Mechano-Sensing Channel PIEZO2 Enhances Invasive Phenotype in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Eriko Katsuta, Kazuaki Takabe, Marija Vujcic, Philip A. Gottlieb, Tao Dai, Arnaldo Mercado-Perez, Arthur Beyder, Qingfei Wang, Mateusz Opyrchal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Mechanically gated PIEZO channels lead to an influx of cations, activation of additional Ca2+ channels, and cell depolarization. This study aimed to investigate PIEZO2’s role in breast cancer. Methods: The clinical relevance of PIEZO2 expression in breast cancer patient was analyzed in a publicly available dataset. Utilizing PIEZO2 overexpressed breast cancer cells, and in vitro and in vivo experiments were conducted. Results: High expression of PIEZO2 was correlated with a worse survival in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) but not in other subtypes. Increased PEIZO2 channel function was confirmed in PIEZO2 overexpressed cells after mechanical stimulation. PIEZO2 overexpressed cells showed increased motility and invasive phenotypes as well as higher expression of SNAIL and Vimentin and lower expression of E-cadherin in TNBC cells. Correspondingly, high expression of PIEZO2 was correlated with the increased expression of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related genes in a TNBC patient. Activated Akt signaling was observed in PIEZO2 overexpressed TNBC cells. PIEZO2 overexpressed MDA-MB-231 cells formed a significantly higher number of lung metastases after orthotopic implantation. Conclusion: PIEZO2 activation led to enhanced SNAIL stabilization through Akt activation. It enhanced Vimentin and repressed E-cadherin transcription, resulting in increased metastatic potential and poor clinical outcomes in TNBC patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9909
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • mechano-signaling
  • metastasis
  • triple-negative breast cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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