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Nikou, Sofia; Arbi, Marina; Dimitrakopoulos, Foteinos-Ioannis D.; Sirinian, Chaido; Chadla, Panagiota; Pappa, Ioanna; Ntaliarda, Giannoula; Stathopoulos, Georgios T.; Papadaki, Helen; Zolota, Vasiliki; Lygerou, Zoi; Kalofonos, Haralabos P.; Bravou, Vasiliki (2020): Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) regulates KRAS, IPP complex and Ras suppressor-1 (RSU1) promoting lung adenocarcinoma progression and poor survival. In: Journal of Molecular Histology, Vol. 51, No. 4: pp. 385-400
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Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) forms a heterotrimeric protein complex with PINCH and PARVIN (IPP) in Focal Adhesions (FAs) that acts as a signaling platform between the cell and its microenvironment regulating important cancer-related functions. We aimed to elucidate the role of ILK in lung adenocarcinoma (LUADC) focusing on a possible link with KRAS oncogene. We used immunohistochemistry on human tissue samples and KRAS-driven LUADC in mice, analysis of large scale publicly available RNA sequencing data, ILK overexpression and pharmacological inhibition as well as knockdown of KRAS in lung cancer cells. ILK, PINCH1 and PARVB (IPP) proteins are overexpressed in human LUADC and KRAS-driven LUADC in mice representing poor prognostic indicators. Genes implicated in ILK signaling are significantly enriched in KRAS-driven LUADC. Silencing of KRAS, as well as, overexpression and pharmacological inhibition of ILK in lung cancer cells provide evidence of a two-way association between ILK and KRAS. Upregulation of PINCH, PARVB and Ras suppressor-1 (RSU1) expression was demonstrated in ILK overexpressing lung cancer cells in addition to a significant positive correlation between these factors in tissue samples, while KRAS silencing downregulates IPP and RSU1. Pharmacological inhibition of ILK in KRAS mutant lung cancer cells suppresses cell growth, migration, EMT and increases sensitivity to platinum-based chemotherapy. ILK promotes an aggressive lung cancer phenotype with prognostic and therapeutic value through functions that involve KRAS, IPP complex and RSU1, rendering ILK a promising biomarker and therapeutic target in lung adenocarcinoma.