INTRODUCTION: Metastases are responsible for more than 90% of cancer related mortality. The hematogenous metastatic invasion is a complex process in which the endothelium plays a key role. Extravasation is a dynamic process involving remodeling and change in cell shape and in cytoskeleton whereby a series of strongly dependent interactions between CTCs and endothelium occurs . Talins are proteins regulating focal adhesions and cytoskeleton remodeling. Talin-1 seems to be involved in the aggressiveness, motility, survival and invadopodia formation of cancer cells throughout the entire metastatic cascade , being up-regulated in breast cancer cells and mutated in sarcomas. Understand the implication of talin-1 in extravasation could facilitate the design of new therapies and finally fight cancer.
AIM: We hypothesized that Talin-1 could be specifically involved in extravasation driving each of its steps.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We developed a human 3D microfluidic model that enables the study of human cancer cell extravasation within a perfusable human microvascularized organ specific environment. For the study of extravasation we applied microfluidic approach through the development of a microfluidic device in which endothelial cells and fibroblasts generated a 3D human functional vascular networks. Microvessel characterization was performed with immunofluorescence and permeability assays. We knocked-down talin-1 in triple negative breast cancer cell line MDA-MB231 and metastatic fibro-sarcoma cell line HT1080 with SiRNA and verified by Western-blot. Cancer cells were then perfused in the vessels and extravasation monitored through confocal imaging.
RESULTS: We developed a human vascularized 3D microfluidic device with human perfusable capillary-like structures embedded in fibrin matrix, characterized by mature endothelium markers and physiological permeability (1.5±0.76)×10(-6) cm/s. We focused on the role of Talin-1 in adhesion to endothelium, trans-endothelial migration (TEM) and early invasion. Adhesion to the endothelium, TEM and migration within the ECM were monitored through confocal analyses. We demonstrated that Talin-1 KD significantly reduced the adhesion efficiency and TEM in both cell lines. Early invasion was also strongly and statistically reduced by the SiRNA treatment in both cell lines.
CONCLUSIONS: We proved Talin-1 function in driving the extravasation mechanism in a human 3D vascularized environment. We demonstrated that Talin-1 is involved in each part of extravasation significantly affecting adhesion, TEM and the invasion stages. Targeting this protein could thus be an effective strategy to block metastasis.
- Journal Article