Publications by authors named "River A Hames"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Adaptation of the group A Streptococcus adhesin Scl1 to bind fibronectin type III repeats within wound-associated extracellular matrix: implications for cancer therapy.

Mol Microbiol 2019 09 12;112(3):800-819. Epub 2019 Jun 12.

Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV, USA.

The human-adapted pathogen group A Streptococcus (GAS) utilizes wounds as portals of entry into host tissue, wherein surface adhesins interact with the extracellular matrix, enabling bacterial colonization. The streptococcal collagen-like protein 1 (Scl1) is a major adhesin of GAS that selectively binds to two fibronectin type III (FnIII) repeats within cellular fibronectin, specifically the alternatively spliced extra domains A and B, and the FnIII repeats within tenascin-C. Binding to FnIII repeats was mediated through conserved structural determinants present within the Scl1 globular domain and facilitated GAS adherence and biofilm formation. Isoforms of cellular fibronectin that contain extra domains A and B, as well as tenascin-C, are present for several days in the wound extracellular matrix. Scl1-FnIII binding is therefore an example of GAS adaptation to the host's wound environment. Similarly, cellular fibronectin isoforms and tenascin-C are present in the tumor microenvironment. Consistent with this, FnIII repeats mediate GAS attachment to and enhancement of biofilm formation on matrices deposited by cancer-associated fibroblasts and osteosarcoma cells. These data collectively support the premise for utilization of the Scl1-FnIII interaction as a novel method of anti-neoplastic targeting in the tumor microenvironment.
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September 2019

Cortactin Phosphorylation by Casein Kinase 2 Regulates Actin-Related Protein 2/3 Complex Activity, Invadopodia Function, and Tumor Cell Invasion.

Mol Cancer Res 2019 04 4;17(4):987-1001. Epub 2019 Jan 4.

Program in Cancer Cell Biology, Department of Biochemistry, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.

Malregulation of the actin cytoskeleton enhances tumor cell motility and invasion. The actin-binding protein cortactin facilitates branched actin network formation through activation of the actin-related protein (Arp) 2/3 complex. Increased cortactin expression due to gene amplification is observed in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and other cancers, corresponding with elevated tumor progression and poor patient outcome. Arp2/3 complex activation is responsible for driving increased migration and extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation by governing invadopodia formation and activity. Although cortactin-mediated activation of Arp2/3 complex and invadopodia regulation has been well established, signaling pathways responsible for governing cortactin binding to Arp2/3 are unknown and potentially present a new avenue for anti-invasive therapeutic targeting. Here we identify casein kinase (CK) 2α phosphorylation of cortactin as a negative regulator of Arp2/3 binding. CK2α directly phosphorylates cortactin at a conserved threonine (T24) adjacent to the canonical Arp2/3 binding motif. Phosphorylation of cortactin T24 by CK2α impairs the ability of cortactin to bind Arp2/3 and activate actin nucleation. Decreased invadopodia activity is observed in HNSCC cells with expression of CK2α phosphorylation-null cortactin mutants, shRNA-mediated CK2α knockdown, and with the CK2α inhibitor Silmitasertib. Silmitasertib inhibits HNSCC collective invasion in tumor spheroids and orthotopic tongue tumors in mice. Collectively these data suggest that CK2α-mediated cortactin phosphorylation at T24 is critical in regulating cortactin binding to Arp2/3 complex and pro-invasive activity, identifying a potential targetable mechanism for impairing HNSCC invasion. IMPLICATIONS: This study identifies a new signaling pathway that contributes to enhancing cancer cell invasion.
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April 2019