Dual FGF-2 and intergrin α5β1 signaling mediate GRAF-induced RhoA inactivation in a model of breast cancer dormancy

Judith Barrios, Robert Wieder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Interactions with the bone marrow stroma regulate dormancy and survival of breast cancer micrometastases. In an in vitro model of dormancy in the bone marrow, we previously demonstrated that estrogen-dependent breast cancer cells are partially re-differentiated by FGF-2, re-express integrin α5β1 lost with malignant transformation and acquire an activated PI3K/Akt pathway. Ligation of integrin α5β1 by fibronectin and activation of the PI3K pathway both contribute to survival of these dormant cells. Here, we investigated mechanisms responsible for the dormant phenotype. Experiments demonstrate that integrin α5β1 controls de novo cytoskeletal rearrangements, cell spreading, focal adhesion kinase rearrangement to the cell perimeter and recruitment of a RhoA GAP known as GRAF. This results in the inactivation of RhoA, an effect which is necessary for the stabilization of cortical actin. Experiments also demonstrate that activation of the PI3K pathway by FGF-2 is independent of integrin α5β1 and is also required for cortical actin reorganization, GRAF membrane relocalization and RhoA inactivation. These data suggest that GRAF-mediated RhoA inactivation and consequent phenotypic changes of dormancy depend on dual signaling by FGF-2-initiated PI3K activation and through ligation of integrin α5β1 by fibronectin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-47
Number of pages15
JournalCancer Microenvironment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


  • Breast cancer
  • Dormancy
  • Fibronectin
  • GRAF
  • Integrin α5β1
  • Micrometastases
  • PI3 kinase
  • Rho GTPases

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Dual FGF-2 and intergrin α5β1 signaling mediate GRAF-induced RhoA inactivation in a model of breast cancer dormancy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this