Competition between TIAM1 and Membranes Balances Endophilin A3 Activity in Cancer Metastasis.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Developmental cell, Volume 45, Issue 6, p.738-752.e6 (2018)


Acyltransferases, Animals, CARCINOGENESIS, Cell Line, Tumor, Cell Movement, Cell Proliferation, Cell Transformation, Neoplastic, Colonic Neoplasms, Comparative Medicine Core Facility, Electron Microscopy Core Facility, ENDOCYTOSIS, Experimental Histopathology Core Facility, GTP Phosphohydrolases, Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors, Humans, MICE, Neoplasm Metastasis, rac1 GTP-Binding Protein, Scientific Imaging Core Facility, Signal Transduction, T-Lymphoma Invasion and Metastasis-inducing Protein 1, zebrafish


Normal cells acquire aggressive behavior by modifying signaling pathways. For instance, alteration of endocytosis profoundly impacts both proliferation and migration during tumorigenesis. Here we investigate the mechanisms that enable the endocytic machinery to coordinate these processes. We show that a membrane curvature-sensing protein, endophilin A3, promotes growth and migration of colon cancer cells through two competing mechanisms: an endocytosis pathway that is required for proliferation and a GTPase regulatory pathway that controls cell motility. EndoA3 stimulates cell migration by binding the Rac GEF TIAM1 leading to activation of small GTPases. Competing interactions of EndoA3 with membrane versus TIAM1 modulate hyperproliferative and metastatic phenotypes. Disruption of EndoA3-membrane interactions stimulates TIAM1 and small GTPases in vitro, and further promotes pro-metastatic phenotypes in vivo. Together, these results uncover a coupling mechanism, by which EndoA3 promotes growth and migration of colon cancers, by linking membrane dynamics to GTPase regulation.