Research Papers:

A Golgi-based KDELR-dependent signalling pathway controls extracellular matrix degradation

Carmen Ruggiero, Giorgia Fragassi, Mauro Grossi, Benedetta Picciani, Rosaria Di Martino, Mirco Capitani, Roberto Buccione, Alberto Luini and Michele Sallese _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:3375-3393. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3270

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Carmen Ruggiero1,4,*, Giorgia Fragassi1,*, Mauro Grossi1, Benedetta Picciani1, Rosaria Di Martino3, Mirco Capitani1, Roberto Buccione2, Alberto Luini3 and Michele Sallese1

1 Unit of Genomic Approaches to Membrane Traffic, Fondazione Mario Negri Sud, Santa Maria Imbaro, Chieti, Italy

2 Laboratory of Tumour Cell Invasion, Fondazione Mario Negri Sud, Santa Maria Imbaro, Chieti, Italy

3 Institute of Protein Biochemistry National Research Council, Naples, Italy

4 Current address: Institut de Pharmacologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire CNRS and Associated International Laboratory (LIA) NEOGENEX CNRS and University of Nice-Sophia-Antipolis, Valbonne, France

* These authors contributed equally to this work


Michele Sallese, email:

Alberto Luini, email:

Keywords: Cancer cell invasion, cell signalling, Src family kinases

Received: November 10, 2014 Accepted: December 12, 2014 Published: December 18, 2014


We recently identified an endomembrane-based signalling cascade that is activated by the KDEL receptor (KDELR) on the Golgi complex. At the Golgi, the KDELR acts as a traffic sensor (presumably via binding to chaperones that leave the ER) and triggers signalling pathways that balance membrane fluxes between ER and Golgi. One such pathway relies on Gq and Src. Here, we examine if KDELR might control other cellular modules through this pathway. Given the central role of Src in extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation, we investigated the impact of the KDELR-Src pathway on the ability of cancer cells to degrade the ECM. We find that activation of the KDELR controls ECM degradation by increasing the number of the degradative structures known as invadopodia. The KDELR induces Src activation at the invadopodia and leads to phosphorylation of the Src substrates cortactin and ASAP1, which are required for basal and KDELR-stimulated ECM degradation. This study furthers our understanding of the regulatory circuitry underlying invadopodia-dependent ECM degradation, a key phase in metastases formation and invasive growth.

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