Schwann Cells Increase Prostate and Pancreatic Tumor Cell Invasion Using Laminin Binding A6 Integrin

Isis C. Sroka, Harsharon Chopra, Lipsa Das, Jaime M.C. Gard, Raymond B. Nagle, Anne E. Cress

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Human pancreatic and prostate cancers metastasize along nerve axons during perineural invasion. The extracellular matrix laminin class of proteins is an abundant component of both myelinated and non-myelinated nerves. Analysis of human pancreatic and prostate tissue revealed both perineural and endoneural invasion with Schwann cells surrounded or disrupted by tumor, respectively. Tumor and nerve cell co-culture conditions were used to determine if myelinating or non-myelinating Schwann cell (S16 and S16Y, respectively) phenotype was equally likely to promote integrin-dependent cancer cell invasion and migration on laminin. Conditioned medium from S16 cells increased tumor cell (DU145, PC3, and CFPAC1) invasion into laminin approximately 1.3-2.0 fold compared to fetal bovine serum (FBS) treated cells. Integrin function (e.g., ITGA6p formation) increased up to 1.5 fold in prostate (DU145, PC3, RWPE-1) and pancreatic (CFPAC1) cells, and invasion was dependent on ITGA6p formation and ITGB1 as determined by function-blocking antibodies. In contrast, conditioned medium isolated from S16Y cells (non-myelinating phenotype) decreased constitutive levels of ITGA6p in the tumor cells by 50% compared to untreated cells and decreased ITGA6p formation 3.0 fold compared to S16 treated cells. Flow cytometry and western blot analysis revealed loss of ITGA6p formation as reversible and independent of overall loss of ITGA6 expression. These results suggest that the myelinating phenotype of Schwann cells within the tumor microenvironment increased integrin-dependent tumor invasion on laminin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-499
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • A6B1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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