Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America ( IF 9.412 ) Pub Date : 2020-10-15 , DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2010872117 George Chrisafis, Tianhong Wang, Konstadinos Moissoglu, Alexander N. Gasparski, Yeap Ng, Roberto Weigert, Stephen J. Lockett, Stavroula Mili
Localization of RNAs at protrusive regions of cells is important for single-cell migration on two-dimensional surfaces. Protrusion-enriched RNAs encode factors linked to cancer progression, such as the RAB13 GTPase and the NET1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor, and are regulated by the tumor-suppressor protein APC. However, tumor cells in vivo often do not move as single cells but rather utilize collective modes of invasion and dissemination. Here, we developed an inducible system of three-dimensional (3D) collective invasion to study the behavior and importance of protrusion-enriched RNAs. We find that, strikingly, both the RAB13 and NET1 RNAs are enriched specifically at the invasive front of leader cells in invasive cell strands. This localization requires microtubules and coincides with sites of high laminin concentration. Indeed, laminin association and integrin engagement are required for RNA accumulation at the invasive front. Importantly, perturbing RNA accumulation reduces collective 3D invasion. Examination of in vivo tumors reveals a similar localization of the RAB13 and NET1 RNAs at potential invasive sites, suggesting that this mechanism could provide a targeting opportunity for interfering with collective cancer cell invasion.