The small guanine triphosphatase (GTPase) proteins RhoA and RhoC are essential for tumor invasion and/or metastasis in breast carcinomas. However, it is poorly understood how RhoA and RhoC are activated in breast cancer cells. Here we describe the role of myosin-interacting guanine nucleotide exchange factor (MyoGEF) in regulating RhoA and RhoC activation as well as cell polarity and invasion in an invasive breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231. RNA-interference (RNAi)-mediated depletion of MyoGEF in MDA-MB-231 cells not only suppresses the activation of RhoA and RhoC, but also decreases cell polarity and invasion activity. The dominant-negative mutants of RhoA and RhoC, but not Rac1 and Cdc42, dramatically decrease actin polymerization induced by MyoGEF. In addition, MyoGEF colocalizes with nonmuscle myosin IIA (NMIIA) to the front of migrating cells, and depletion of NMIIA by RNAi disrupts the polarized localization of MyoGEF at the cell leading edge, suggesting a role for NMIIA in regulating MyoGEF localization and function. Moreover, MyoGEF protein levels significantly increase in infiltrating ductal carcinomas as well as in invasive breast cancer cell lines. Taken together, our results suggest that MyoGEF cooperates with NMIIA to regulate the polarity and invasion activity of breast cancer cells through activation of RhoA and RhoC.
Oncogene (2009) 28, 2219-2230; doi:10.1038/onc.2009.96; published online 4 May 2009