CD151-α3β1 integrin complexes suppress ovarian tumor growth by repressing slug-mediated EMT and canonical Wnt signaling

Lauren A. Baldwin, John T. Hoff, Jason Lefringhouse, Michael Zhang, Changhe Jia, Zeyi Liu, Sonia Erfani, Hongyan Jin, Mei Xu, Qing Bai She, John R. van Nagell, Chi Wang, Li Chen, Rina Plattner, David M. Kaetzel, Jia Luo, Michael Lu, Dava West, Chunming Liu, Fred R. UelandRonny Drapkin, Binhua P. Zhou, Xiuwei H. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Human ovarian cancer is diagnosed in the late, metastatic stages but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. We report a surprising functional link between CD151-α3β1 integrin complexes and the malignancy of serous-type ovarian cancer. Analyses of clinical specimens indicate that CD151 expression is significantly reduced or diminished in 90% of metastatic lesions, while it remains detectable in 58% of primary tumors. These observations suggest a putative tumorsuppressing role of CD151 in ovarian cancer. Indeed, our analyses show that knocking down CD151 or α3 integrin enhances tumor cell proliferation, growth and ascites production in nude mice. These changes are accompanied by impaired cell-cell contacts and aberrant expression of E-cadherin, Mucin 5AC and fibronectin, largely reminiscent of an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT)-like change. Importantly, Slug, a master regulator of EMT, is markedly elevated. Knocking down Slug partially restores CD151-α3β1 integrin complex-dependent suppression of cell proliferation. Moreover, disruption of these adhesion protein complexes is accompanied by a concomitant activation of canonical Wnt signaling, including elevated levels of β-catenin and Axin-2 as well as resistance to the inhibition in β-catenin-dependent transcriptional complexes. Together, our study demonstrates that CD151-α3β1 integrin complexes regulate ovarian tumor growth by repressing Slug-mediated EMT and Wnt signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12203-12217
Number of pages15
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2014


  • CD151 integrin EMT tumor growth ovarian cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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