Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF)–induced Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) is a complex cellular pathway that causes epithelial cell scattering by breaking cell–cell contacts, eliminating apical–basal polarity, and replacing epithelial markers and characteristics with mesenchymal markers. Early EMT events include a brief period of cell spreading, followed by cell compaction and cell–cell contact breaks. A forward chemical genetics drug screen of 50,000 unique compounds measuring HGF–induced cell scattering identified 26 novel EMT inhibitors, including 2 proteolytic inhibitors. Here, we show that B5500–4, one of the EMT inhibitors from the screen, blocks HGF–induced EMT by a predicted blocking of the protease furin, in addition to secondarily blocking Beta–Secretase (BACE).We also show that MMP–12 and MMP–9 are required for HGF–induced EMT to progress. MMP–12 is required for cell contraction, and its inhibition produces a continuous cell spreading phenotype.We also demonstrate that both furin and BACE activity are required for HGF–induced EMT to proceed, but that they are involved in separate pathways. We show that BACE inhibition leads to a failure of cell spreading in early EMT, and that EphA2 is a member of this pathway. We also demonstrate that it is likely BACE2, and not BACE1 that is responsible for early cell spreading. Furin is also required for HGF–induced cell scattering, but does not play a role in the cell spreading process. These findings highlight the importance of proteolytic activity at the earliest stages of HGF–induced EMT.
College and Department
Life Sciences; Physiology and Developmental Biology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Schuler, Jeffrey Thomas, "Forward Chemical Genetics Drug Screen Yields Novel Proteases and Proteolytic Inhibitors of HGF–induced Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition" (2016). All Theses and Dissertations. 6257.
EMT, cell spreading, cell compaction, HGF, BACE, EphA2, Furin, MMP–9, MMP–12