The Journal of biological chemistry

Glycosylphosphatidylinositol Anchor Modification Machinery Deficiency Is Responsible for the Formation of Pro-Prion Protein (PrP) in BxPC-3 Protein and Increases Cancer Cell Motility.

PMID 26683373


The normal cellular prion protein (PrP) is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored cell surface glycoprotein. However, in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell lines, such as BxPC-3, PrP exists as a pro-PrP retaining its glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) peptide signaling sequence. Here, we report the identification of another pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell line, AsPC-1, which expresses a mature GPI-anchored PrP. Comparison of the 24 genes involved in the GPI anchor modification pathway between AsPC-1 and BxPC-3 revealed 15 of the 24 genes, including PGAP1 and PIG-F, were down-regulated in the latter cells. We also identified six missense mutations in DPM2, PIG-C, PIG-N, and PIG-P alongside eight silent mutations. When BxPC-3 cells were fused with Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, which lack endogenous PrP, pro-PrP was successfully converted into mature GPI-anchored PrP. Expression of the individual gene, such as PGAP1, PIG-F, or PIG-C, into BxPC-3 cells does not result in phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C sensitivity of PrP. However, when PIG-F but not PIG-P is expressed in PGAP1-expressing BxPC-3 cells, PrP on the surface of the cells becomes phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C-sensitive. Thus, low expression of PIG-F and PGAP1 is the major factor contributing to the accumulation of pro-PrP. More importantly, BxPC-3 cells expressing GPI-anchored PrP migrate much slower than BxPC-3 cells bearing pro-PrP. In addition, GPI-anchored PrP-bearing AsPC-1 cells also migrate slower than pro-PrP bearing BxPC-3 cells, although both cells express filamin A. "Knocking out" PRNP in BxPC-3 cell drastically reduces its migration. Collectively, these results show that multiple gene irregularity in BxPC-3 cells is responsible for the formation of pro-PrP, and binding of pro-PrP to filamin A contributes to enhanced tumor cell motility.