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Molecular Biology - Oncology - Urology


FGFR1-Induced Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition through MAPK/PLC?/COX-2-Mediated Mechanisms
Published: Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Author: Darren C. Tomlinson et al.

by Darren C. Tomlinson, Euan W. Baxter, Paul M. Loadman, Mark A. Hull, Margaret A. Knowles

Tumour invasion and metastasis is the most common cause of death from cancer. For epithelial cells to invade surrounding tissues and metastasise, an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is required. We have demonstrated that FGFR1 expression is increased in bladder cancer and that activation of FGFR1 induces an EMT in urothelial carcinoma (UC) cell lines. Here, we created an in vitro FGFR1-inducible model of EMT, and used this model to identify regulators of urothelial EMT. FGFR1 activation promoted EMT over a period of 72 hours. Initially a rapid increase in actin stress fibres occurred, followed by an increase in cell size, altered morphology and increased migration and invasion. By using site-directed mutagenesis and small molecule inhibitors we demonstrated that combined activation of the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phospholipase C gamma (PLC?) pathways regulated this EMT. Actin stress fibre formation was regulated by PLC? activation, and was also important for the increase in cell size, migration and altered morphology. MAPK activation regulated migration and E-cadherin expression, indicating that combined activation of PLC?and MAPK is required for a full EMT. We used expression microarrays to assess changes in gene expression downstream of these signalling cascades. COX-2 was transcriptionally upregulated by FGFR1 and caused increased intracellular prostaglandin E2 levels, which promoted migration. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that FGFR1 activation in UC cells lines promotes EMT via coordinated activation of multiple signalling pathways and by promoting activation of prostaglandin synthesis.
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