Tensin3 is a negative regulator of cell migration and all four Tensin family members are downregulated in human kidney cancer.

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BACKGROUND: The Tensin family of intracellular proteins (Tensin1, -2, -3 and -4) are thought to act as links between the extracellular matrix and the cytoskeleton, and thereby mediate signaling for cell shape and motility. Dysregulation of Tensin expression has previously been implicated in human cancer. Here, we have for the first time evaluated the significance of all four Tensins in a study of human renal cell carcinoma (RCC), as well as probed the biological function of Tensin3. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Expression of Tensin2 and Tensin3 at mRNA and protein levels was largely absent in a panel of diverse human cancer cell lines. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed mRNA expression of all four Tensin genes to be significantly downregulated in human kidney tumors (50-100% reduction versus normal kidney cortex; P<0.001). Furthermore, the mRNA expressions of Tensins mostly correlated positively with each other and negatively with tumor grade, but not tumor size. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed Tensin3 to be present in the cytoplasm of tubular epithelium in normal human kidney sections, whilst expression was weaker or absent in 41% of kidney tumors. A subset of tumor sections showed a preferential plasma membrane expression of Tensin3, which in clear cell RCC patients was correlated with longer survival. Stable expression of Tensin3 in HEK 293 cells markedly inhibited both cell migration and matrix invasion, a function independent of putative phosphatase activity in Tensin3. Conversely, siRNA knockdown of endogenous Tensin3 in human cancer cells significantly increased their migration. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that the Tensins may represent a novel group of metastasis suppressors in the kidney, the loss of which leads to greater tumor cell motility and consequent metastasis. Moreover, tumorigenesis in the human kidney may be facilitated by a general downregulation of Tensins. Therefore, anti-metastatic therapies may benefit from restoring or preserving Tensin expression in primary tumors.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Medicinal Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4350
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch

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