Asialoglycoprotein Receptor Promotes Cancer Metastasis by Activating the EGFR-ERK Pathway
Mojić, Marija K.
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Although the importance of glycans in malignant cell behavior is well documented, the potential involvement of endogenous lectins as modifiers of progression and metastasis in the tumor microenvironment has not been explored. In this study, we show that loss of the hepatic asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGPR) in mice severely reduces the frequency of spontaneous lung metastasis after intrahepatic implantation of murine Lewis lung carcinoma (3LL) cells. Conversely, in vitro treatment with recombinant ASGPR increased the invasive and metastatic capacity of 3LL cells before intrahepatic implantation. ASGPR treatment in vitro increased the expression and production of matrix metalloproteinase-9 through activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (EGFR-ERK) pathway. Our findings identify ASGPR as a novel important factor that responds to endogenous lectins in the tumor microenvironment to promote cancer metastasis by activating the EGFR-ERK pathway through interactions with counter-receptors on cancer cells. Cancer Res; 71(20); 6419-27. (C) 2011 AACR.