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Differential Regulation of Growth-Promoting Signalling Pathways by E-Cadherin

Georgopoulos, Nikolaos T., Kirkwood, Lisa A., Walker, Dawn C. and Southgate, Jennifer (2010) Differential Regulation of Growth-Promoting Signalling Pathways by E-Cadherin. PLoS ONE, 5 (10). e13621. ISSN 1932-6203

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    Abstract

    Background: Despite the well-documented association between loss of E-cadherin and carcinogenesis, as well as the link between restoration of its expression and suppression of proliferation in carcinoma cells, the ability of E-cadherin to modulate growth-promoting cell signalling in normal epithelial cells is less well understood and frequently contradictory. The potential for E-cadherin to co-ordinate different proliferation-associated signalling pathways has yet to be fully explored.

    Methodology/Principal Findings: Using a normal human urothelial (NHU) cell culture system and following a calcium-switch approach, we demonstrate that the stability of NHU cell-cell contacts differentially regulates the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR)/Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase (ERK) and Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase (PI3-K)/AKT pathways. We show that stable cell contacts down-modulate the EGFR/ERK pathway, whilst inducing PI3-K/AKT activity, which transiently enhances cell growth at low density. Functional inactivation of E-cadherin interferes with the capacity of NHU cells to form stable calcium-mediated contacts, attenuates E-cadherin-mediated PI3-K/AKT induction and enhances NHU cell proliferation by allowing de-repression of the EGFR/ERK pathway and constitutive activation of β-catenin-TCF signalling.

    Conclusions/Significance: Our findings provide evidence that E-cadherin can differentially and concurrently regulate specific growth-related signalling pathways in a context-specific fashion, with direct, functional consequences for cell proliferation and population growth. Our observations not only reveal a novel, complex role for E-cadherin in normal epithelial cell homeostasis and tissue regeneration, but also provide the basis for a more complete understanding of the consequences of E-cadherin loss on malignant transformation.

    Item Type: Article
    Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
    Schools: School of Applied Sciences
    Related URLs:
    Depositing User: Graham Stone
    Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2011 16:53
    Last Modified: 21 Mar 2011 17:35
    URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/9908

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