PDZ-RhoGEF is essential for CXCR4-driven breast tumor cell motility through spatial regulation of RhoA

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Journal of Cell Science


The CXCL12-CXCR4 chemokine signaling pathway is a well-established driver of cancer progression. One key process promoted by CXCR4 stimulation is tumor cell motility; however, the specific signaling pathways leading to migration remain poorly understood. Previously, we have shown that CXCL12 stimulation of migration depends on temporal regulation of RhoA. However, the specific RhoGEF that translates CXCR4 signaling into RhoA activity and cell motility is unknown. We screened the three regulator of G-protein signaling RhoGEFs (LSC, LARG and PRG) and found that PRG selectively regulated the migration and invasion of CXCR4-overexpressing breast tumor cells. Interestingly, we found that PDZ-RhoGEF (PRG) was required for spatial organization of F-actin structures in the center, but not periphery of the cells. The effects on the cytoskeleton were mirrored by the spatial effects on RhoA activity that were dependent upon PRG. Loss of PRG also enhanced adherens junctions in the epithelial-like MCF7-CXCR4 cell line, and inhibited directional persistence and polarity in the more mesenchymal MDA-MB-231 cell line. Thus, PRG is essential for CXCR4-driven tumor cell migration through spatial regulation of RhoA and the subsequent organization of the cytoskeletal structures that support motility. Furthermore, immunohistochemical analysis of human breast tumor tissues shows a significant increase of PRG expression in the invasive areas of the tumors, suggesting that this RhoGEF is associated with breast tumor invasion in vivo.

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Pt 19