The abilities to invade surrounding tissues and metastasize to distant organs are the most outstanding features that distinguish malignant from benign tumors. However, the mechanisms preventing the invasion and metastasis of benign tumor cells remain unclear. By using our own rat distant metastasis model, gene expression of cells in primary tumors was compared with that in metastasized tumors. Among many distinct gene expressions, we have focused on chloride intracellular channel protein 2 (CLIC2), an ion channel protein of as-yet unknown function, which was predominantly expressed in the primary tumors. We created CLIC2 overexpressing rat glioma cell line and utilized benign human meningioma cells with naturally high CLIC2 expression. CLIC2 was expressed at higher levels in benign human brain tumors than in their malignant counterparts. Moreover, its high expression was associated with prolonged survival in the rat metastasis and brain tumor models as well as with progression-free survival in patients with brain tumors. CLIC2 was also correlated with the decreased blood vessel permeability likely by increased contents of cell adhesion molecules. We found that CLIC2 was secreted extracellularly, and bound to matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 14. Furthermore, CLIC2 prevented the localization of MMP14 in the plasma membrane, and inhibited its enzymatic activity. Indeed, overexpressing CLIC2 and recombinant CLIC2 protein effectively suppressed malignant cell invasion, whereas CLIC2 knockdown reversed these effects. Thus, CLIC2 suppress invasion and metastasis of benign tumors at least partly by inhibiting MMP14 activity.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.