Transgelin is a protein reported to be a marker of several cancers. However, previous studies have shown both up- and down-regulation of transgelin in tumors when compared with non-tumor tissues and the mechanisms whereby transgelin may affect the development of cancer remain largely unknown. Transgelin is especially abundant in smooth muscle cells and is associated with actin stress fibers. These contractile structures participate in cell motility, adhesion, and the maintenance of cell morphology. Here, the role of transgelin in breast cancer is focused on. Initially, the effects of transgelin on cell migration of the breast cancer cell lines, BT 549 and PMC 42, is studied. Interestingly, transgelin silencing increased the migration of PMC 42 cells, but decreased the migration of BT 549 cells. To clarify these contradictory results, the changes in protein abundances after transgelin silencing in these two cell lines are analyzed using quantitative proteomics. The results confirmed the role of transgelin in the migration of BT 549 cells and suggest the involvement of transgelin in apoptosis and small molecule biochemistry in PMC 42 cells. The context-dependent function of transgelin reflects the different molecular backgrounds of these cell lines, which differ in karyotypes, mutation statuses, and proteome profiles.
Keywords: apoptosis; breast cancer; cytoskeleton; metastasis; migration; transgelin.
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