Tissue transglutaminase expression is necessary for adhesion, metastatic potential and cancer stemness of renal cell carcinoma

<p>Tissue transglutaminase (TG2) is the ubiquitously expressed member of transglutaminase family and shown to play a critical role in the development and progression of drug resistance malignancies. We have previously showed the association of TG2 upregulation with progression and metastasis of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and low disease-free survival. In the present study we further investigate the role of TG2 in cell adhesion, migration and invasion of RCC by silencing TG2 expression in Caki-2 and A-498 primary site and Caki-1 and ACHN metastatic site RCC cell lines. Downregulation of TG2 expression led up to a 60% decrease in actin stress fiber formation and adhesion to β 1 integrin (ITGB1) substrates fibronectin, collagen type I and laminin in both primary and metastatic site RCC cell lines. In addition, treatment with siRNAs against TG2 impaired the migration capacity and cellular invasiveness of ITGB1 substrates in all 4 RCC cell lines. Lastly, the knockdown of TG2 in metastatic Caki-1 cells diminished the expression of CD44, CD73-and CD105 cancer stem cell-like markers. We conclude, for the first time, that TG2 expression is critical for cancer cell adhesion, migration, invasiveness and cancer cell-stemness during RCC progression and dissemination. Therefore, combined targeting of TG2 with drugs widely used in the treatment of RCC may be a promising therapeutic strategy for RCC.</p>