Involvement of CD44 and its variant isoforms in membrane-cytoskeleton interaction, cell adhesion and tumor metastasis

Lilly Y.W. Bourguignon, Naoko Iida, Catherine F. Welsh, Dan Zhu, Arnon Krongrad, David Pasquale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


CD44s (standard form of CD44) is a transmembrane glycoprotein whose external domain displays extracellular matrix adhesion properties by binding both hyaluronic acid (HA) and collagen. The cytoplasmic domain of CD44s interacts with the cytoskeleton by binding directly to ankyrin. It has been shown that post-translational modifications, such as phosphorylation (by protein kinase C), acylation (by acyl-transferase) and GTP-binding enhance CD44's interaction with cytoskeletal proteins. Most importantly, the interaction between CD44s and the cytoskeletal protein, ankyrin, is required for the modulation of CD44s cell surface expression and its adhesion function. Recently, a number of tumor cells and tissues have been shown to express CD44 variant (CD44v) isoforms. Using RT-PCR and DNA sequence analyses, we have found that unique CD44 splice variant isoforms are expressed in both prostate and breast cancer cell lines and carcinomas. Most importantly, intracellular ankyrin is preferentially accumulated underneath the patched/capped structures of CD44 variant isoform in both breast and prostate cancer cells attached to HA-coated plates. We propose that selective expression of CD44v isoforms unique for certain metastatic carcinomas and their interaction with the cytoskeleton may play a pivotal role in regulating tumor cell behavior during tumor development and metastasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-208
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of neuro-oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1995


  • adhesion
  • CD44 variant isoforms
  • membrane-cytoskeleton
  • metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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