Phosphoprotein enriched in diabetes/phosphoprotein enriched in astrocytes-15 kD (PED/PEA-15) is an anti-apoptotic protein whose expression is increased in several human cancers. In addition to apoptosis, PED/PEA-15 is involved in the regulation of other major cellular functions, including cell adhesion, migration, proliferation and glucose metabolism. To further understand the functions of this protein, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screening using PED/PEA-15 as a bait and identified the 67 kD high-affinity laminin receptor (67LR) as an interacting partner. 67 kD laminin receptor is a non-integrin cell-surface receptor for the extracellular matrix (ECM), derived from the dimerization of a 37 kD cytosolic precursor (37LRP). The 67LR is highly expressed in human cancers and widely recognized as a molecular marker of metastatic aggressiveness. The molecular interaction of PED/PEA-15 with 67LR was confirmed by pull-down experiments with recombinant His-tagged 37LRP on lysates of PED/PEA-15 transfected HEK-293 cells. Further, overexpressed or endogenous PED/PEA-15 was co-immunoprecipitated with 67LR in PED/PEA-15-transfected HEK-293 cells and in U-373 glioblastoma cells, respectively. PED/PEA-15 overexpression significantly increased 67LR-mediated HEK-293 cell adhesion and migration to laminin that, in turn, determined PED/PEA-15 phosphorylation both in Ser-104 and Ser-116, thus enabling cell proliferation and resistance to apoptosis. PED/PEA-15 ability to induce cell responses to ECM-derived signals through interaction with 67LR may be of crucial importance for tumour cell survival in a poor microenvironment, thus favouring the metastatic spread and colonization.
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