Impaired formation of homotypic cell-in-cell structures in human tumor cells lacking alpha-catenin expression.

Scientific reports

PubMedID: 26192076

Wang M, Ning X, Chen A, Huang H, Ni C, Zhou C, Yu K, Lan S, Wang Q, Li S, Liu H, Wang X, Chen Z, Ma L, Sun Q. Impaired formation of homotypic cell-in-cell structures in human tumor cells lacking alpha-catenin expression. Sci Rep. 2015;512223.
Although cell-in-cell structures (CICs) could be detected in a wide range of human tumors, homotypic CICs formed between tumor cells occur at low rate for most of them. We recently reported that tumor cells lacking expression of E- and P-cadherin were incapable of forming homotypic CICs by entosis, and re-expression of E- or P-cadherin was sufficient to induce CICs formation in these tumor cells. In this work, we found that homotypic CICs formation was impaired in some tumor cells expressing high level of E-cadherin due to loss expression of alpha-catenin (a-catenin), a molecular linker between cadherin-mediated adherens junctions and F-actin. Expression of a-catenin in these tumor cells restored cell-cell adhesion and promoted CICs formation in a ROCK kinase-dependent way. Thus, our work identified a-catenin as another molecule in addition to E- and P-cadherin that were targeted to inactivate homotypic CICs formation in human tumor cells.