Biochimica et biophysica acta

MFAP3L activation promotes colorectal cancer cell invasion and metastasis.

PMID 24735981


An abundance of microfibril-associated glycoprotein 3-like (MFAP3L) significantly correlates with distant metastasis in colorectal cancer (CRC), although the mechanism has yet to be explained. In this study, we observed that MFAP3L knock-down resulted in reduced CRC cell invasion and hepatic metastasis. We evaluated the cellular location and biochemical functions of MFAP3L and found that this protein was primarily localized in the nucleus of CRC cells and acted as a protein kinase. When EGFR translocated into the nucleus upon stimulation with EGF, MFAP3L was phosphorylated at Tyr287 within its SH2 motif, and the activated form of MFAP3L phosphorylated ERK2 at Thr185 and Tyr187. Moreover, the metastatic behavior of CRC cells in vitro and in vivo could be partially explained by activation of the nuclear ERK pathway through MFAP3L phosphorylation. Hence, we experimentally demonstrated for the first time that MFAP3L likely participates in the nuclear signaling of EGFR and ERK2 and acts as a novel nuclear kinase that impacts CRC metastasis.