Tumour progression relies on the ability of cancer cells to penetrate and invade neighbouring tissues. E-cadherin loss is associated with increased cell invasion in gastric carcinoma, and germline mutations of the E-cadherin gene are causative of hereditary diffuse gastric cancer. Although E-cadherin dysfunction impacts cell–cell adhesion, cell dissemination also requires an imbalance of adhesion to the extracellular matrix (ECM).
To identify ECM components and receptors relevant for adhesion of E-cadherin dysfunctional cells, we implemented a novel ECM microarray platform coupled with molecular interaction networks. The functional role of putative candidates was determined by combining micropattern traction microscopy, protein modulation and in vivo approaches, as well as transcriptomic data of 262 gastric carcinoma samples, retrieved from the cancer genome atlas (TCGA).
Here, we show that E-cadherin mutations induce an abnormal interplay of cells with specific components of the ECM, which encompasses increased traction forces and Integrin β1 activation. Integrin β1 synergizes with E-cadherin dysfunction, promoting cell scattering and invasion. The significance of the E-cadherin-Integrin β1 crosstalk was validated in
Integrin β1 ismore »