Bif-1 suppresses breast cancer cell migration by promoting EGFR Endocytic degradation

Kristin B. Runkle, Cheryl L. Meyerkord, Neelam V. Desai, Yoshinori Takahashi, Hong Gang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Dysregulation of EGFR expression and signaling is well documented to contribute to disease progression and metastasis in many types of cancer including breast cancer. EGF-stimulated EGFR activation leads to receptor internalization and endocytic degradation to control EGFR-mediated signaling. This process is frequently deregulated in cancer cells, leading to increased EGFR expression and mitogenic signaling. Here, we demonstrate that Bif-1, a tumor suppressor, plays a role in EGFR endocytic degradation and chemotactic migration in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Our data reveal that suppression of Bif-1 expression delays EGFR degradation and sustains Erk1/2 activation in response to EGF stimulation. Mechanistically, loss of Bif-1 sequesters internalized EGF in Rab5-positive endosomes and delays EGFR trafficking to lysosomes. Recruitment of Rab7 to EGF-positive vesicles and the activation of Rab7 are impaired in Bif-1 knockdown cells. Additionally, intracellular pH and the localization of acidic vesicles are altered by suppression of Bif-1. Furthermore, inhibition of Bif-1 increases chemotactic cell migration in response to EGF or serum, which correlates with prolonged cytoskeletal reorganization. Importantly, the effect of Bif-1 on EGF-induced cell migration is abolished by gefitinib, an EGFR-specific inhibitor. Taken together, these data suggest a novel function for Bif-1 as a suppressor of breast cancer cell migration by promoting EGFR degradation through the regulation of endosome maturation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)956-966
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Biology and Therapy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2012


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research

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