Modulation of cellular migration and survival by c-Myc through the downregulation of urokinase (uPA) and uPA receptor
Authors listDaniela Alfano Giuseppina Votta Almut Schulze Julian Downward Mario Caputi Maria Patrizia Stoppelli Ingram Iaccarino
It has been proposed that c-Myc proapoptotic activity accounts for most of its restraint of tumor formation. We established a telomerase-immortalized human epithelial cell line expressing an activatable c-Myc protein. We found that c-Myc activation induces, in addition to increased sensitivity to apoptosis, reductions in cell motility and invasiveness. Transcriptome analysis revealed that urokinase (uPA) and uPA receptor (uPAR) were strongly downregulated by c-Myc. Evidence is provided that the repression of uPA and uPAR may account for most of the antimigratory and proapoptotic activities of c-Myc. c-Myc is known to cooperate with Ras in cellular transformation. We therefore investigated if this cooperation could converge in the control of uPA/uPAR expression. We found that Ras is able to block the effects of c-Myc activation on apoptosis and cellular motility but not on cell invasiveness. Accordingly, the activation of c-Myc in the context of Ras expression had only minor influence on uPAR expression but still had a profound repressive effect on uPA expression. Thus, the differential regulation of uPA and uPAR by c-Myc and Ras correlates with the effects of these two oncoproteins on cell motility, invasiveness, and survival. In conclusion, we have discovered a novel link between c-Myc and uPA/uPAR. We propose that reductions of cell motility and invasiveness could contribute to the inhibition of tumorigenesis by c-Myc and that the regulation of uPA and uPAR expression may be a component of the ability of c-Myc to reduce motility and invasiveness.