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Copper modulates zinc metalloproteinase-dependent ectodomain shedding of key signalling and adhesion proteins and promotes the invasion of prostate cancer epithelial cells

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Molecular Cancer Research
Issue number10
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)1282-1293
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


A disintegrin and metalloproteinases (ADAMs) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are zinc metalloproteinases (ZMPs) that catalyse the 'ectodomain shedding' of a range of cell surface proteins including signalling and adhesion molecules. These 'sheddases' are associated with the invasion and metastasis of a range of cancers. Increased serum and tumour tissue levels of copper are also observed in several cancers although little is known about how the metal might promote disease progression at the molecular level. In the current study, we investigated whether copper might regulate the ectodomain shedding of two key cell surface proteins implicated in the invasion and metastasis of prostate cancer, the Notch ligand Jagged1 and the adhesion molecule E-cadherin, and whether the metal was able to influence the invasion of the prostate cancer epithelial cell line PC3. Physiological copper concentrations stimulated the ZMP-mediated proteolysis of Jagged1 and E-cadherin in cell culture models whilst other divalent metals had no effect. Copper-mediated Jagged1 proteolysis was also observed following the pre-treatment of cells with cycloheximide and in a cell-free membrane system, indicating a post-translational mechanism of sheddase activation. Finally, the concentrations of copper that stimulated ZMP-mediated protein shedding also enhanced PC3 invasion; an effect which could be negated using a sheddase inhibitor or copper chelators. Collectively, these data implicate copper as an important factor in promoting prostate cancer cell invasion and indicate that the selective post-translational activation of ZMP-mediated protein shedding might play a role in this process. -