L1-CAM, a neuronal cell adhesion receptor, is also expressed in a variety of cancer cells. Recent studies identified L1-CAM as a target gene of β-catenin-T-cell factor (TCF) signaling expressed at the invasive front of human colon cancer tissue. We found that L1-CAM expression in colon cancer cells lacking L1-CAM confers metastatic capacity, and mice injected in their spleen with such cells form liver metastases. We identified ADAM10, a metalloproteinase that cleaves the L1-CAM extracellular domain, as a novel target gene of β-catenin-TCF signaling. ADAM10 overexpression in colon cancer cells displaying endogenous L1-CAM enhanced L1-CAM cleavage and induced liver metastasis, and ADAM10 also enhanced metastasis in colon cancer cells stably transfected with L1-CAM. DNA microarray analysis of genes induced by L1-CAM in colon cancer cells identified a cluster of genes also elevated in a large set of human colon carcinoma tissue samples. Expression of these genes in normal colon epithelium was low. These results indicate that there is a gene program induced by L1-CAM in colon cancer cells that is also present in colorectal cancer tissue and suggest that L1-CAM can serve as target for colon cancer therapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research