CRP2, a new invadopodia actin bundling factor critically promotes breast cancer cell invasion and metastasis.
- Cytoskeleton and Cancer Progression
- Neuro-Oncology Laboratory
- Tumor Immunotherapy and Microenvironment
A critical process underlying cancer metastasis is the acquisition by tumor cells of an invasive phenotype. At the subcellular level, invasion is facilitated by actin-rich protrusions termed invadopodia, which direct extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation. Here, we report the identification of a new cytoskeletal component of breast cancer cell invadopodia, namely cysteine-rich protein 2 (CRP2). We found that CRP2 was not or only weakly expressed in epithelial breast cancer cells whereas it was up-regulated in mesenchymal/invasive breast cancer cells. In addition, high expression of the CRP2 encoding gene CSRP2 was associated with significantly increased risk of metastasis in basal-like breast cancer patients. CRP2 knockdown significantly reduced the invasive potential of aggressive breast cancer cells, whereas it did not impair 2D cell migration. In keeping with this, CRP2-depleted breast cancer cells exhibited a reduced capacity to promote ECM degradation, and to secrete and express MMP-9, a matrix metalloproteinase repeatedly associated with cancer progression and metastasis. In turn, ectopic expression of CRP2 in weakly invasive cells was sufficient to stimulate cell invasion. Both GFP-fused and endogenous CRP2 localized to the extended actin core of invadopodia, a structure primarily made of actin bundles. Purified recombinant CRP2 autonomously crosslinked actin filaments into thick bundles, suggesting that CRP2 contributes to the formation/maintenance of the actin core. Finally, CRP2 depletion significantly reduced the incidence of lung metastatic lesions in two xenograft mouse models of breast cancer. Collectively, our data identify CRP2 as a new cytoskeletal component of invadopodia that critically promotes breast cancer cell invasion and metastasis.