Research Papers:

Repression of liver colorectal metastasis by the serpin Spn4A a naturally occurring inhibitor of the constitutive secretory proprotein convertases

Fatma Sfaxi, Nathalie Scamuffa, Claude Lalou, Jia Ma, Peter Metrakos, Géraldine Siegfried, Hermann Ragg, Andreas Bikfalvi, Fabien Calvo and Abdel-Majid Khatib _

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:4195-4210. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.1966

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Fatma Sfaxi1,2, Nathalie Scamuffa1,2, Claude Lalou1,2, Jia Ma1,2, Peter Metrakos3, Géraldine Siegfried1,2, Hermann Ragg4, Andreas Bikfalvi1,2, Fabien Calvo5, Abdel-Majid Khatib1,2

1 Université Bordeaux 1, LAMC, Talence, France.

2 INSERM, UMR 1029, F-33405 Talence, France.

3 Department of Surgery, McGill University, Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, H3A 1A1, QC, Canada.

4 Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Technology, University of Bielefeld, 33501 Bielefeld, Germany.

5 Institut de Génétique Moléculaire, INSERM UMRS 940, Université Paris7, Paris, France.


Abdel-Majid Khatib, email:

Keywords: Spn4A, Furin, PC5, PACE4, PC7, mitogenic activity

Received: March 14, 2014 Accepted: May 12, 2014 Published: May 13, 2014


Liver is the most common site of metastasis from colorectal cancers, and liver of patients with liver colorectal metastasis have abnormal levels of the proprotein convertases (PCs). These proteases are involved in the activation and/or expression of various colon cancer-related mediators, making them promising targets in colorectal liver metastasis therapy. Here, we revealed that the serpin Spn4 from Drosophila melanogaster inhibits the activity of all the PCs found in the constitutive secretory pathway and represses the metastatic potential of the colon cancer cells HT-29 and CT-26. In these cells, Spn4A inhibited the processing of the PCs substrates IGF-1R and PDGF-A that associated their reduced anchorage-independent growth, invasiveness and survival in response to apoptotic agents. In vivo, Spn4A-expressing tumor cells showed repressed subcutaneous tumor development and liver metastases formation in response to their intrasplenic inoculation. In these cells Spn4A induced the expression of molecules with anti-metastatic functions and inhibited expression of pro-tumorigenic molecules. Taken together, our findings identify Spn4A as the only endogenous inhibitor of all the constitutive secretory pathway PCs, which is able to repress the metastatic potential of colon cancer cells. These results suggest the potential use of Spn4A and/or derivates as a useful adduct colorectal liver metastasis prevention.

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