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SHROOM2 inhibits tumor metastasis through RhoA–ROCK pathway-dependent and -independent mechanisms in nasopharyngeal carcinoma

By Jing Yuan, Lin Chen, Jingshu Xiao, Xue-Kang Qi, Ji Zhang, Xu Li, Zifeng Wang, Yi-Fan Lian, Tong Xiang, Yuchen Zhang, Ming-Yuan Chen, Jin-Xin Bei, Yi-Xin Zeng and Lin Feng


Abstract SHROOM2 is a key mediator of RhoA–ROCK pathway that regulates cell motility and actin cytoskeleton organization. However, the functions of SHROOM2 beyond RhoA/ROCK signaling remain poorly understood. Here, we report that SHROOM2 not only participates in RhoA–ROCK-induced stress fiber formation and focal adhesion, but also had an unanticipated role in suppressing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and tumor metastasis. Depletion of SHROOM2 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cells enhances mesenchymal characteristics and reduces epithelial markers, concomitant with increased motility, enabling the development of invasion and tumor metastasis, which are largely ROCK-independent, as ROCK inhibitor Y-27632 did not cause EMT phenotype; furthermore, combination of ROCK inhibition and SHROOM2 depletion resulted in the most robust increases in cell migration and invasion, indicating that SHROOM2 and ROCK work synergistically rather than epistatic. Analysis of clinical samples suggested that SHROOM2 is downregulated in NPC and the expression of SHROOM2 in metastatic NPC was even lower than in the primary tumors. Our findings uncover a non-canonical role of SHROOM2 as a potent antagonist for EMT and NPC metastasis

Topics: Cytology, QH573-671
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Year: 2019
DOI identifier: 10.1038/s41419-019-1325-7
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