SASH1, a member of the SLY-family of signal adapter proteins, is a candidate tumor suppressor in breast and colon cancer. Reduced expression of SASH1 is correlated with aggressive tumor growth, metastasis formation, and inferior prognosis. However, the biological role of SASH1 remains largely unknown. To unravel the function of SASH1, we have analyzed the intracellular localization of endogenous SASH1, and have generated structural SASH1 mutants. SASH1 localized to the nucleus as well as to the cytoplasm in epithelial cells. In addition, SASH1 was enriched in lamellipodia and membrane ruffles, where it co-distributed with the actin cytoskeleton. Moreover, we demonstrate a novel interaction of SASH1 with the oncoprotein cortactin, a known regulator of actin polymerization in lamellipodia. Enhanced SASH1 expression significantly increased the content of filamentous actin, leading to the formation of cell protrusions and elongated cell shape. This activity was mapped to the central, evolutionarily conserved domain of SASH1. Furthermore, expression of SASH1 inhibited cell migration and lead to increased cell adhesion to fibronectin and laminin, whereas knock-down of endogenous SASH1 resulted in significantly reduced cell-matrix adhesion. Taken together, our findings unravel for the first time a mechanistic role for SASH1 in tumor formation by regulating the adhesive and migratory behaviour of cancer cells.
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