N-glycosylation-defective splice variants of neuropilin-1 promote metastasis by activating endosomal signals

Xiuping Huang, Qing Ye, Min Chen, Aimin Li, Wenting Mi, Yuxin Fang, Yekaterina Y. Zaytseva, Kathleen L. O’Connor, Craig W. Vander Kooi, Side Liu, Qing Bai She

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Neuropilin-1 (NRP1) is an essential transmembrane receptor with a variety of cellular functions. Here, we identify two human NRP1 splice variants resulting from the skipping of exon 4 and 5, respectively, in colorectal cancer (CRC). Both NRP1 variants exhibit increased endocytosis/recycling activity and decreased levels of degradation, leading to accumulation on endosomes. This increased endocytic trafficking of the two NRP1 variants, upon HGF stimulation, is due to loss of N-glycosylation at the Asn150 or Asn261 site, respectively. Moreover, these NRP1 variants enhance interactions with the Met and β1-integrin receptors, resulting in Met/β1-integrin co-internalization and co-accumulation on endosomes. This provides persistent signals to activate the FAK/p130Cas pathway, thereby promoting CRC cell migration, invasion and metastasis. Blocking endocytosis or endosomal Met/β1-integrin/FAK signaling profoundly inhibits the oncogenic effects of both NRP1 variants. These findings reveal an important role for these NRP1 splice variants in the regulation of endocytic trafficking for cancer cell dissemination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3708
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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