Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Exploring the role of Kindlin-1 in skin homeostasis and squamous cell carcinoma
Author: Stavrou, Ifigeneia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 8655
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
Kindlin-1 (Kin1) is an epithelial focal adhesion protein that plays a key role in integrin-mediated anchorage of cells to the extracellular matrix. Congenital loss of Kin1 leads to Kindler Syndrome (KS), whose symptoms include progressive epidermal atrophy, reduced keratinocyte proliferation, skin blistering and increased incidence of aggressive Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). Objectives of this study were to examine the role of Kin1 in skin homeostasis and in the development of aggressive SCC in KS, as the molecular aetiologies for these pathologies are yet to be clearly understood. We first examined whether the recently discovered role of Kin1 in mitosis contributes to reduced keratinocyte proliferation observed in KS epidermis. We discovered that short-term loss of Kin1 in adult mouse epidermis reduced keratinocyte proliferation. We also found that Kin1 loss increased mitotic spindle misorientation that, according to the model of cell division in skin homeostasis, decreases cell proliferative potential, and, thus, may account for the reduced proliferation in our model. As spindle misorientation can stem from microtubule instability, we believe that the reduction in acetylated α-tubulin (ac-tub), a known marker of stable microtubules, that we also observed in mouse epidermis following Kin1 loss could account for the defective spindle orientation phenotype. The role of Kin1 in spindle orientation was also evident in vitro. Moreover, data from our lab revealed showed reduction in spindle ac-tub following Kin1 depletion, mirroring our in vivo observation. Additionally to orientation defects, in vitro depletion of Kin1 led to enhanced chromosome missegregation, which is likely to result from reduced microtubule stability due to low levels of ac-tub. We showed that role of Kin1 in spindle orientation and chromosome segregation is dependent on HDAC6, a known inhibitor of ac-tub. Overall, our results uncover an in vitro and in vivo role of Kin1 in mitotic spindle fidelity that could be crucial to skin homeostasis, and, when disturbed, may lead to reduced keratinocyte proliferation. Interestingly, our in vitro studies also revealed that in mitosis Kin1 and Kindlin-2 (Kin2) had overlapping, but also distinct roles, which is in line with various reports that show different biological functions for the two protein isoforms. Our next and final aim was to explore the roles of Kin1 in the development and progression of SCC, which would help us comprehend the reason behind the cancer's aggressive nature in KS. By employing in vitro and in vivo SCC growth assays and tumour immunohistochemical staining we found that absence of Kin1 in SCC cells and tumours enhanced proliferation and growth, and enhanced tumour vascularisation. RNA sequencing of tumour material revealed that lack of Kin1 increased expression of matrix metalloproteinases and chemokines, which have been implicated in tumour progression via promotion of angiogenesis and invasion in a plethora of studies, and of various angiogenesis markers. Together this provides an insight into the mechanisms via which Kin1 controls tumour microenvironment and, ultimately, SCC tumour growth and development. Overall, we report an in vitro and in vivo role for Kin1 in mitotic spindle stability, which affects a variety of mitotic processes and may be linked to reduced keratinocyte proliferation observed in epidermis of KS patients, thus contributing to skin homeostasis. Moreover, we describe a role for Kin1 in regulation of SCC tumour growth and progression, which may ultimately offer an explanation for the aggressive and life-threatening nature of SCC developed in KS.
Supervisor: Brunton, Valerie ; Frame, Margaret Sponsor: Medical Research Council (MRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Kindler Syndrome ; Squamous Cell Carcinoma ; Kindlin-1 ; Kin1 ; mitosis ; chemokines