Characterization of the expression of variant and standard CD44 in prostate cancer cells: identification of the possible molecular mechanism of CD44/MMP9 complex formation on the cell surface.

Bhavik Sailesh Desai, T. Ma, J. Zhu, M. A. Chellaiah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations


CD44 is a glycosylated adhesion molecule and osteopontin is one of its ligand. CD44 undergoes alternative splicing to produce variant isoforms. Our recent studies have shown an increase in the surface expression of CD44 isoforms (sCD44 and v4-v10 variant CD44) in prostate cancer cells over-expressing osteopontin (PC3/OPN). Formation of CD44/MMP9 complex on the cell surface is indispensable for MMP9 activity. In this study, we have characterized the expression of variant CD44 using RT-PCR, surface labeling with NHS-biotin, and immunoblotting. Expression of variant CD44 encompassing v4-v10 and sCD44 at mRNA and protein levels are of the same levels in PC3 and PC3/OPN cells. However, an increase in the surface expression of v6, v10, and sCD44 in PC3/OPN cells suggest that OPN may be a ligand for these isoforms. We then proceeded to determine the role of sCD44 in MMP9 activation. Based on our previous studies in osteoclasts, we hypothesized that phosphorylation of CD44 has a role on its surface expression and subsequent activation of MMP9. We have prepared TAT-fused CD44 peptides comprising unphosphorylated and constitutively phosphorylated serine residues at positions Ser323 and Ser325. Transduction of phosphopeptides at Ser323 and Ser323/325 into PC3 cells reduced the surface levels of CD44, MMP9 activity, and cell migration; but had no effect on the membrane localization of MMP9. However, MMP9 knock-down PC3 cells showed reduced CD44 at cellular and surface levels. Thus we conclude that surface expression of CD44 and activation of MMP9 on the cell surface are interdependent. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-284
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of cellular biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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