Regulation of extracellular matrix degradation and metastatic spread by IQGAP1 through endothelin-1 receptor signalling in ovarian cancer

Lidia Chellini, V. Caprara, F. Spadaro, R. Sestito, A. Bagnato, L. Rosano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The invasive phenotype of serous ovarian cancer (SOC) cells is linked to the formation of actin-based protrusions, invadopodia, operating extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation and metastatic spread. Growth factor receptors might cause engagement of integrin-related proteins, like the polarity protein IQ-domain GTPase-activating protein 1 (IQGAP1), to F-actin core needed for invadopodia functions. Here, we investigated whether IQGAP1 forms a signalosome with endothelin-1 (ET-1)/beta-arrestin1 (beta-arr1) network, as signal-integrating module for adhesion components, cytoskeletal remodelling and ECM degradation. In SOC cells, ET-1 receptor (ET-1R) activation, besides altering IQGAP1 expression and localization, coordinates the binding of IQGAP1 with beta-arr1, representing a "hotspot" for ET-1R-induced invasive signalling. We demonstrated that the molecular interaction of IQGAP1 with beta-arr1 affects relocalization of focal adhesion components, as vinculin, and cytoskeleton dynamics, through the regulation of invadopodia-related pathways. In particular, ET-1R deactivates Rac1 thereby promoting RhoA/C activation for the correct functions of invasive structures. Silencing of either IQGAP1 or beta-arr1, or blocking ET-1R activation with a dual antagonist macitentan, prevents matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity, invadopodial function, transendothelial migration and cell invasion. In vivo, targeting ET-1R/beta-arr1 signalling controls the process of SOC metastasis, associated with reduced levels of IQGAP1, as well as other invadopodia effectors, such as vinculin, phospho-cortactin and membrane type 1-MMP. High expression of ETAR/beta-arr1/IQGAP1 positively correlates with poor prognosis, validating the clinical implication of this signature in early prognosis of SOC. These data establish the ET-1R-driven beta-arr1/IQGAP1 interaction as a prerequisite for the dynamic integration of pathways in fostering invadopodia and metastatic process in human SOC.
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)17-33
Number of pages17
JournalMatrix Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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