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Special Issue "Molecular Connection and Influence of Extracellular Matrix with Cancer"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Eok-Soo Oh
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dep. of Life Sciences, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea
Interests: extracellular matrix; proteoglycan; colon cancer; metastasis; rec eptor; cell signaling; inflammation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides a structural basis for regulating cell functions in normal cells. However, certain ECM components are significantly altered to promote tumor progression and metastatic spread in cancer. Therefore, cancer cells need to recognize the change in the ECM and properly regulate the ECM components to support relevant cell functions. This Special Issue explores the molecular association of various ECM molecules, including structural proteins and bioactive proteins, with cancer cells via the cell surface receptor and intracellular signaling proteins of cancer cells, to understand underlying regulatory mechanisms of cancer progression and to develop new strategies to control cancer.

Prof. Dr. Eok-Soo Oh
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • extracellular matrix
  • signal transduction
  • adhesion receptor
  • ECM remodeling
  • metastasis
  • tumor microenvironment
  • anti-cancer strategy

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Article
Decreased Levels of Microfibril-Associated Glycoprotein (MAGP)-1 in Patients with Colon Cancer and Obesity Are Associated with Changes in Extracellular Matrix Remodelling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(16), 8485; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22168485 - 06 Aug 2021
Viewed by 595
Abstract
Objective: The protein microfibril-associated glycoprotein (MAGP)-1 constitutes a crucial extracellular matrix protein. We aimed to determine its impact on visceral adipose tissue (VAT) remodelling during obesity-associated colon cancer (CC). Methods: Samples obtained from 79 subjects (29 normoponderal (NP) (17 with CC) and 50 [...] Read more.
Objective: The protein microfibril-associated glycoprotein (MAGP)-1 constitutes a crucial extracellular matrix protein. We aimed to determine its impact on visceral adipose tissue (VAT) remodelling during obesity-associated colon cancer (CC). Methods: Samples obtained from 79 subjects (29 normoponderal (NP) (17 with CC) and 50 patients with obesity (OB) (19 with CC)) were used in the study. Circulating concentrations of MAGP-1 and its gene expression levels (MFAP2) in VAT were analysed. The impact of inflammation-related factors and adipocyte-conditioned media (ACM) on MFAP2 mRNA levels in colon adenocarcinoma HT-29 cells were further analysed. The effects of MAGP-1 in the expression of genes involved in the extracellular matrix (ECM) remodelling and tumorigenesis in HT-29 cells was also explored. Results: Obesity (p < 0.01) and CC (p < 0.001) significantly decreased MFAP2 gene expression levels in VAT whereas an opposite trend in TGFB1 mRNA levels was observed. Increased mRNA levels of MFAP2 after the stimulation of HT-29 cells with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (p < 0.01) and interleukin (IL)-4 (p < 0.01) together with a downregulation (p < 0.05) after hypoxia mimicked by CoCl2 treatment was observed. MAGP-1 treatment significantly enhanced the mRNA levels of the ECM-remodelling genes collagen type 6 α3 chain (COL6A3) (p < 0.05), decorin (DCN) (p < 0.01), osteopontin (SPP1) (p < 0.05) and TGFB1 (p < 0.05). Furthermore, MAGP-1 significantly reduced (p < 0.05) the gene expression levels of prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (COX2/PTGS2), a key gene controlling cell proliferation, growth and adhesion in CC. Interestingly, a significant decrease (p < 0.01) in the mRNA levels of MFAP2 in HT-29 cells preincubated with ACM from volunteers with obesity compared with control media was observed. Conclusion: The decreased levels of MAGP-1 in patients with obesity and CC together with its capacity to modulate key genes involved in ECM remodelling and tumorigenesis suggest MAGP-1 as a link between AT excess and obesity-associated CC development. Full article
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Article
Syndecan Transmembrane Domain Specifically Regulates Downstream Signaling Events of the Transmembrane Receptor Cytoplasmic Domain
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(15), 7918; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22157918 - 24 Jul 2021
Viewed by 560
Abstract
Despite the known importance of the transmembrane domain (TMD) of syndecan receptors in cell adhesion and signaling, the molecular basis for syndecan TMD function remains unknown. Using in vivo invertebrate models, we found that mammalian syndecan-2 rescued both the guidance defects in C. [...] Read more.
Despite the known importance of the transmembrane domain (TMD) of syndecan receptors in cell adhesion and signaling, the molecular basis for syndecan TMD function remains unknown. Using in vivo invertebrate models, we found that mammalian syndecan-2 rescued both the guidance defects in C. elegans hermaphrodite-specific neurons and the impaired development of the midline axons of Drosophila caused by the loss of endogenous syndecan. These compensatory effects, however, were reduced significantly when syndecan-2 dimerization-defective TMD mutants were introduced. To further investigate the role of the TMD, we generated a chimera, 2eTPC, comprising the TMD of syndecan-2 linked to the cytoplasmic domain of platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR). This chimera exhibited SDS-resistant dimer formation that was lost in the corresponding dimerization-defective syndecan-2 TMD mutant, 2eT(GL)PC. Moreover, 2eTPC specifically enhanced Tyr 579 and Tyr 857 phosphorylation in the PDGFR cytoplasmic domain, while the TMD mutant failed to support such phosphorylation. Finally, 2eTPC, but not 2eT(GL)PC, induced phosphorylation of Src and PI3 kinase (known downstream effectors of Tyr 579 phosphorylation) and promoted Src-mediated migration of NIH3T3 cells. Taken together, these data suggest that the TMD of a syndecan-2 specifically regulates receptor cytoplasmic domain function and subsequent downstream signaling events controlling cell behavior. Full article
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Article
Microtubule Acetylation Controls MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cell Invasion through the Modulation of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(11), 6018; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22116018 - 02 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 800
Abstract
During aggressive cancer progression, cancer cells adapt to unique microenvironments by withstanding various cellular stresses, including endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. However, the mechanism whereby cancer cells overcome the ER stress to survive remains to be elucidated. Herein, we demonstrated that microtubule acetylation in [...] Read more.
During aggressive cancer progression, cancer cells adapt to unique microenvironments by withstanding various cellular stresses, including endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. However, the mechanism whereby cancer cells overcome the ER stress to survive remains to be elucidated. Herein, we demonstrated that microtubule acetylation in cancer cells grown on a stiff matrix promotes cancer progression by preventing excessive ER stress. Downregulation of microtubule acetylation using shRNA or CRSIPR/Cas9 techniques targeting ATAT1, which encodes α-tubulin N-acetyltransferase (αTAT1), resulted in the upregulation of ER stress markers, changes in ER morphology, and enhanced tunicamycin-induced UPR signaling in cancer cells. A set of genes involved in cancer progression, especially focal adhesion genes, were downregulated in both ATAT1-knockout and tunicamycin-treated cells, whereas ATAT1 overexpression restored the gene expression inhibited by tunicamycin. Finally, the expression of ATAT1 and ER stress marker genes were negatively correlated in various breast cancer types. Taken together, our results suggest that disruption of microtubule acetylation is a potent therapeutic tool for preventing breast cancer progression through the upregulation of ER stress. Moreover, ATAT1 and ER stress marker genes may be useful diagnostic markers in various breast cancer types. Full article
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Article
Tissue-Engineering the Fibrous Pancreatic Tumour Stroma Capsule in 3D Tumouroids to Demonstrate Paclitaxel Response
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(8), 4289; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22084289 - 20 Apr 2021
Viewed by 865
Abstract
Pancreatic cancer is a unique cancer in that up to 90% of its tumour mass is composed of a hypovascular and fibrotic stroma. This makes it extremely difficult for chemotherapies to be delivered into the core of the cancer mass. We tissue-engineered a [...] Read more.
Pancreatic cancer is a unique cancer in that up to 90% of its tumour mass is composed of a hypovascular and fibrotic stroma. This makes it extremely difficult for chemotherapies to be delivered into the core of the cancer mass. We tissue-engineered a biomimetic 3D pancreatic cancer (“tumouroid”) model comprised of a central artificial cancer mass (ACM), containing MIA Paca-2 cells, surrounded by a fibrotic stromal compartment. This stromal compartment had a higher concentration of collagen type I, fibronectin, laminin, and hyaluronic acid (HA) than the ACM. The incorporation of HA was validated with alcian blue staining. Response to paclitaxel was determined in 2D MIA Paca-2 cell cultures, the ACMs alone, and in simple and complex tumouroids, in order to demonstrate drug sensitivity within pancreatic tumouroids of increasing complexity. The results showed that MIA Paca-2 cells grew into the complex stroma and invaded as cell clusters with a maximum distance of 363.7 µm by day 21. In terms of drug response, the IC50 for paclitaxel for MIA Paca-2 cells increased from 0.819 nM in 2D to 3.02 nM in ACMs and to 5.87 nM and 3.803 nM in simple and complex tumouroids respectively, indicating that drug penetration may be significantly reduced in the latter. The results demonstrate the need for biomimetic models during initial drug testing and evaluation. Full article
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Article
AP2M1 Supports TGF-β Signals to Promote Collagen Expression by Inhibiting Caveolin Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(4), 1639; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22041639 - 06 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 695
Abstract
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is important for normal development and disease states, including inflammation and fibrosis. To understand the complex regulation of ECM, we performed a suppressor screening using Caenorhabditis elegans expressing the mutant ROL-6 collagen protein. One cuticle mutant has a mutation [...] Read more.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is important for normal development and disease states, including inflammation and fibrosis. To understand the complex regulation of ECM, we performed a suppressor screening using Caenorhabditis elegans expressing the mutant ROL-6 collagen protein. One cuticle mutant has a mutation in dpy-23 that encodes the μ2 adaptin (AP2M1) of clathrin-associated protein complex II (AP-2). The subsequent suppressor screening for dpy-23 revealed the lon-2 mutation. LON-2 functions to regulate body size through negative regulation of the tumor growth factor-beta (TGF-β) signaling pathway responsible for ECM production. RNA-seq analysis showed a dominant change in the expression of collagen genes and cuticle components. We noted an increase in the cav-1 gene encoding caveolin-1, which functions in clathrin-independent endocytosis. By knockdown of cav-1, the reduced TGF-β signal was significantly restored in the dpy-23 mutant. In conclusion, the dpy-23 mutation upregulated cav-1 expression in the hypodermis, and increased CAV-1 resulted in a decrease of TβRI. Finally, the reduction of collagen expression including rol-6 by the reduced TGF-β signal influenced the cuticle formation of the dpy-23 mutant. These findings could help us to understand the complex process of ECM regulation in organism development and disease conditions. Full article
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Article
IGF-1 Upregulates Biglycan and Decorin by Increasing Translation and Reducing ADAMTS5 Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(3), 1403; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22031403 - 30 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 820
Abstract
Proteoglycan (PG) is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG)-conjugated protein essential for maintaining tissue strength and elasticity. The most abundant skin PGs, biglycan and decorin, have been reported to decrease as skin ages. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is important in various physiological functions such as cell [...] Read more.
Proteoglycan (PG) is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG)-conjugated protein essential for maintaining tissue strength and elasticity. The most abundant skin PGs, biglycan and decorin, have been reported to decrease as skin ages. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is important in various physiological functions such as cell survival, growth, and apoptosis. It is well known that the serum level of IGF-1 decreases with age. Therefore, we investigated whether and how IGF-1 affects biglycan and decorin. When primary cultured normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDFs) were treated with IGF-1, protein levels of biglycan and decorin increased, despite no difference in mRNA expression. This increase was not inhibited by transcription blockade using actinomycin D, suggesting that it is mediated by IGF-1-induced enhanced translation. Additionally, both mRNA and protein expression of ADAMTS5, a PG-degrading enzyme, were decreased in IGF-1-treated NHDFs. Knockdown of ADAMTS5 via RNA interference increased protein expression of biglycan and decorin. Moreover, mRNA and protein expression of ADAMTS5 increased in aged human skin tissues compared to young tissue. Overall, IGF-1 increases biglycan and decorin, which is achieved by improving protein translation to increase synthesis and preventing ADAMTS5-mediated degradation. This suggests a new role of IGF-1 as a regulator for biglycan and decorin in skin aging process. Full article
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Article
Anti-Tumor Effects of Sodium Meta-Arsenite in Glioblastoma Cells with Higher Akt Activities
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(23), 8982; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21238982 - 26 Nov 2020
Viewed by 923
Abstract
Glioblastoma is a type of aggressive brain tumor that grows very fast and evades surrounding normal brain, lead to treatment failure. Glioblastomas are associated with Akt activation due to somatic alterations in PI3 kinase/Akt pathway and/or PTEN tumor suppressor. Sodium meta-arsenite, KML001 is [...] Read more.
Glioblastoma is a type of aggressive brain tumor that grows very fast and evades surrounding normal brain, lead to treatment failure. Glioblastomas are associated with Akt activation due to somatic alterations in PI3 kinase/Akt pathway and/or PTEN tumor suppressor. Sodium meta-arsenite, KML001 is an orally bioavailable, water-soluble, and trivalent arsenical and it shows antitumoral effects in several solid tumor cells via inhibiting oncogenic signaling, including Akt and MAPK. Here, we evaluated the effect of sodium meta-arsenite, KML001, on the growth of human glioblastoma cell lines with different PTEN expression status and Akt activation, including PTEN-deficient cells (U87-MG and U251) and PTEN-positive cells (LN229). The growth-inhibitory effect of KML001 was stronger in U87-MG and U251 cells, which exhibited higher Akt activity than LN229 cells. KML001 deactivated Akt and decreased its protein levels via proteasomal degradation in U87-MG cells. KML001 upregulated mutant PTEN levels via inhibition of its proteasomal degradation. KML001 inhibited cell growth more effectively in active Akt-overexpressing LN229 cells than in mock-expressing LN229 cells. Consistent with these results, KML001 sensitized PTEN-deficient cells more strongly to growth inhibition than it did PTEN-positive cells in prostate and breast cancer cell lines. Finally, we illustrated in vivo anti-tumor effects of KML001 using an intracranial xenograft mouse model. These results suggest that KML001 could be an effective chemotherapeutic drug for the treatment of glioblastoma cancer patients with higher Akt activity and PTEN loss. Full article
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Review

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Review
What Are the Potential Roles of Nuclear Perlecan and Other Heparan Sulphate Proteoglycans in the Normal and Malignant Phenotype
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(9), 4415; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22094415 - 23 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 580
Abstract
The recent discovery of nuclear and perinuclear perlecan in annulus fibrosus and nucleus pulposus cells and its known matrix stabilizing properties in tissues introduces the possibility that perlecan may also have intracellular stabilizing or regulatory roles through interactions with nuclear envelope or cytoskeletal [...] Read more.
The recent discovery of nuclear and perinuclear perlecan in annulus fibrosus and nucleus pulposus cells and its known matrix stabilizing properties in tissues introduces the possibility that perlecan may also have intracellular stabilizing or regulatory roles through interactions with nuclear envelope or cytoskeletal proteins or roles in nucleosomal-chromatin organization that may regulate transcriptional factors and modulate gene expression. The nucleus is a mechano-sensor organelle, and sophisticated dynamic mechanoresponsive cytoskeletal and nuclear envelope components support and protect the nucleus, allowing it to perceive and respond to mechano-stimulation. This review speculates on the potential roles of perlecan in the nucleus based on what is already known about nuclear heparan sulphate proteoglycans. Perlecan is frequently found in the nuclei of tumour cells; however, its specific role in these diseased tissues is largely unknown. The aim of this review is to highlight probable roles for this intriguing interactive regulatory proteoglycan in the nucleus of normal and malignant cell types. Full article
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Review
Syndecan-1 (CD138), Carcinomas and EMT
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(8), 4227; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22084227 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 803
Abstract
Cell surface proteoglycans are known to be important regulators of many aspects of cell behavior. The principal family of transmembrane proteoglycans is the syndecans, of which there are four in mammals. Syndecan-1 is mostly restricted to epithelia, and bears heparan sulfate chains that [...] Read more.
Cell surface proteoglycans are known to be important regulators of many aspects of cell behavior. The principal family of transmembrane proteoglycans is the syndecans, of which there are four in mammals. Syndecan-1 is mostly restricted to epithelia, and bears heparan sulfate chains that are capable of interacting with a large array of polypeptides, including extracellular matrix components and potent mediators of proliferation, adhesion and migration. For this reason, it has been studied extensively with respect to carcinomas and tumor progression. Frequently, but not always, syndecan-1 levels decrease as tumor grade, stage and invasiveness and dedifferentiation increase. This parallels experiments that show depletion of syndecan-1 can be accompanied by loss of cadherin-mediated adhesion. However, in some tumors, levels of syndecan-1 increase, but the characterization of its distribution is relevant. There can be loss of membrane staining, but acquisition of cytoplasmic and/or nuclear staining that is abnormal. Moreover, the appearance of syndecan-1 in the tumor stroma, either associated with its cellular component or the collagenous matrix, is nearly always a sign of poor prognosis. Given its relevance to myeloma progression, syndecan-1-directed antibody—toxin conjugates are being tested in clinical and preclinical trials, and may have future relevance to some carcinomas. Full article
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Review
Perlecan in Pericellular Mechanosensory Cell-Matrix Communication, Extracellular Matrix Stabilisation and Mechanoregulation of Load-Bearing Connective Tissues
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(5), 2716; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22052716 - 08 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 807
Abstract
In this study, we review mechanoregulatory roles for perlecan in load-bearing connective tissues. Perlecan facilitates the co-acervation of tropoelastin and assembly of elastic microfibrils in translamellar cross-bridges which, together with fibrillin and elastin stabilise the extracellular matrix of the intervertebral disc annulus fibrosus. [...] Read more.
In this study, we review mechanoregulatory roles for perlecan in load-bearing connective tissues. Perlecan facilitates the co-acervation of tropoelastin and assembly of elastic microfibrils in translamellar cross-bridges which, together with fibrillin and elastin stabilise the extracellular matrix of the intervertebral disc annulus fibrosus. Pericellular perlecan interacts with collagen VI and XI to define and stabilize this matrix compartment which has a strategic position facilitating two-way cell-matrix communication between the cell and its wider extracellular matrix. Cues from the extracellular matrix are fed through this pericellular matrix back to the chondrocyte, allowing it to perceive and respond to subtle microenvironmental changes to regulate tissue homeostasis. Thus perlecan plays a key regulatory role in chondrocyte metabolism, and in chondrocyte differentiation. Perlecan acts as a transport proteoglycan carrying poorly soluble, lipid-modified proteins such as the Wnt or Hedgehog families facilitating the establishment of morphogen gradients that drive tissue morphogenesis. Cell surface perlecan on endothelial cells or osteocytes acts as a flow sensor in blood and the lacunar canalicular fluid providing feedback cues to smooth muscle cells regulating vascular tone and blood pressure, and the regulation of bone metabolism by osteocytes highlighting perlecan’s multifaceted roles in load-bearing connective tissues. Full article
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