Connexin-46 Contained in Extracellular Vesicles Enhance Malignancy Features in Breast Cancer Cells

Acuña, Rodrigo A; Varas-Godoy, Manuel; Berthoud, Viviana M.; Alfaro, Ivan E.; Retamal, Mauricio A


Under normal conditions, almost all cell types communicate with their neighboring cells through gap junction channels (GJC), facilitating cellular and tissue homeostasis. A GJC is formed by the interaction of two hemichannels; each one of these hemichannels in turn is formed by six subunits of transmembrane proteins called connexins (Cx). For many years, it was believed that the loss of GJC-mediated intercellular communication was a hallmark in cancer development. However, nowadays this paradigm is changing. The connexin 46 (Cx46), which is almost exclusively expressed in the eye lens, is upregulated in human breast cancer, and is correlated with tumor growth in a Xenograft mouse model. On the other hand, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have an important role in long-distance communication under physiological conditions. In the last decade, EVs also have been recognized as key players in cancer aggressiveness. The aim of this work was to explore the involvement of Cx46 in EV-mediated intercellular communication. Here, we demonstrated for the first time, that Cx46 is contained in EVs released from breast cancer cells overexpressing Cx46 (EVs-Cx46). This EV-Cx46 facilitates the interaction between EVs and the recipient cell resulting in an increase in their migration and invasion properties. Our results suggest that EV-Cx46 could be a marker of cancer malignancy and open the possibility to consider Cx46 as a new therapeutic target in cancer treatment

Más información

Título de la Revista: Biomolecules
Volumen: 10
Número: 5
Editorial: MDPI
Fecha de publicación: 2020
Página de inicio: 676
Idioma: Ingles