Journal of cellular biochemistry

Modulation of ERK5 is a novel mechanism by which Cdc42 regulates migration of breast cancer cells.

PMID 25160664


Members of Rho family GTPases including Cdc42 are known to play pivotal roles in cell migration. Cell migration is also known to be regulated by many protein kinases. Kinetworks KPSS 11.0 phospho-site screening of Cdc42-silenced Hs578T breast cancer cells revealed most dramatic change in ERK5 MAP kinase. In the present study, we set out to determine the relationship between Cdc42 and ERK5 and its significance in breast cancer cell migration and invasion. Specific siRNAs were used for knocking down Cdc42 or ERK5 in breast cancer cells. Increased ERK5 phosphorylation in breast cancer cells was achieved by infection of constitutively active MEK5 adenovirus. The cells were then subjected to cell migration or invasion assay without the presence of serum or any growth factor. We found that Cdc42 negatively regulated phosphorylation of ERK5, which in turn exhibited an inverse relationship with migration and invasiveness of breast cancer cells. To find out some in vivo relevance of the results of our in vitro experiments we also examined the expression of ERK5 in the breast cancer tissues and their adjacent normal control tissues by real-time RT-PCR and immunocytochemistry. ERK5 expression was found to be reduced in breast cancer tissues as compared with their adjacent uninvolved mammary tissues. Therefore, Cdc42 may promote breast cancer cell migration and invasion by inhibiting ERK5 phosphorylation and ERK5 expression may be inversely correlated with the progression of some breast tumors.