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Podoplanin mediates ECM degradation by squamous carcinoma cells through control of invadopodia stability.

Martin-Villar E., Borda-d'Agua B., Carrasco-Ramirez P., Renart J., Parsons M., Quintanilla M., Jones G.E.

Invadopodia are actin-rich cell membrane projections used by invasive cells to penetrate the basement membrane. Control of invadopodia stability is critical for efficient degradation of the extracellular matrix (ECM); however, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here, we uncover a new role for podoplanin, a transmembrane glycoprotein closely associated with malignant progression of squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), in the regulation of invadopodia-mediated matrix degradation. Podoplanin downregulation in SCC cells impairs invadopodia stability, thereby reducing the efficiency of ECM degradation. We report podoplanin as a novel component of invadopodia-associated adhesion rings, where it clusters prior to matrix degradation. Early podoplanin recruitment to invadopodia is dependent on lipid rafts, whereas ezrin/moesin proteins mediate podoplanin ring assembly. Finally, we demonstrate that podoplanin regulates invadopodia maturation by acting upstream of the ROCK-LIMK-Cofilin pathway through the control of RhoC GTPase activity. Thus, podoplanin has a key role in the regulation of invadopodia function in SCC cells, controlling the initial steps of cancer cell invasion.

Oncogene 34:4531-4544(2015) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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