Autophagy favours metastatic growth through fuelling energy and nutrients and resistance to anoikis, typical of disseminated-tumour cells. The autophagic process, mediated by a unique organelle, the autophagosome, which fuses with lysosomes, is divided into three steps. Several stages, especially early omegasome formation and isolation-membrane initiation, remain controversial; molecular mechanisms involve the small-GTPase Rab5a, which regulates vesicle traffic for autophagosome formation. We examined Rab5a involvement in the function of key members of ubiquitin-conjugation systems, Atg7 and LC3-lipidated, interacting with the scaffold-protein p62. Immunohistochemistry of Rab5a was performed in human specimens of bone metastasis and pair-matched breast carcinoma; the autophagic-molecular mechanisms affected by Rab5a were evaluated in human 1833 bone metastatic cells, derived from breast-carcinoma MDA-MB231 cells. To clarify the role of Rab5a, 1833 cells were transfected transiently with Rab5a-dominant negative, and/or stably with the short-hairpin RNA Atg7, were exposed to two inhibitors of autolysosome function, and LC3II and p62 expression was measured. We showed basal autophagy in bone-metastatic cells and the pivotal role of Rab5a together with Beclin 1 between the early stages, elongation of isolation membrane/closed autophagosome mediated by Atg7, and the late-degradative stages. This regulatory network might occur in bone-metastasis and in high-grade dysplastic lesions, preceding invasive-breast carcinoma and conferring phenotypic characteristics for dissemination.
- Bone metastasis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry