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Lopez de Cicco R, Bassi DE, Zucker S, Seidah NG, Klein-Szanto AJ
Human carcinoma cell growth and invasiveness is impaired by the propeptide of the ubiquitous proprotein convertase furin
Cancer Research (2005) 65:4162-71.
Furin, a potent proprotein convertase involved in activation of several cancer-related substrates, is synthesized as an inactive zymogen, thus minimizing the occurrence of premature enzymatic activity that would lead to inappropriate protein activation or degradation. This natural inhibitory mechanism is based on the presence of an inactivating prosegment at the NH2 terminal of the zymogen. After initial autocatalytic cleavage, the prosegment remains tightly associated with the convertase until it reaches the trans-Golgi network where the dissociation of the prosegment and activation of furin occurs. We hypothesized that the inhibitory properties of the preprosegment of furin (ppFur) could be beneficial if ectopically expressed in tumor cells. Transfection of four human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines with the complete ppFur cDNA sequence (pIRES-EGFP-ppFur) or with the empty expression vector (pIRES-EGFP) was done. The inhibitory effect was evaluated using in vivo tumorigenicity, invasion, anchorage-independent growth in soft agar, and proliferation assays, as well as by investigating impairment of furin substrates processing. Following transfection of ppFur, a significant reduction in cell proliferation, tumorigenicity, and invasiveness was observed in vitro and in vivo. These biological changes are directly related to the inhibition of furin-mediated activation of crucial cancer-related substrates, such as membrane type 1 matrix metalloproteinase, transforming growth factor-beta, insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor, and vascular endothelial growth factor-C. PpFur expression in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cell lines showed a mechanistic link between furin inhibition, decreased substrate processing, cell proliferation, and invasive ability. These findings suggest that furin inhibition is a feasible approach to ameliorate and even abolish the malignant phenotype of various malignancies.
Publication Date: 2005-05-15.
Last updated on Thursday, April 02, 2020