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Role of Rho GTPasas and PTEN in the migration of human glioma cells

Raftopoulou, Myrto; (2003) Role of Rho GTPasas and PTEN in the migration of human glioma cells. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Rho GTPases play a key role in regulating the migration of many cell types including astrocytes. Astrocytes are relatively poor migrating cells, whereas, gliomas, can be highly invasive, infiltrating the surrounding tissue and spreading diffusely in the brain due, in part, to their highly motile behaviour. This thesis investigates the aberrant migration of three human glioma cell lines (U373, U138, U87) and, using microinjection techniques, it is shown that the small GTPase Rac is essential for the migration of astrocytes as well as for the three glioma cell lines. In agreement with a higher rate of migration, it was demonstrated that the level of active Rac (Rac-GTP) is higher in U373 than in astrocytes. Surprisingly, however, the levels of Rac-GTP in the more motile cell lines, U138 and U87, are much lower than U373 cells. Rac activity in cells can be stimulated through increases in the levels of PI(3,4,5)P3 generated by the enzyme PI 3- kinase. PI(3,4,5)P3 levels are negatively controlled by the dual specificity phosphatase PTEN, which dephosphorylates PI(3,4,5)P3. In in vitro assays, PTEN has also been shown to have protein phosphatase activity. All three glioma cell lines lack PTEN. This work demonstrates that re-expression of wtPTEN inhibits the migration of all three glioma cell lines, without affecting the migration of astrocytes. Moreover, data is presented showing that the protein, not the lipid, phosphatase activity of PTEN, is essential for inhibiting migration. Most unexpectedly, however, additional mutagenesis studies reveal that it is the C2 domain of PTEN that mediates the inhibitory effect on the migration of these tumour cell lines, and that in the full-length protein, the phosphorylation of residue Thr383 controls the anti-migratory activity of the C2 domain. Finally, using the carboxy terminus of PTEN as bait to screen a brain yeast two-hybrid library, new potential binding partners of PTEN are identified.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Role of Rho GTPasas and PTEN in the migration of human glioma cells
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Biological sciences; Health and environmental sciences; Gliomas
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104189
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