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Title: Involvement of the matrix proteins SPARC and osteopontin in the dynamic interaction between tumour and host cells
Author: Jassim, Amir
ISNI:       0000 0004 5988 8622
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2016
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Osteoblasts are highly active cells that are responsible for secreting bone forming components such as collagen type I and matricellular proteins that mediate collagen deposition and mineralisation. SPARC and osteopontin are matricellular proteins that are involved in bone regulation and cell-matrix interactions and are also upregulated in metastatic disease. Secretion of these proteins results in changes to the stromal environment that includes cell migration, angiogenesis, matrix degradation, matrix deposition, bone mineralisation and bone resorption. Signalling pathways not only lead to the expression of target proteins, but also have immediate early effects, for example, on cell adhesion. We asked if the ERK 1 and 2 module of the MAPK pathway was involved in the intracellular trafficking of SPARC and Osteopontin. Membrane trafficking is an essential process that ensures newly synthesised proteins pass from their site of synthesis to the extracellular environment. Using an inhibitor of ERK 1 and 2 activation (U0126), as well as siRNA directed against ERK 1 or 2 individually, a change in intracellular localisation of SPARC and osteopontin was observed in cells treated with U0126 and siRNA against ERK 2 alone, likely in or around the Golgi apparatus. Consistent with the observation above, analysis of protein secretion showed that there was a reduction of total protein secreted (30% reduction) when ERK 1 and 2 activation was prevented together or knock down of ERK 2 alone. A mechanism is proposed where ERK 2 is likely activating a substrate that is allowing SPARC and osteopontin to continue along the secretory pathway. This directly implicates ERK 2 as an important regulator of matricellular protein secretion in osteoblasts. In cancer, Ras mutations can lead to permanent activation of the MAPK pathway leading to cancer cell proliferation and survival, however, we propose another mechanism important in metastasis whereby ERK 2 activation is manipulated to facilitate secretion of matricellular proteins which can then mediate changes to the stromal environment that allow the tumour to metastasise successfully.
Supervisor: Stenbeck, G. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cancer ; Metastasis ; Membrane trafficking ; Cell signalling ; Mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK)