Malignant breast cancer cells that have entered the blood circulation from primary mammary fat pad tumors or are grown in end-over-end suspension culture assemble a characteristic, multi-globular polymeric fibronectin (polyFn) coat on their surfaces. Surface polyFn is critical for pulmonary metastasis, presumably by facilitating lung vascular arrest via endothelial dipeptidylpeptidase IV (CD26). Here, we show that cell-surface polyFn assembly is initiated by the state of suspension, is dependent upon the synthesis and secretion of cellular Fn, and is augmented in a dose- and time-dependent manner by plasma Fn. PolyFn assembly is regulated by protein kinase Cε (PKCε), which translocates rapidly and in increasing amounts from the cytosol to the plasma membrane and is phosphorylated. PolyFn assembly is impeded by select inhibitors of this kinase, i.e. bisindolylmaleimide I, Ro-32-0432, Gö6983, and Rottlerin, by the phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate-mediated and time-dependent loss of PKCε protein and decreased plasma membrane translocation, and more specifically, by stable transfection of lung-metastatic MTF7L breast cancer cells with small interfering RNA-PKCε and dominant-negative PKCε constructs (e.g. RD-PKCε). The inability to assemble a cell surface-associated polyFn coat by knockdown of endogenous Fn or PKCε impedes cancer cells from metastasis to the lungs. The present studies identify a novel regulatory mechanism for polyFn assembly on blood-borne breast cancer cells and depict its effect on pulmonary metastasis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology