Largely owing to widespread deployment of microarray analysis, many of the transcriptional events associated with invasive cell migration are becoming clear. However, the transcriptional drives to invasive migration are likely modified by alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs to produce functionally distinct patterns of protein expression. Heterogenous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP A2) is a known regulator of alternative splicing that is upregulated in a number of invasive cancer types. Here, we report that although siRNA of hnRNP A2 had little influence on the ability of cells to migrate on plastic surfaces, the splicing regulator was clearly required for cells to move effectively on three-dimensional matrices and to invade into plugs of extracellular matrix proteins. We used exon-tiling microarrays to determine that hnRNP A2 controlled approximately six individual splicing events in a three-dimensional matrix-dependent fashion, one of which influenced invasive migration. Here, we show that alternative splicing of an exon in the 5' untranslated region of a gene termed TP53INP2 is a key event downstream of hnRNP A2 that is necessary for cells to invade the extracellular matrix. Furthermore, we report that the consequences of altered TP53INP2 splicing on invasion are likely mediated via alterations in Golgi complex integrity during migration on three-dimensional matrices.
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