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Oncostatin M receptor (OSMR) is commonly over-expressed in advanced cervical squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), producing a significantly worse clinical outcome. Cervical SCC cells that over-express OSMR show enhanced responsiveness to the major ligand OSM, which induces multiple pro-malignant effects, including increased cell migration and invasiveness. Here, we show that tissue transglutaminase (TGM2) is an important mediator of the ligand-dependent phenotypic effects of OSMR over-expression in SCC cells. TGM2 expression correlated with disease progression and with OSMR levels in clinical samples of cervical and oral SCC. TGM2 depletion in cervical SCC cells abrogated OSM-induced migration on fibronectin-coated surfaces and invasiveness through extracellular matrix, while ectopic expression of TGM2 increased cell motility and invasiveness. Confocal microscopy and co-immunoprecipitation assays showed that TGM2 interacted with integrin–α5β1 in the presence of fibronectin in cervical SCC cells, with OSM treatment strengthening the interaction. Importantly, integrin–α5β1 and fibronectin were also over-expressed in cervical and oral SCC, where levels correlated with those of OSMR and TGM2. This combined tissue andin vitrostudy demonstrates for the first time that stimulation of over-expressed OSMR in cervical SCC cells activates TGM2/integrin-α5β1 interactions and induces pro-malignant changes. We conclude that an OSMR/TGM2/integrin-α5β1/fibronectin pathway is of biological significance in cervical SCC and a candidate for therapeutic targeting. Copyright © 2013 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.