Novel CD44-downstream signaling pathways mediating breast tumor invasion
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CD44, also known as homing cell adhesion molecule is a multi-structural cell molecule involved in cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix communications. CD44 regulates a number of central signaling pathways, including PI3K/AKT, Rho GTPases and the Ras-MAPK pathways, but also acts as a growth/arrest sensor, and inhibitor of angiogenesis and invasion, in response to signals from the microenvironment. The function of CD44 has been very controversial since it acts as both, a suppressor and a promoter of tumor growth and progression. To address this discrepancy, we have previously established CD44-inducible system both in vitro and in vivo. Next, using microarray analysis, we have identified and validated Survivin, Cortactin and TGF-β2 as novel CD44-downstream target genes, and characterized their signaling pathways underpinning CD44-promoted breast cancer (BC) cell invasion. This report aims to update the literature by adding and discussing the impact of these novel three signaling pathways to better understand the CD44-signaling pathways involved in BC tumor cell invasion.