The docking protein Gab2 is overexpressed in several human malignancies, including breast cancer, and is associated with increased metastatic potential. Here we report that Gab2 overexpression in MCF-10A mammary epithelial cells led to delayed cell spreading, a decrease in stress fibers and mature focal adhesions, and enhanced cell migration. Expression of a Gab2 mutant uncoupled from 14-3-3-mediated negative feedback (Gab2(2xA)) led to a more mesenchymal morphology and acquisition of invasive potential. Expression of either Gab2 or Gab2(2xA) led to decreased activation of RhoA, but only the latter increased levels of Rac-GTP. Expression of constitutively active RhoA in MCF-10A/Gab2 cells restored stress fibers and focal adhesions, indicating that Gab2 signals upstream of RhoA to suppress these structures. Mutation of the two Shp2-binding sites to phenylalanine (Gab2(DeltaShp2)) markedly reduced the effects of Gab2 on cellular phenotype and RhoA activation. Expression of Gab2 or Gab2(2xA), but not Gab2(DeltaShp2), promoted Vav2 phosphorylation and plasma membrane recruitment of p190A RhoGAP. Knockdown of p190A RhoGAP reversed Gab2-mediated effects on stress fibers and focal adhesions. The identification of a novel pathway downstream of Gab2 involving negative regulation of RhoA by p190A RhoGAP sheds new light on the role of Gab2 in cancer progression.
Abreu, M. TH., Hughes, W. E., Mele, K., Lyons, R. J., Rickwood, D., Browne, B. C., Bennet, H., Vallotton, P., Brummer, T., & Daly, R. J. (2011). Gab2 regulates cytoskeletal organization and migration of mammary epithelial cells by modulating RhoA activation. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 22(1), 105 - 116. https://doi.org/10.1091/mbc.E10-03-0185