Sci Rep. 2020 Aug 17;10(1):13896. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-70636-4.
Cancer progression is often accompanied by increased levels of extracellular proteases capable of remodeling the extracellular matrix and promoting pro-cancerous signaling pathways by activating growth factors and receptors. The type II transmembrane serine protease (TTSP) family encompasses several proteases that play critical roles in cancer progression; however, the expression or function of the TTSP TMPRSS13 in carcinogenesis has not been examined. In the present study, we found TMPRSS13 to
be differentially expressed at both the transcript and protein levels in human colorectal cancer (CRC). Immunohistochemical analyses revealed consistent high expression of TMPRSS13 protein on the cancer cell surface in CRC patient samples; in contrast, the majority of normal colon samples displayed no detectable expression. On a functional level, TMPRSS13 silencing in CRC cell lines increased apoptosis and impaired invasive potential. Importantly, transgenic overexpression of TMPRSS13 in CRC cell lines increased tolerance to apoptosis-inducing agents, including paclitaxel and HA14-1. Conversely, TMPRSS13 silencing rendered CRC cells more sensitive to these agents. Together, our findings suggest that TMPRSS13 plays an important role in CRC cell survival and in promoting resistance to drug-induced apoptosis; we also identify TMPRSS13 as a potential new target for monotherapy or combination therapy with established chemotherapeutics to improve treatment outcomes in CRC patients.