different cancers, but is strongly expressed in invasive breast cancer cells that have undergone an Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition (EMT). PDLIM2 is also expressed in non-transformed breast myoepithelial MCF10A cells and here we asked whether it is important for maintaining the polarized, epithelial phenotype of these cells. Suppression of PDLIM2 in MCF10A cells was sufficient to disrupt cell polarization and acini formation with increased proliferation and reduced apoptosis in the luminal space compared to control acini with hollow lumina. Spheroids with suppressed PDLIM2 exhibited increased expression of cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion proteins including beta 1 (β1) integrin. Interestingly, levels of the Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1 R) and Receptor of activated protein kinase C 1 (RACK1), which scaffolds IGF-1R to β1 integrin, were also increased, indicating a transformed phenotype. Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) and cofilin phosphorylation, and RhoA Guanosine Triphosphatase (GTPase) activity were all enhanced in these spheroids compared to control acini. Importantly, inhibition of either FAK or Rho Kinase (ROCK) was sufficient to rescue the polarity defect. We conclude that PDLIM2 expression is essential for feedback regulation of the β1-integrin-RhoA signalling axis and integration of cellular microenvironment signals with gene expression to control the polarity of breast epithelial acini structures. This is a mechanism by which PDLIM2 could mediate tumour suppression in breast epithelium.