Integrin α9 suppresses hepatocellular carcinoma metastasis by rho GTPase signaling

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Integrin subunit alpha 9 (ITGA9) mediates cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion, cell migration, and invasion through binding different kinds of extracellular matrix (ECM) components. However, its potential role and underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Here, we found that ITGA9 expression was obviously decreased in patients with HCC, which was negatively correlated with HCC growth and metastasis. ITGA9 overexpression significantly inhibited cell proliferation and migration in vitro as well as tumor growth and metastasis in vivo. Our data demonstrated that the inhibitory effect of ITGA9 on HCC cell motility was associated with reduced phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and c-Src tyrosine kinase (Src), disrupted focal adhesion reorganization, and decreased Rac1 and RhoA activity. Our data suggest ITGA9, as a suppressor of HCC, prevents tumor cell migration and invasiveness through FAK/Src-Rac1/RhoA signaling.




Zhang, Y. L., Xing, X., Cai, L. B., Zhu, L., Yang, X. M., Wang, Y. H., … Zhang, X. L. (2018). Integrin α9 suppresses hepatocellular carcinoma metastasis by rho GTPase signaling. Journal of Immunology Research, 2018.

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