Title: BNIP3 supports melanoma cell migration and vasculogenic mimicry by orchestrating the actin cytoskeleton
Other Titles: BNIP3 controls melanoma cytoskeleton organization
Authors: Maes, Hannelore
Van Eygen, Sofie
Krysko, Dmitri
Vandenabeele, Peter
Nys, Kris
Rillaerts, Kristine
GARG, Abhishek
Verfaillie, Tom
Agostinis, Patrizia # ×
Issue Date: Mar-2014
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Series Title: Cell Death & Disease vol:5
Article number: e1127
Abstract: BNIP3 is an atypical BH3-only member of the BCL-2 family of proteins with reported pro-death as well as pro-autophagic and cytoprotective functions, depending on the type of stress and cellular context. In line with this, the role of BNIP3 in cancer is highly controversial and increased BNIP3 levels in cancer patients have been linked with both good as well as poor prognosis. In this study, using shRNA lentiviral transduction to stably knockdown BNIP3 (BNIP3-shRNA) expression levels in melanoma cells, we show that BNIP3 supports cancer cell survival and long-term clonogenic growth. Although BNIP3-shRNA increased mitochondrial mass and baseline levels of ROS production, which are features associated with aggressive cancer cell behavior, it also prevented cell migration and completely abolished the ability to form a tubular-like network on matrigel, a hallmark of vasculogenic mimicry (VM). We found that this attenuated aggressive behavior of these melanoma cells was underscored by severe changes in cell morphology and remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton associated with loss of BNIP3. Indeed, BNIP3-silenced melanoma cells displayed enhanced formation of actin stress fibers and membrane ruffles, while lamellopodial protrusions and filopodia, tight junctions and adherens junctions were reduced. Moreover, loss of BNIP3 resulted in re-organization of focal adhesion sites associated with increased levels of phosphorylated focal adhesion kinase. Remarkably, BNIP3 silencing led to a drop of the protein levels of the integrin associated protein CD47 and its downstream signaling effectors Rac1 and Cdc42. These observations underscore that BNIP3 is required to maintain steady-state levels of intracellular complexes orchestrating the plasticity of the actin cytoskeleton, which is integral to cell migration and other vital processes stimulating cancer progression. All together these results unveil an unprecedented pro-tumorigenic role of BNIP3 driving melanoma cell’s aggressive features, like migration and VM.
ISSN: 2041-4889
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Laboratory of Cell Death Research & Therapy
Translational Research in GastroIntestinal Disorders
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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