Manganese superoxide dismutase enhances the invasive and migratory activity of tumor cells

Kip M. Connor, Nadine Hempel, Kristin K. Nelson, Ganary Dabiri, Aldo Gamarra, James Belarmino, Livingston Van De Water, Badar M. Mian, J. Andres Melendez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


Clinically significant elevations in the expression of manganese superoxide dismutase (Sod2) are associated with an increased frequency of tumor invasion and metastasis in certain cancers. The aim of this study was to examine whether increases in Sod2 activity modulate the migratory potential of tumor cells, contributing to their enhanced metastatic behavior. Overexpression of Sod2 in HT-1080 fibrosarcoma cells significantly enhanced their migration 2-fold in a wound healing assay and their invasive potential 3-fold in a transwell invasion assay. Severity of invasion was directly correlated to Sod2 expression levels and this invasive phenotype was similarly observed in 253J bladder tumor cells, in which Sod expression resulted in a 3-fold increase in invasion compared with controls. Further, migration and invasion of the Sod2-expressing cells was inhibited following overexpression of catalase, indicating that the promigratory/invasive phenotype of Sod2-expressing cells is H2O 2 dependent. Sod2 overexpression was associated with a loss of vinculin-positive focal adhesions that were recovered in cells coexpressing catalase. Tail vein injections of Sod2-GFP-expressing HT-1080 cells in NCR nude mice led to the development of pulmonary metastatic nodules displaying high Sod2-GFP expression. Isolated tumors were shown to retain high Sod2 activity in culture and elevated levels of the matrix degrading protein matrix metalloproteinase-1, and a promigratory phenotype was observed in a population of cells growing out from the tumor nodule. These findings suggest that the association between increased Sod2 activity and poor prognosis in cancer can be attributed to alterations in their migratory and invasive capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10260-10267
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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