Regulation of neuroblastoma migration, invasion, and in vivo metastasis by genetic and pharmacological manipulation of MDA-9/Syntenin

Oncogene. 2019 Oct;38(41):6781-6793. doi: 10.1038/s41388-019-0920-5. Epub 2019 Aug 12.


Despite multi-modality treatments, prognosis for advanced stage neuroblastoma (NB) remains challenging with residual long-term disabilities in survivors. Advanced stage NB is metastatic, which is a principal cause of cancer-related deaths. We presently document a primary role of MDA-9 in NB progression and define the molecular mechanisms by which MDA-9 promotes transformed phenotypes. NB cell lines and clinical samples display elevated MDA-9 expression and bioinformatic analysis supports an association between elevated MDA-9 and bone metastasis and poor prognosis. Genetic (shmda-9, mda-9 siRNA) or pharmacological (small molecule inhibitor of protein-protein interactions; PDZ1i) blockade of MDA-9 decreases NB migration, invasion, and metastasis. Blocking mda-9 expression or disrupting MDA-9 partner protein interactions downregulates integrin α6 and β4, diminishing Src activity and suppressing Rho-Rac-Cdc42 activity. These signaling changes inhibit cofilin and matrix metalloproteinases reducing in vitro and in vivo NB cell migration. Overexpression of integrin α6 and β4 rescues the invasion phenotype and increases Src activity, supporting integrins as essential regulators of MDA-9-mediated NB migration and invasion. We identify MDA-9 as a key contributor to NB pathogenesis and show that genetic or pharmacological inhibition suppresses NB pathogenesis by an integrin-mediated Src-disruption pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Integrins / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis*
  • Neuroblastoma / genetics
  • Neuroblastoma / metabolism
  • Neuroblastoma / pathology*
  • Syntenins / metabolism*


  • Integrins
  • SDCBP protein, human
  • Syntenins