Research Papers:

Regulation of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) expression and secretion in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells by LIM and SH3 protein 1 (LASP1)

Marcel Endres, Susanne Kneitz, Martin F. Orth, Ruwan K. Perera, Alma Zernecke and Elke Butt _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:64244-64259. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11720

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Marcel Endres1, Susanne Kneitz2, Martin F. Orth1, Ruwan K. Perera1, Alma Zernecke1, Elke Butt1

1Institute of Experimental Biomedicine II, University Medical Clinic of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany

2Physiological Chemistry, Biozentrum, University of Wuerzburg, Am Hubland, Wuerzburg, Germany

Correspondence to:

Elke Butt, email: [email protected]

Keywords: LASP1, matrix metalloproteinases, c-Fos, AP-1, extracellular matrix

Received: February 12, 2016    Accepted: August 09, 2016    Published: August 31, 2016


The process of tumor invasion requires degradation of extracellular matrix by proteolytic enzymes. Cancer cells form protrusive invadopodia, which produce and release matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) to degrade the basement membrane thereby enabling metastasis. We investigated the effect of LASP1, a newly identified protein in invadopodia, on expression, secretion and activation of MMPs in invasive breast tumor cell lines.

By analyzing microarray data of in-house generated control and LASP1-depleted MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, we observed downregulation of MMP1, -3 and -9 upon LASP1 depletion. This was confirmed by Western blot analysis. Conversely, rescue experiments restored in part MMP expression and secretion. The regulatory effect of LASP1 on MMP expression was also observed in BT-20 breast cancer cells as well as in prostate and bladder cancer cell lines.

In line with bioinformatic FunRich analysis of our data, which mapped a high regulation of transcription factors by LASP1, public microarray data analysis detected a correlation between high LASP1 expression and enhanced c-Fos levels, a protein that is part of the transcription factor AP-1 and known to regulate MMP expression. Compatibly, in luciferase reporter assays, AP-1 showed a decreased transcriptional activity after LASP1 knockdown.

Zymography assays and Western blot analysis revealed an additional promotion of MMP secretion into the extracellular matrix by LASP1, thus, most likely, altering the microenvironment during cancer progression.

The newly identified role of LASP1 in regulating matrix degradation by affecting MMP transcription and secretion elucidated the migratory potential of LASP1 overexpressing aggressive tumor cells in earlier studies.

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