HGF/c-Met/β1-integrin signalling axis induces tunneling nanotubes in A549 lung adenocarcinoma cells

Griselda Awanis, Salonee Banerjee, Robert Johnson, Sathuwarman Raveenthiraraj, Aya Elmeligy, Derek Warren, Jelena Gavrilovic, Anastasia Sobolewski (Lead Author)

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Tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) are thin cytoplasmic extensions involved in long-distance intercellular communication and can transport intracellular organelles and signalling molecules. In cancer cells, TNT formation contributes to cell survival, chemoresistance, and malignancy. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying TNT formation are not well defined, especially in different cancers. TNTs are present in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with adenocarcinoma. In NSCLC, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its receptor, c-Met, are mutationally upregulated, causing increased cancer cell growth, survival, and invasion. This study identifies c-Met, β1-integrin, and paxillin as novel components of TNTs in A549 lung adenocarcinoma cells, with paxillin localised at the protrusion site of TNTs. The HGF-induced TNTs in our study demonstrate the ability to transport lipid vesicles and mitochondria. HGF-induced TNT formation is mediated by c-Met and β1-integrin in conjunction with paxillin, followed by downstream activation of MAPK and PI3K pathways and the Arp2/3 complex. These findings demonstrate a potential novel approach to inhibit TNT formation through targeting HGF/c-Met receptor and β1-integrin signalling interactions, which has implications for multi-drug targeting in NSCLC.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202301953
JournalLife Science Alliance
Issue number10
Early online date7 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023

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