Suppression of the invasive capacity of rat ascites hepatoma cells by knockdown of slingshot or LIM kinase

Yuji Horita, Kazumasa Ohashi, Mutsuko Mukai, Masahiro Inoue, Kensaku Mizuno

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53 Citations (Scopus)


Actin cytoskeletal reorganization is essential for tumor cell migration, adhesion, and invasion. Cofilin and actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF) act as key regulators of actin cytoskeletal dynamics by stimulating depolymerization and severing of actin filaments. Cofilin/ADF are inactivated by phosphorylation of Ser-3 by LIM kinase-1 (LIMK1) and reactivated by dephosphorylation by Slingshot-1 (SSH1) and -2 (SSH2) protein phosphatases. In this study, we examined the roles of cofilin/ADF, LIMK1, and SSH1/SSH2 in tumor cell invasion, using an in vitro transcellular migration assay. In this assay, rat ascites hepatoma (MM1) cells were overlaid on a primary-cultured rat mesothelial cell monolayer and the number of cell foci that transmigrated underneath the monolayer in the presence of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) was counted. The knockdown of cofilin/ADF, LIMK1, or SSH1/SSH2 expression by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) significantly decreased the LPA-induced transcellular migration of MM1 cells and their motility in two-dimensional culture. Knockdown of LIMK1 also suppressed fibronectin-mediated cell attachment and focal adhesion formation. Our results suggest that both LIMK1-mediated phosphorylation and SSH1/SSH2-mediated dephosphorylation of cofilin/ADF are critical for the migration and invasion of tumor cells and that LIMK1 is involved in the transcellular migration of tumor cells by enhancing both adhesion and motility of the cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6013-6021
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Mar 7


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