Filamin A (FLNA) is actin filament cross-linking protein involved in cancer progression. Its importance in regulating cell motility is directly related to the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) of tumor cells. However, little is known about the mechanism of action of FLNA at this early stage of cancer invasion.
Using immunochemical methods, we evaluated the levels and localization of FLNA, pFLNA[Ser2152], β1 integrin, pβ1 integrin[Thr788/9], FAK, pFAK[Y379], and talin in stably transfected HT29 adenocarcinoma cells overexpressing Snail and looked for the effect of Snail in adhesion and migration assays on fibronectin-coated surfaces before and after FLNA silencing.
Our findings indicate that FLNA upregulation correlates with Snail-induced EMT in colorectal carcinoma. FLNA localizes in the cytoplasm and at the sites of focal adhesion (FA) of invasive cells. Silencing of FLNA inhibits Snail-induced cell adhesion, reduces the size of FA sites, induces the relocalization of talin from the cytoplasm to the membrane area and augments cell migratory properties. Our findings suggest that FLNA may not act as a classic integrin inhibitor in invasive carcinoma cells, but is involved in other pro-invasive pathways. FLNA upregulation, which correlates with cell metastatic properties, maybe an additional target for combination therapy in colorectal carcinoma tumor progression.