Research Papers:

Suppression of focal adhesion formation may account for the suppression of cell migration, invasion and growth of non-small cell lung cancer cells following treatment with polyisoprenylated cysteinyl amide inhibitors

Elizabeth Ntantie, Michaela J. Allen, Jerrine Fletcher, Augustine T. Nkembo, Nazarius S. Lamango _ and Offiong F. Ikpatt

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:25781-25795. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25372

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Elizabeth Ntantie1, Michaela J. Allen1, Jerrine Fletcher1, Augustine T. Nkembo1, Nazarius S. Lamango1 and Offiong F. Ikpatt1,2

1College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL 32307, USA

2Department of Pathology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33027, USA

Correspondence to:

Nazarius S. Lamango, email: [email protected]

Keywords: focal adhesion; integrins; fascin; metastasis

Received: March 09, 2018     Accepted: April 21, 2018     Published: May 25, 2018


Migratory cells form extracellular matrix attachments called focal-adhesions. Focal adhesion assembly and disassembly are regulated by the Rho family of small GTPases. We previously reported that polyisoprenylated cysteinyl amide inhibitors (PCAIs) suppress Rho protein levels, disrupting F-actin cytoskeleton remodeling in the formation of lamellipodia and filopodia. In this study, we investigated whether these observations effect focal adhesion formation, which involves cell surface receptors known as integrins and several signaling/adaptor proteins such as vinculin, α-actinin, Rock kinases and phospho-Myosin Light Chain-2 (p-MLC-2), that foster the linkage of the actin cytoskeleton to the extracellular matrix. We observed that treatment of H1299 cells with 5 μM PCAIs for 24 h markedly diminished the level of full-length integrin α4 by at least 24% relative to controls. PCAIs at 5 μM, diminished the levels of vinculin by at least 50%. Immunofluorescent analysis showed at least a 76% decrease in the number of vinculin-focal adhesion punctates. In addition, PCAIs diminished Rock1 levels by 25% and its substrate, p-MLC-2 by 75%. PCAIs did not significantly alter the levels of integrin β5, α-actinin, and Rock2, suggesting that the effects of the PCAIs are target specific. Our data indicate that the PCAIs alter the levels of the Rho proteins and their effectors to abrogate their functions in cytoskeleton remodeling thereby suppressing focal adhesion formation. This in turn results in a PCAIs-induced decrease in cell invasion, thus making the PCAIs propitious agents for the inhibition of cancer growth and metastasis.

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