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p120-Catenin (p120) functions as a tumor suppressor in intestinal cancer, but the mechanism is unclear. Here, using conditional p120 knockout in Apc-sensitized mouse models of intestinal cancer, we have identified p120 as an "obligatory" haploinsufficient tumor suppressor. Whereas monoallelic loss of p120 was associated with a significant increase in tumor multiplicity, loss of both alleles was never observed in tumors from these mice. Moreover, forced ablation of the second allele did not further enhance tumorigenesis, but instead induced synthetic lethality in combination with Apc loss of heterozygosity. In tumor-derived organoid cultures, elimination of both p120 alleles resulted in caspase-3-dependent apoptosis that was blocked by inhibition of Rho kinase (ROCK). With ROCK inhibition, however, p120-ablated organoids exhibited a branching phenotype and a substantial increase in cell proliferation. Access to data from Sleeping Beauty mutagenesis screens afforded an opportunity to directly assess the tumorigenic impact of p120 haploinsufficiency relative to other candidate drivers. Remarkably, p120 ranked third among the 919 drivers identified. Cofactors α-catenin and epithelial cadherin (E-cadherin) were also among the highest scoring candidates, indicating a mechanism at the level of the intact complex that may play an important role at very early stages of of intestinal tumorigenesis while simultaneously restricting outright loss via synthetic lethality.
In vertebrate epithelia, p120-catenin (hereafter referred to as p120; also known as CTNND1) mediates E-cadherin stability and suppression of RhoA. Genetic ablation of p120 in various epithelial tissues typically causes striking alterations in tissue function and morphology. Although these effects could very well involve p120's activity towards Rho, ascertaining the impact of this relationship has been complicated by the fact that p120 is also required for cell-cell adhesion. Here, we have molecularly uncoupled p120's cadherin-stabilizing and RhoA-suppressing activites. Unexpectedly, removing p120's Rho-suppressing activity dramatically disrupted the integrity of the apical surface, irrespective of E-cadherin stability. The physical defect was tracked to excessive actomyosin contractility along the vertical axis of lateral membranes. Thus, we suggest that p120's distinct activities towards E-cadherin and Rho are molecularly and functionally coupled and this, in turn, enables the maintenance of cell shape in the larger context of an epithelial monolayer. Importantly, local suppression of contractility by cadherin-bound p120 appears to go beyond regulating cell shape, as loss of this activity also leads to major defects in epithelial lumenogenesis.
© 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
The integrity of the lung alveolar epithelial barrier is required for the gas exchange and is important for immune regulation. Alveolar epithelial barrier is composed of flat type I cells, which make up approximately 95% of the gas-exchange surface, and cuboidal type II cells, which secrete surfactants and modulate lung immunity. p120-catenin (p120; gene symbol CTNND1) is an important component of adherens junctions of epithelial cells; however, its function in lung alveolar epithelial barrier has not been addressed in genetic models. Here, we created an inducible type II cell-specific p120-knockout mouse (p120EKO). The mutant lungs showed chronic inflammation, and the alveolar epithelial barrier was leaky to (125)I-albumin tracer compared to wild type. The mutant lungs also demonstrated marked infiltration of inflammatory cells and activation of NF-κB. Intracellular adhesion molecule 1, Toll-like receptor 4, and macrophage inflammatory protein 2 were all up-regulated. p120EKO lungs showed increased expression of the surfactant proteins Sp-B, Sp-C, and Sp-D, and displayed severe inflammation after pneumonia caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa compared with wild type. In p120-deficient type II cell monolayers, we observed reduced transepithelial resistance compared to control, consistent with formation of defective adherens junctions. Thus, although type II cells constitute only 5% of the alveolar surface area, p120 expressed in these cells plays a critical role in regulating the innate immunity of the entire lung.
Copyright © 2015 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The intracellular protein p120 catenin aids in maintenance of cell-cell adhesion by regulating E-cadherin stability in epithelial cells. In an effort to understand the biology of p120 catenin in pancreas development, we ablated p120 catenin in mouse pancreatic progenitor cells, which resulted in deletion of p120 catenin in all epithelial lineages of the developing mouse pancreas: islet, acinar, centroacinar, and ductal. Loss of p120 catenin resulted in formation of dilated epithelial tubules, expansion of ductal epithelia, loss of acinar cells, and the induction of pancreatic inflammation. Aberrant branching morphogenesis and tubulogenesis were also observed. Throughout development, the phenotype became more severe, ultimately resulting in an abnormal pancreas comprised primarily of duct-like epithelium expressing early progenitor markers. In pancreatic tissue lacking p120 catenin, overall epithelial architecture remained intact; however, actin cytoskeleton organization was disrupted, an observation associated with increased cytoplasmic PKCζ. Although we observed reduced expression of adherens junction proteins E-cadherin, β-catenin, and α-catenin, p120 catenin family members p0071, ARVCF, and δ-catenin remained present at cell membranes in homozygous p120(f/f) pancreases, potentially providing stability for maintenance of epithelial integrity during development. Adult mice homozygous for deletion of p120 catenin displayed dilated main pancreatic ducts, chronic pancreatitis, acinar to ductal metaplasia (ADM), and mucinous metaplasia that resembles PanIN1a. Taken together, our data demonstrate an essential role for p120 catenin in pancreas development.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Apical constriction (AC) is a widely utilized mechanism of cell shape change whereby epithelial cells transform from a cylindrical to conical shape, which can facilitate morphogenetic movements during embryonic development. Invertebrate epithelial cells undergoing AC depend on the contraction of apical cortex-spanning actomyosin filaments that generate force on the apical junctions and pull them toward the middle of the cell, effectively reducing the apical circumference. A current challenge is to determine whether these mechanisms are conserved in vertebrates and to identify the molecules responsible for linking apical junctions with the AC machinery. Utilizing the developing mouse eye as a model, we have uncovered evidence that lens placode AC may be partially dependent on apically positioned myosin-containing filaments associated with the zonula adherens. In addition we found that, among several junctional components, p120-catenin genetically interacts with Shroom3, a protein required for AC during embryonic morphogenesis. Further analysis revealed that, similar to Shroom3, p120-catenin is required for AC of lens cells. Finally, we determined that p120-catenin functions by recruiting Shroom3 to adherens junctions. Together, these data identify a novel role for p120-catenin during AC and further define the mechanisms required for vertebrate AC.
© 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Activation of TLR signaling through recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns is essential for the innate immune response against bacterial and viral infections. We have shown that p120-catenin (p120) suppresses TLR4-mediated NF-кB signaling in LPS-challenged endothelial cells. In this article, we report that p120 differentially regulates LPS/TLR4 signaling in mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages. We observed that p120 inhibited MyD88-dependent NF-κB activation and release of TNF-α and IL-6, but enhanced TIR domain-containing adapter-inducing IFN-β-dependent IFN regulatory factor 3 activation and release of IFN-β upon LPS exposure. p120 silencing diminished LPS-induced TLR4 internalization, whereas genetic and pharmacological inhibition of RhoA GTPase rescued the decrease in endocytosis of TLR4 and TLR4-MyD88 signaling, and reversed the increase in TLR4-TIR domain-containing adapter-inducing IFN-β signaling induced by p120 depletion. Furthermore, we demonstrated that altered p120 expression in macrophages regulates the inflammatory phenotype of LPS-induced acute lung injury. These results indicate that p120 functions as a differential regulator of TLR4 signaling pathways by facilitating TLR4 endocytic trafficking in macrophages, and support a novel role for p120 in influencing the macrophages in the lung inflammatory response to endotoxin.
Copyright © 2014 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
p120-catenin (p120) modulates adherens junction (AJ) dynamics by controlling the stability of classical cadherins. Among all p120 isoforms, p120-3A and p120-1A are the most prevalent. Both stabilize cadherins, but p120-3A is preferred in epithelia, whereas p120-1A takes precedence in neurons, fibroblasts, and macrophages. During epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, E- to N-cadherin switching coincides with p120-3A to -1A alternative splicing. These isoforms differ by a 101-amino acid "head domain" comprising the p120-1A N-terminus. Although its exact role is unknown, the head domain likely mediates developmental and cancer-associated events linked to p120-1A expression (e.g., motility, invasion, metastasis). Here we identified delta-interacting protein A (DIPA) as the first head domain-specific binding partner and candidate mediator of isoform 1A activity. DIPA colocalizes with AJs in a p120-1A- but not 3A-dependent manner. Moreover, all DIPA family members (Ccdc85a, Ccdc85b/DIPA, and Ccdc85c) interact reciprocally with p120 family members (p120, δ-catenin, p0071, and ARVCF), suggesting significant functional overlap. During zebrafish neural tube development, both knockdown and overexpression of DIPA phenocopy N-cadherin mutations, an effect bearing functional ties to a reported mouse hydrocephalus phenotype associated with Ccdc85c. These studies identify a novel, highly conserved interaction between two protein families that may participate either individually or collectively in N-cadherin-mediated development.
© 2014 Markham et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
By the mid 1980's, it was clear that the transforming activity of oncogenic Src was linked to the activity of its tyrosine kinase domain and attention turned to identifying substrates, the putative next level of control in the pathway to transformation. Among the first to recognize the potential of phosphotyrosine-specific antibodies, Parsons and colleagues launched a risky shotgun-based approach that led ultimately to the cDNA cloning and functional characterization of many of today's best-known Src substrates (for example, p85-Cortactin, p110-AFAP1, p130Cas, p125FAK and p120-catenin). Two decades and over 6000 citations later, the original goals of the project may be seen as secondary to the enormous impact of these protein substrates in many areas of biology. At the request of the editors, this review is not restricted to the current status of the substrates, but reflects also on the anatomy of the project itself and some of the challenges and decisions encountered along the way.
OBJECTIVES - p120ctn is a component of the catenin family. To date, there have only been two studies examining expression levels of p120ctn in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS - Paraffined specimens of 113 OSCCs and 12 of normal mucosa were examined by immunohistochemistry. Frozen samples of 20 OSCCs and 5 of normal mucosa were examined by Western blot (WB). Results were correlated with clinicopathological parameters. Five cell lines were examined by immunofluorescence, immunocytochemistry, and WB to show immunoreactivity and cellular localization of p120ctn.
RESULTS - Altered p120ctn expression was observed in 109/113 cases of OSCC. Heterogenous cytoplasmic/nuclear expression was associated with loss of membranous distribution (88/113 cases). Complete loss of expression was noted in 21/113 cases. Increased cytoplasmic expression was evident in all positive cases, without significant correlation among p120ctn staining/pattern and grading/stage. Reduction/absence of p120ctn expression was related to poor prognosis (P < .05).
CONCLUSION - p120ctn delocalization/loss of expression could be an independent prognostic marker in OSCC.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
p120-catenin is a multidomain intracellular protein, which mediates a number of cellular functions, including stabilization of cell-cell transmembrane cadherin complexes as well as regulation of actin dynamics associated with barrier function, lamellipodia formation, and cell migration via modulation of the activities of small GTPAses. One mechanism involves p120 catenin interaction with Rho GTPase activating protein (p190RhoGAP), leading to p190RhoGAP recruitment to cell periphery and local inhibition of Rho activity. In this study, we have identified a stretch of 23 amino acids within the C-terminal domain of p120 catenin as the minimal sequence responsible for the recruitment of p190RhoGAP (herein referred to as CRAD; catenin-RhoGAP association domain). Expression of the p120-catenin truncated mutant lacking the CRAD in endothelial cells attenuated effects of barrier protective oxidized phospholipid, OxPAPC. This effect was accompanied by inhibition of membrane translocation of p190RhoGAP, increased Rho signaling, as well as suppressed activation of Rac1 and its cytoskeletal effectors PAK1 (p21-activated kinase 1) and cortactin. Expression of p120 catenin-truncated mutant lacking CRAD also delayed the recovery process after thrombin-induced endothelial barrier disruption. Concomitantly, RhoA activation and downstream signaling were sustained for a longer period of time, whereas Rac signaling was inhibited. These data demonstrate a critical role for p120-catenin (amino acids 820-843) domain in the p120-catenin·p190RhoGAP signaling complex assembly, membrane targeting, and stimulation of p190RhoGAP activity toward inhibition of the Rho pathway and reciprocal up-regulation of Rac signaling critical for endothelial barrier regulation.