Neuropilin-2 (NRP2) is a non-tyrosine kinase receptor frequently overexpressed in various malignancies, where it has been implicated in promotingmany protumorigenic behaviors, such as imparting therapeutic resistance to metastatic cancer cells. Here, we report a novel function of NRP2 as a regulator of endocytosis, which is enhanced in cancer cells and is often associated with increased metastatic potential and drug resistance. We found that NRP2 depletion in human prostate and pancreatic cancer cells resulted in the accumulation of EEA1/ Rab5-positive early endosomes concomitant with a decrease in Rab7-positive late endosomes, suggesting a delay in early-tolate endosome maturation. NRP2 depletion also impaired the endocytic transport of cell surface EGFR, arresting functionally active EGFR in endocytic vesicles that consequently led to aberrant ERK activation and cell death. Mechanistic investigations revealed that WD-repeat- and FYVE-domain-containing protein 1 (WDFY1) functioned downstream of NRP2 to promote endosome maturation, thereby influencing the endosomal trafficking of EGFR and the formation of autolysosomes responsible for the degradation of internalized cargo. Overall, our results indicate that the NRP2/WDFY1 axis is required for maintaining endocytic activity in cancer cells, which supports their oncogenic activities and confers drug resistance. Therefore, therapeutically targeting endocytosis may represent an attractive strategy to selectively target cancer cells in multiple malignancies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research