Wnt5a induces ROR1 to complex with HS1 to enhance migration of chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells

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ROR1 (receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 1) is a conserved, oncoembryonic surface antigen expressed in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). We found that ROR1 associates with hematopoietic-lineage-cell-specific protein 1 (HS1) in freshly isolated CLL cells or in CLL cells cultured with exogenous Wnt5a. Wnt5a also induced HS1 tyrosine phosphorylation, recruitment of ARHGEF1, activation of RhoA and enhanced chemokine-directed migration; such effects could be inhibited by cirmtuzumab, a humanized anti-ROR1 mAb. We generated truncated forms of ROR1 and found its extracellular cysteine-rich domain or kringle domain was necessary for Wnt5a-induced HS1 phosphorylation. Moreover, the cytoplamic, and more specifically the proline-rich domain (PRD), of ROR1 was required for it to associate with HS1 and allow for F-actin polymerization in response to Wnt5a. Accordingly, we introduced single amino acid substitutions of proline (P) to alanine (A) in the ROR1 PRD at positions 784, 808, 826, 841 or 850 in potential SH3-binding motifs. In contrast to wild-type ROR1, or other ROR1P→A mutants, ROR1P(841)A had impaired capacity to recruit HS1 and ARHGEF1 to ROR1 in response to Wnt5a. Moreover, Wnt5a could not induce cells expressing ROR1P(841)A to phosphorylate HS1 or activate ARHGEF1, and was unable to enhance CLL-cell motility. Collectively, these studies indicate HS1 plays an important role in ROR1-dependent Wnt5a-enhanced chemokine-directed leukemia-cell migration.

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