Sialofucosylated podocalyxin is a functional E- and L-selectin ligand expressed by metastatic pancreatic cancer cells

Matthew R. Dallas, Shih Hsun Chen, Mirte M. Streppel, Sidharth Sharma, Anirban Maitra, K Konstantopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Selectin-mediated interactions in the vasculature promote metastatic spread by facilitating circulating tumor cell binding to selectin-expressing host cells. Therefore, identifying the selectin ligand(s) on tumor cells is critical to the prevention of blood-borne metastasis. A current challenge is to distinguish between structures expressed by circulating tumor cells that can bind selectins in vitro from the functional ligands whose depletion suppresses selectin-dependent binding under flow in vivo. Interestingly, podocalyxin (PODXL), which can bind E- and Lselectin, is upregulated in a number of cancers, including those of the breast, colon, and pancreas. In this work, we show that metastatic pancreatic cancer cells overexpress PODXL compared with nonmalignant pancreatic epithelial cells. We further demonstrate via tissue microarray that 69% of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas stain positive for PODXL. In cases of focal expression, positive staining is restricted to the invasive front of primary tumors. By combining immunoblot, immunodepletion, short-hairpin RNA-mediated gene silencing, and flow-based adhesion assays, we evaluated the functional role of sialofucosylated PODXL in selectin-mediated adhesion under flow. Our data indicate that sialofucosylated PODXL is a functional E- and L-selectin ligand expressed by metastatic pancreatic cancer cells, as specific depletion of this molecule from the cell surface significantly interferes with selectin-dependent interactions. Cumulatively, these data support a correlation between sialofucosylated PODXL expression and enhanced binding to selectins by metastatic pancreatic cancer cells and offer additional perspective on the upregulation of PODXL in aggressive cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Volume303
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 15 2012

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Keywords

  • Fluid shear
  • Metastasis
  • Selectins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology

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