Research Papers:

Rab coupling protein mediated endosomal recycling of N-cadherin influences cell motility

Andrew J. Lindsay and Mary W. McCaffrey _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:104717-104732. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10513

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Andrew J. Lindsay1 and Mary W. McCaffrey1

1Molecular Cell Biology Laboratory, School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Biosciences Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Correspondence to:

Mary W. McCaffrey, email: [email protected]

Keywords: RCP, migration, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, N-cadherin, endosomal recycling

Received: November 24, 2015     Accepted: May 13, 2016     Published: July 09, 2016


Rab coupling protein (RCP) is a Rab GTPase effector that functions in endosomal recycling. The RCP gene is frequently amplified in breast cancer, leading to increased cancer aggressiveness. Furthermore, RCP enhances the motility of ovarian cancer cells by coordinating the recycling of α5β1 integrin and EGF receptor to the leading edge of migrating cells. Here we report that RCP also influences the motility of lung adenocarcinoma cells. Knockdown of RCP inhibits the motility of A549 cells in 2D and 3D migration assays, while its overexpression enhances migration in these assays. Depletion of RCP leads to a reduction in N-cadherin protein levels, which could be restored with lysosomal inhibitors. Trafficking assays revealed that RCP knockdown inhibits the return of endocytosed N-cadherin to the cell surface. We propose that RCP regulates the endosomal recycling of N-cadherin, and in its absence N-cadherin is diverted to the degradative pathway. The increased aggressiveness of tumour cells that overexpress RCP may be due to biased recycling of N-cadherin in metastatic cancer cells.

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