, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 221-229

Hyaluronan: RHAMM mediated cell locomotion and signaling in tumorigenesis

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Extracellular matrix molecules and their receptors are important regulators of cell movement, adhesion and cytoskeletal organization. Adhesion molecules can also serve to mediate signal transduction and can influence, and sometimes direct, the events required for tumorigenesis. The extracellular matrix molecule, hyaluronan and its receptors have been implicated in transformation and metastasis, in particular the processes of tumor cell motility and invasion. RHAMM (receptor for hyaluronan mediated motility) is required for the cell locomotion ofras-transformed fibrosarcoma cells, cytokine stimulated fibrobasts and T lymphocytes, malignant B cells, and breast carcinoma cells. HA:RHAMM interactions promote cell locomotion via a protein tyrosine kinase signal transduction pathway that targets focal adhesions. The tyrosine kinase pp60 c-src is associated with RHAMM in cells and is required for RHAMM mediated cell motility. It is possible that a RHAMM/src pathway induces focal adhesions to signal the cytoskeletal changes required for elevated cell motility seen in tumor progression, invasion and metastasis.