Coupling S100A4 to Rhotekin alters Rho signaling output in breast cancer cells

M. Chen, A. R. Bresnick, K. L. O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Rho signaling is increasingly recognized to contribute to invasion and metastasis. In this study, we discovered that metastasis-associated protein S100A4 interacts with the Rho-binding domain (RBD) of Rhotekin, thus connecting S100A4 to the Rho pathway. Glutathione S-transferase pull-down and immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that S100A4 specifically and directly binds to Rhotekin RBD, but not the other Rho effector RBDs. S100A4 binding to Rhotekin is calcium-dependent and uses residues distinct from those bound by active Rho. Interestingly, we found that S100A4 and Rhotekin can form a complex with active RhoA. Using RNA interference, we determined that suppression of both S100A4 and Rhotekin leads to loss of Rho-dependent membrane ruffling in response to epidermal growth factor, an increase in contractile F-actin 'stress' fibers and blocks invasive growth in three-dimensional culture. Accordingly, our data suggest that interaction of S100A4 and Rhotekin permits S100A4 to complex with RhoA and switch Rho function from stress fiber formation to membrane ruffling to confer an invasive phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3754-3764
Number of pages11
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 8 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr Ren Xu for his kind aid with 3D culture-related experiments; Dr Jianhang Jia for assistance with the confocal microscopy analysis; Drs Tianyan Gao and Jianyu Liu for reagents and technical support for generating shRNA stable cell line; Drs Kohich Nagata, Shuh Narumiya and G Steven Martin for reagents; Dr Juanjuan Yang for validating select data; and Diane Wright for assistance with graphics. This work was supported with National Institutes of Health Grants CA109136 (KLO) and CA129598 (ARB).


  • Rho
  • Rhotekin
  • S100A4/metastasin
  • invasive growth
  • lamellipodia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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