Cannon, Austin R; Owen, Meredith K; Guerrero, Michael S; Kerber, Michae L; Goicoechea, Silvia M; Hemstreet, Kathryn C; Klazynski, Brian; Hollyfield, Johnathan; Chang, Emily H; Hwang, Rosa F; Otey, C A; Kim, Hong J
The stroma surrounding solid tumors contributes in complex ways to tumor progression. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are the predominant cell type in the tumor stroma. Previous studies have shown that the actin-binding protein palladin is highly expressed in the stroma of pancreas tumors, but the interpretation of these results is complicated by the fact that palladin exists as multiple isoforms. In the current study, the expression and localization of palladin isoform 4 was examined in normal specimens and adenocarcinomas of human pancreas, lung, colon, and stomach samples. Immunohistochemistry with isoform-selective antibodies revealed that expression of palladin isoform 4 was higher in adenocarcinomas versus normal tissues, and highest in CAFs. Immunohistochemistry staining revealed that palladin was present in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus of CAFs, and this was confirmed using immunofluorescence staining and subcellular fractionation of a pancreatic CAF cell line. To investigate the functional significance of nuclear palladin, RNA Seq analysis of palladin knockdown CAFs versus control CAFs was performed, and the results showed that palladin regulates the expression of genes involved in the biosynthesis and assembly of collagen, and organization of the extracellular matrix. These results suggested that palladin isoform 4 may play a conserved role in establishing the phenotype of CAFs in multiple tumor types.