Adaptor Protein ShcD/ SHC4 Interacts with Tie2 Receptor to Synergistically Promote Glioma Cell Invasion

Mol Cancer Res. 2021 May;19(5):757-770. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-20-0188. Epub 2021 Jan 25.


Gliomas are characterized by diffuse infiltration of tumor cells into surrounding brain tissue, and this highly invasive nature contributes to disease recurrence and poor patient outcomes. The molecular mechanisms underlying glioma cell invasion remain incompletely understood, limiting development of new targeted therapies. Here, we have identified phosphotyrosine adaptor protein ShcD as upregulated in malignant glioma and shown that it associates with receptor tyrosine kinase Tie2 to facilitate invasion. In human glioma cells, we find that expression of ShcD and Tie2 increases invasion, and this significant synergistic effect is disrupted with a ShcD mutant that cannot bind Tie2 or hyperphosphorylate the receptor. Expression of ShcD and/or Tie2 further increases invadopodia formation and matrix degradation in U87 glioma cells. In a coculture model, we show that U87-derived tumor spheroids expressing both ShcD and Tie2 display enhanced infiltration into cerebral organoids. Mechanistically, we identify changes in focal adhesion kinase phosphorylation in the presence of ShcD and/or Tie2 in U87 cells upon Tie2 activation. Finally, we identify a strong correlation between transcript levels of ShcD and Tie2 signaling components as well as N-cadherin in advanced gliomas and those with classical or mesenchymal subtypes, and we show that elevated expression of ShcD correlates with a significant reduction in patient survival in higher grade gliomas with mesenchymal signature. Altogether, our data highlight a novel Tie2-ShcD signaling axis in glioma cell invasion, which may be of clinical significance. IMPLICATIONS: ShcD cooperates with Tie2 to promote glioma cell invasion and its elevated expression correlates with poor patient outcome in advanced gliomas.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Glioma / genetics
  • Glioma / metabolism*
  • Glioma / pathology
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Receptor, TIE-2 / metabolism*
  • Shc Signaling Adaptor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transfection


  • SHC4 protein, human
  • Shc Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Receptor, TIE-2
  • TEK protein, human