Proteinase suppression by E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell attachment in premalignant oral keratinocytes

Hidayatullah G. Munshi, Supurna Ghosh, Subhendu Mukhopadhyay, Yi I. Wu, Ratna Sen, Kathleen J. Green, M. Sharon Stack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The expression and activity of epithelial proteinases is under stringent control to prevent aberrant hydrolysis of structural proteins and disruption of tissue architecture. E-cadherin-dependent cell-cell adhesion is also important for maintenance of epithelial structural integrity, and loss of E-cadherin expression has been correlated with enhanced invasive potential in multiple tumor models. To address the hypothesis that there is a functional link between E-cadherin and proteinase expression, we have examined the role of E-cadherin in proteinase regulation. By using a calcium switch protocol to manipulate junction assembly, our data demonstrate that initiation of de novo E-cadherin-mediated adhesive contacts suppresses expression of both relative matrix metalloproteinase-9 levels and net urinary-type plasminogen activator activity. E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion increases both phosphatidylinositol 3′-kinase (PI3-kinase)-dependent AKT phosphorylation and epidermal growth factor receptor-dependent MAPK/ERK activation. Pharmacologic inhibition of the PI3-kinase pathway, but not the epidermal growth factor receptor/MAPK pathway, prevents E-cadherin-mediated suppression of proteinases and delays junction assembly. Moreover, inhibition of junction assembly with a function-blocking anti-E-cadherin antibody stimulates proteinase-dependent Matrigel invasion. As matrix metalloproteinase-9 and urinary-type plasminogen activator potentiate the invasive activity of oral squamous cell carcinoma, these data suggest E-cadherin-mediated signaling through PI3-kinase can regulate the invasive behavior of cells by modulating proteinase secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38159-38167
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number41
StatePublished - Oct 11 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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