Understanding how the extracellular matrix impacts the function of cancer stem cells (CSCs) is a significant but poorly understood problem. We report that breast CSCs produce a laminin (LM) 511 matrix that promotes self-renewal and tumor initiation by engaging the α6Bβ1 integrin and activating the Hippo transducer TAZ. Although TAZ is important for the function of breast CSCs, the mechanism is unknown. We observed that TAZ regulates the transcription of the α5 subunit of LM511 and the formation of a LM511 matrix. These data establish a positive feedback loop involving TAZ and LM511 that contributes to stemness in breast cancer.
Keywords: TAZ; cancer stem cell; extracellular matrix; integrin; laminin.
© 2015 Chang et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.