Characterization of E-cadherin-dependent and -independent events in a new model of c-Fos-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition

Jakob Mejlvang, Marina Kriajevska, Fedor Berditchevski, Igor Bronstein, Eugene M. Lukanidin, J. Howard Pringle, J. Kilian Mellon, Eugene M. Tulchinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Fos proteins have been implicated in control of tumorigenesis-related genetic programs including invasion, angiogenesis, cell proliferation and apoptosis. In this study, we demonstrate that c-Fos is able to induce mesenchymal transition in murine tumorigenic epithelial cell lines. Expression of c-Fos in MT1TC1 cells led to prominent alterations in cell morphology, increased expression of mesenchymal markers, vimentin and S100A4, DNA methylation-dependent down-regulation of E-cadherin and abrogation of cell-cell adhesion. In addition, c-Fos induced a strong β-catenin-independent proliferative response in MT1TC1 cells and stimulated cell motility, invasion and adhesion to different extracellular matrix proteins. To explore whether loss of E-cadherin plays a role in c-Fos-mediated mesenchymal transition, we expressed wild-type E-cadherin and two different E-cadherin mutants in MT1TC1/c-fos cells. Expression of wild-type E-cadherin restored epithelioid morphology and enhanced cellular levels of catenins. However, exogenous E-cadherin did not influence expression of c-Fos-dependent genes, only partly suppressed growth of MT1TC1/c-fos cells and produced no effect on c-Fos-stimulated cell motility and invasion in matrigel. On the other hand, re-expression of E-cadherin specifically negated c-Fos-induced adhesion to collagen type I, but not to laminin or fibronectin. Of interest, mutant E-cadherin which lacks the ability to form functional adhesive complexes had an opposite, potentiating effect on cell adhesion to collagen I. These data suggest that cell adhesion to collagen I is regulated by the functional state of E-cadherin. Overall, our data demonstrate that, with the exception of adhesion to collagen I, c-Fos is dominant over E-cadherin in relation to the aspects of mesenchymal transition assayed in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-393
Number of pages14
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • c-Fos
  • Cell adhesion
  • DNA methylation
  • E-cadherin
  • Epithelial-mesenchymal transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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