Lack of extracellular matrix switches TGF-β induced apoptosis of endometrial cells to epithelial to mesenchymal transition
Ruiz Mitjana, Anna
Vidal Sabanés, Maria
Perramon Güell, Aida
Egea Navarro, Joaquim
The extracellular matrix and the correct establishment of epithelial cell polarity plays a critical role in epithelial cell homeostasis and cell polarity. In addition, loss of tissue structure is a hallmark of carcinogenesis. In this study, we have addressed the role of extracellular matrix in the cellular responses to TGF-β. It is well known that TGF-β is a double-edged sword: it acts as a tumor suppressor in normal epithelial cells, but conversely has tumor-promoting effects in tumoral cells. However, the factors that determine cellular outcome in response to TGF-β remain controversial. Here, we have demonstrated that the lack of extracellular matrix and consequent loss of cell polarity inhibits TGF-β-induced apoptosis, observed when endometrial epithelial cells are polarized in presence of extracellular matrix. Rather, in absence of extracellular matrix, TGF-β-treated endometrial epithelial cells display features of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. We have also investigated the molecular mechanism of such a switch in cellular response. On the one hand, we found that the lack of Matrigel results in increased AKT signaling which is sufficient to inhibit TGF-β-induced apoptosis. On the other hand, we demonstrate that TGF-β-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition requires ERK and SMAD2/3 activation. In summary, we demonstrate that loss of cell polarity changes the pro-apoptotic function of TGF-β to tumor-associated phenotype such as epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. These results may be important for understanding the dual role of TGF-β in normal versus tumoral cells.
Journal or Serie
Scientific Reports, 2022, vol. 12, núm. 1