The Role of the C-Terminal Lysine of S100P in S100P-Induced Cell Migration and Metastasis

Thamir M. Ismail, Stephane Gross*, Tara Lancaster, Philip S. Rudland, Roger Barraclough*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


S100P protein is a potent inducer of metastasis in a model system, and its presence in cancer cells of patients is strongly associated with their reduced survival times. A well-established Furth Wistar rat metastasis model system, methods for measuring cell migration, and specific inhibitors were used to study pathways of motility-driven metastasis. Cells expressing C-terminal mutant S100P proteins display markedly-reduced S100P-driven metastasis in vivo and cell migration in vitro. These cells fail to display the low focal adhesion numbers observed in cells expressing wild-type S100P, and the mutant S100P proteins exhibit reduced biochemical interaction with non-muscle myosin heavy chain isoform IIA in vitro. Extracellular inhibitors of the S100P-dependent plasminogen activation pathway reduce, but only in part, wild-type S100P-dependent cell migration; they are without effect on S100P-negative cells or cells expressing C-terminal mutant S100P proteins and have no effect on the numbers of focal adhesions. Recombinant wild-type S100P protein, added extracellularly to S100P-negative cells, stimulates cell migration, which is abolished by these inhibitors. The results identify at least two S100P-dependent pathways of migration, one cell surface and the other intracellularly-linked, and identify its C-terminal lysine as a target for inhibiting multiple migration-promoting activities of S100P protein and S100P-driven metastasis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1471
Number of pages21
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

Funding: This research was funded by grants from the James Tudor Foundation and the Cancer and Polio Research Fund Ltd. to the University of Liverpool. ARCHA at Aston University supported the microscopy work. The Aston University Life and Health Sciences Ph.D. studentship scheme pro-vided support for TL. The Biomedical Sciences Research Funding Scheme at Aston University provided funding for some consumables used in this study.


  • S100P
  • membrane
  • metastasis
  • cell migration
  • myosin llA
  • Membrane
  • Metastasis
  • Cell migration
  • Myosin llA


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