G-Protein–Coupled Receptor-2–Interacting Protein-1 Is Required for Endothelial Cell Directional Migration and Tumor Angiogenesis via Cortactin-Dependent Lamellipodia Formation
Objective—Recent evidence suggests G-protein–coupled receptor-2–interacting protein-1 (GIT1) overexpression in several human metastatic tumors, including breast, lung, and prostate. Tumor metastasis is associated with an increase in angiogenesis. We have showed previously that GIT1 is required for postnatal angiogenesis during lung development. However, the functional role of GIT1 in pathological angiogenesis during tumor growth is unknown.
Approach and Results—In the present study, we show inhibition of angiogenesis in matrigel implants as well as reduced tumor angiogenesis and melanoma tumor growth in GIT1-knockout mice. We demonstrate that this is a result of impaired directional migration of GIT1-depleted endothelial cells toward a vascular endothelial growth factor gradient. Cortactin-mediated lamellipodia formation in the leading edge is critical for directional migration. We observed a significant reduction in cortactin localization and lamellipodia formation in the leading edge of GIT1-depleted endothelial cells. We specifically identified that the Spa homology domain (aa 250–420) of GIT1 is required for GIT1–cortactin complex localization to the leading edge. The mechanisms involved extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2–mediated Cortactin-S405 phosphorylation and activation of Rac1/Cdc42. Finally, using gain of function studies, we show that a constitutively active mutant of cortactin restored directional migration of GIT1-depleted cells.
Conclusion—Our data demonstrated that a GIT1–cortactin association through GIT1-Spa homology domain is required for cortactin localization to the leading edge and is essential for endothelial cell directional migration and tumor angiogenesis.
- Received April 10, 2013.
- Accepted November 5, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.