Purchase this article with an account.
Elisabeth H. Van Aken, Olivier De Wever, Leen Van Hoorde, Erik Bruyneel, Jean-Jacques De Laey, Marc M. Mareel; Invasion of Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells: N-cadherin, Hepatocyte Growth Factor, and Focal Adhesion Kinase. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(2):463-472. doi: 10.1167/iovs.01-1096.
Download citation file:
© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
purpose. To investigate the role of N-cadherin and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) in the invasion of collagen type I by human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells.
methods. RPE sheets from eight human eyes were used for characterization through Western blot analysis of the expression of cadherin in total lysates or after immunoprecipitation with anti β-catenin antibody. First-passage primary cultures of RPE sheets were successfully established from 28 of 56 human eyes. First-passage primary RPE cell cultures on glass substrate, consisting of patches of cells, were used for immunocytochemistry. Fifteen first-passage primary RPE cell cultures in culture vessels were grown to confluence. Four of the 15 first-passage primary RPE cell cultures were investigated for cadherin expression by immunocytochemistry, and the other 11 were further subcultured for two to six passages. These 11 cultures were used for functional assays and investigated for expression of cadherin at regular time intervals. Cells from passage-3 to -4 primary RPE cell cultures were tested for invasion into collagen type I gels, with or without neutralizing antibodies for HGF and N-cadherin, respectively. Activation of the c-Met receptor for HGF and of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) was investigated by immunoprecipitation with anti-phosphotyrosine antibody, gel electrophoresis, and immunostaining on Western blot. Levels of HGF in conditioned medium (CM) of RPE cells were determined by ELISA.
results. RPE cells in culture displayed two phenotypes: Both fibroblast-like and epithelioid cells were present in all 15 first-passage primary cultures and in further passaged cultures derived therefrom. When seeded on collagen, all RPE cells acquired a fibroblast-like phenotype and invaded the collagen type I gel. RPE cells also stimulated branching morphogenesis of MDCK/AZ epithelial canine kidney cell colonies inside collagen. HGF was found in RPE CM, suggesting an autocrine loop for invasion through its c-Met receptor. HGF-neutralizing antibody inhibited invasion of collagen. The major cadherin expressed by RPE cells in culture was N(euronal)-cadherin. Invasion of collagen by RPE cells was also inhibited by an N-cadherin-neutralizing antibody. N-cadherin and c-Met coimmunoprecipitated in RPE cells. FAK and c-Met were both phosphorylated in RPE cells in culture, and phosphorylation was inhibited by antibodies neutralizing either N-cadherin or HGF.
conclusions. The present investigation provides evidence for an autocrine HGF/c-Met loop that stimulates RPE cell invasion into collagen through FAK. The invasion-stimulatory molecule N-cadherin also activates FAK in invasive RPE cells.
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only