• phosphatase of regenerating liver-3 (PRL-3);
  • keratin 8 (KRT8);
  • migration;
  • metastasis;
  • colorectal carcinoma (CRC)


Phosphatase of regenerating liver-3 (PRL-3) is a member of the PRL protein tyrosine phosphatase family and has been proposed to promote the invasiveness and metastastic capability of colorectal cancers (CRCs); however, the underlying mechanisms and target molecules of PRL-3 protein remain unknown. On the basis of the biological significance of PRL-3 phosphatase activity confirmed by the catalytically inactive PRL-3 mutant (C104S) and a PRL-3 inhibitor in CRC-derived SW480 cells, we performed protein expression profiling to search for PRL-3-mediated effector proteins. By a comparative study of phosphorylated proteins that differentially expressed in wild type and C104S mutant PRL-3-transfected SW480 cells; the cytoskeletal intermediate filament keratin 8 (KRT8) was identified as a physiological PRL-3-interacting protein. Indeed, treatment with the PRL-3 inhibitor effectively suppressed the phosphorylation of KRT8 at S73 and S431. Moreover, we detected the physiological interaction between PRL-3 and KRT8 and their colocalization at cellular lamellipodias and ruffles in vivo. In CRC tissue samples, tumor cells with high PRL-3 expression showed reduction or loss of phosphorylated KRT8 expression, particularly at the invasive front and in the liver metastases. In conclusion, our results indicate that PRL-3 may play an important role for the promotion of CRC cell migration and metastatic potential through direct KRT8 dephosphorylation. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.