• Annexin A1;
  • EMT;
  • metastasis suppressor;
  • signalling;
  • Stat3


Metastasis is the major cause of carcinoma-induced death, but mechanisms involved are poorly understood. Metastasis crucially involves epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), causing loss of epithelial polarity. Here we identify Annexin A1 (AnxA1), a protein with important functions in intracellular vesicle trafficking, as an efficient suppressor of EMT and metastasis in breast cancer. AnxA1 levels were strongly reduced in EMT of mammary epithelial cells, in metastatic murine and human cell lines and in metastatic mouse and human carcinomas. RNAi-mediated AnxA1 knockdown cooperated with oncogenic Ras to induce TGFβ-independent EMT and metastasis in non-metastatic cells. Strikingly, forced AnxA1 expression in metastatic mouse and human mammary carcinoma cells reversed EMT and abolished metastasis. AnxA1 knockdown stimulated multiple signalling pathways but only Tyk2/Stat3 and Erk1/2 signalling were essential for EMT.