Ganglioside GM3 promotes carcinoma cell proliferation via urokinase plasminogen activator-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase-independent p70S6 kinase signaling

Xiao Qi Wang, Ping Sun, Linda Go, Viola Koti, Margarita Fliman, Amy S. Paller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Overexpression of NeuAcα2-3Galβ1-4Glcβ1-Cer (GM3), a major ganglioside of cutaneous tumor cell membranes, inhibits ligand-dependent and ligand-independent activation of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor in normal and neoplastic epithelial cells. This leads to the suppression of Ras/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation and, in the presence of EGF or fibronectin, inhibits cell proliferation. However, some tumor cells show increased levels of GM3, and vaccines that target GM3 can inhibit the growth of neoplastic cells in vivo, especially melanomas. We report that in the presence of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), overexpression of GM3 paradoxically increases the proliferation of carcinoma cells by augmenting ERK-independent p70S6 kinase activation. Functional blockade of uPA receptor (uPAR) or inhibition of p70S6 kinase, but not inhibition of Ras/ERK signaling, suppresses this GM3-induced stimulation of cell proliferation. The ERK-independent activation of p70S6 kinase involves phosphorylation at threonine-389, threonine-421/serine-424, and serine-411 sites with intermediate phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase and protein kinase C-ζ activation. These studies implicate gangliosides as enhancers of uPAR-related signaling and suggest that the response to GM3 depends on the local concentration of uPA. Therapeutic modalities that target or supplement gangliosides may require concomitant treatment that suppresses EGFR or uPAR signaling, respectively, to control neoplastic cell proliferation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2687-2696
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Volume126
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology

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