Functional invadopodia formation through stabilization of the PDPN transcript by IMP-3 and cancer-stromal crosstalk for PDPN expression.

PMID 22859271


We previously reported that insulin-like growth factor-II mRNA-binding protein-3 (IMP-3) depletion (IMP-3(Δ)) was shown to inhibit invadopodia formation and extracellular matrix degradation capacity in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells. In this study, we found that IMP-3(Δ) cells significantly downregulated the podoplanin (PDPN) level, which resulted in a loss of extracellular matrix degradation activity, although invadopodia was still thriving. From RNA in situ hybridization using a digoxigenin-labeled 3'UTR recognition probe of PDPN and reporter assay with 3'UTR of the PDPN gene cloned downstream from the luciferase reporter gene, we revealed that IMP-3 depletion was shown to be downregulated, which most probably lowered PDPN gene expression by reducing mRNA stabilization. In a xenograft model, PDPN depletion was the cause of a decrease in tumor volume and regional infiltration into nearby stroma. Taken together, transforming growth factor beta 1 increased PDPN expression, which potentiated cancer invasion through increased invadopodia formation and extracellular matrix degradation in the low invasive OSCC cell line. Reciprocally, interleukin-1 beta secreted by OSCC cells, stimulated transforming growth factor beta 1 secretion from stromal fibroblasts to induce PDPN expression in OSCC cells. In addition, a retrospective investigation of OSCC patients found that IMP-3 and PDPN expression significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis of OSCC patients. Moreover, co-expression of IMP-3 and PDPN were frequently detected both in primary and lymph nodes metastatic OSCC cells using immunohistochemical dual staining. Thus, the IMP-3-PDPN axis may be a sensitive target molecule in anti-invadopodia therapy for the treatment of metastatic cancers.