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Cell Growth & Differentiation Vol. 11, 123-133, February 2000
© 2000 American Association for Cancer Research


Articles

Cooperative Effect of Hepatocyte Growth Factor and Fibronectin in Anchorage-independent Survival of Mammary Carcinoma Cells: Requirement for Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase Activity1

Hui Qiao, Ronald Saulnier2, Alexander Patryzkat, Nader Rahimi3, Leda Raptis, John Rossiter, Eric Tremblay and Bruce Elliott4

Cancer Research Laboratories, Department of Pathology, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6 Canada

Abstract

Anchorage-independent survival and growth are critical characteristics of malignant cells. We showed previously that the addition of exogenous hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and the presence of fibronectin fibrils stimulate anchorage-independent colony growth of a murine mammary carcinoma, SP1, which expresses both HGF and HGF receptor (Met; R. Saulnier et al., Exp. Cell Res., 222: 360–369, 1996). We now show that tyrosine phosphorylation of Met in carcinoma cells is augmented by cell adhesion and spreading on fibronectin substratum. In contrast, detached serum-starved cells exhibit reduced tyrosine phosphorylation of Met and undergo apoptotic cell death within 18–24 h. Under these conditions, the addition of HGF stimulates tyrosine phosphorylation of Met and restores survival of carcinoma cells. Soluble fibronectin also stimulates cell survival and shows a cooperative survival response with HGF but does not affect tyrosine phosphorylation of Met; these results indicate that fibronectin acts via a pathway independent of Met in detached cells. We demonstrated previously that inhibition of phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase activity blocks HGF-induced DNA synthesis of carcinoma cells (N. Rahimi et al., J. Biol. Chem., 271: 24850–24855, 1996). We now show in detached cells a cooperative effect of HGF and FN in the activation of PI 3-kinase and on the phosphorylation of PKB/Akt at serine 473. PI 3-kinase activity is also required for the HGF- and fibronectin-induced survival responses, as well as anchorage-independent colony growth. However, c-Src kinase or MEK1/2 activities are not required for the cell survival effect. Together, these results demonstrate that the PI 3-kinase/Akt pathway is a key effector of the HGF- and fibronectin-induced survival response of breast carcinoma cells under detached conditions and corroborate an interaction between integrin and HGF/Met signalling pathways in the development of invasive breast cancer.




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Cancer Research Clinical Cancer Research
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
Molecular Cancer Research Cell Growth & Differentiation
Copyright © 2000 by the American Association of Cancer Research.