Gene Summary

Gene:NCOA1; nuclear receptor coactivator 1
Aliases: SRC1, KAT13A, RIP160, F-SRC-1, bHLHe42, bHLHe74
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene acts as a transcriptional coactivator for steroid and nuclear hormone receptors. It is a member of the p160/steroid receptor coactivator (SRC) family and like other family members has histone acetyltransferase activity and contains a nuclear localization signal, as well as bHLH and PAS domains. The product of this gene binds nuclear receptors directly and stimulates the transcriptional activities in a hormone-dependent fashion. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been identified. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:nuclear receptor coactivator 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (34)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (4)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 17 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Chromosome 2
  • Vitamin D
  • Young Adult
  • Receptors, Steroid
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Translocation
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Nuclear Receptor Coactivator 1
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Histone Acetyltransferases
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Receptor Coactivator 2
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Up-Regulation
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • p300-CBP Transcription Factors
  • Messenger RNA
  • Tumor Microenvironment
  • Estrogen Receptors
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • p53 Protein
  • Promoter Regions
  • Estradiol
  • Nuclear Receptor Coactivator 3
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • siRNA
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Transfection
  • Signal Transduction
  • Androgen Receptors
  • Xenopus
Tag cloud generated 17 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: NCOA1 (cancer-related)

Yoo HM, Kang SH, Kim JY, et al.
Modification of ASC1 by UFM1 is crucial for ERα transactivation and breast cancer development.
Mol Cell. 2014; 56(2):261-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Biological roles for UFM1, a ubiquitin-like protein, are largely unknown, and therefore we screened for targets of ufmylation. Here we show that ufmylation of the nuclear receptor coactivator ASC1 is a key step for ERα transactivation in response to 17β-estradiol (E2). In the absence of E2, the UFM1-specific protease UfSP2 was bound to ASC1, which maintains ASC1 in a nonufmylated state. In the presence of E2, ERα bound ASC1 and displaced UfSP2, leading to ASC1 ufmylation. Polyufmylation of ASC1 enhanced association of p300, SRC1, and ASC1 at promoters of ERα target genes. ASC1 overexpression or UfSP2 knockdown promoted ERα-mediated tumor formation in vivo, which could be abrogated by treatment with the anti-breast cancer drug tamoxifen. In contrast, expression of ufmylation-deficient ASC1 mutant or knockdown of the UFM1-activating E1 enzyme UBA5 prevented tumor growth. These findings establish a role for ASC1 ufmylation in breast cancer development by promoting ERα transactivation.

De Amicis F, Guido C, Santoro M, et al.
A novel functional interplay between Progesterone Receptor-B and PTEN, via AKT, modulates autophagy in breast cancer cells.
J Cell Mol Med. 2014; 18(11):2252-65 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The tumour suppressor activity of the phosphatase and tensin homologue on chromosome 10 (PTEN) is subject of intense investigative efforts, although limited information on its regulation in breast cancer is available. Herein, we report that, in breast cancer cells, progesterone (OHPg), through its cognate receptor PR-B, positively modulates PTEN expression by inducing its mRNA and protein levels, and increasing PTEN-promoter activity. The OHPg-dependent up-regulation of PTEN gene activity requires binding of the PR-B to an Sp1-rich region within the PTEN gene promoter. Indeed, ChIP and EMSA analyses showed that OHPg treatment induced the occupancy of PTEN promoter by PR and Sp1 together with transcriptional coactivators such as SRC1 and CBP. PR-B isoform knockdown abolished the complex formation indicating its specific involvement. The OHPg/PR-B dependent induction of PTEN causes the down-regulation of PI3K/AKT signal, switching on the autophagy process through an enhanced expression of UVRAG and leading to a reduced cell survival. Altogether these findings highlight a novel functional connection between OHPg/PR-B and tumour suppressor pathways in breast cancer.

Meneses-Morales I, Tecalco-Cruz AC, Barrios-García T, et al.
SIP1/NHERF2 enhances estrogen receptor alpha transactivation in breast cancer cells.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2014; 42(11):6885-900 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that possesses two activating domains designated AF-1 and AF-2 that mediate its transcriptional activity. The role of AF-2 is to recruit coregulator protein complexes capable of modifying chromatin condensation status. In contrast, the mechanism responsible for the ligand-independent AF-1 activity and for its synergistic functional interaction with AF-2 is unclear. In this study, we have identified the protein Na+/H+ Exchanger RegulatoryFactor 2 (NHERF2) as an ERα-associated coactivator that interacts predominantly with the AF-1 domain of the nuclear receptor. Overexpression of NHERF2 in breast cancer MCF7 cells produced an increase in ERα transactivation. Interestingly, the presence of SRC-1 in NHERF2 stably overexpressing MCF7 cells produced a synergistic increase in ERα activity. We show further that NHERF2 interacts with ERα and SRC-1 in the promoter region of ERα target genes. The binding of NHERF2 to ERα in MCF7 cells increased cell proliferation and the ability of MCF7 cells to form tumors in a mouse model. We analyzed the expression of NHERF2 in breast cancer tumors finding a 2- to 17-fold increase in its mRNA levels in 50% of the tumor samples compared to normal breast tissue. These results indicate that NHERF2 is a coactivator of ERα that may participate in the development of estrogen-dependent breast cancer tumors.

Yan F, Yu Y, Chow DC, et al.
Identification of verrucarin a as a potent and selective steroid receptor coactivator-3 small molecule inhibitor.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e95243 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Members of the steroid receptor coactivator (SRC) family are overexpressed in numerous types of cancers. In particular, steroid receptor coactivator 3 (SRC-3) has been recognized as a critical coactivator associated with tumor initiation, progression, recurrence, metastasis, and chemoresistance where it interacts with multiple nuclear receptors and other transcription factors to enhance their transcriptional activities and facilitate cross-talk between pathways that stimulate cancer progression. Because of its central role as an integrator of growth signaling pathways, development of small molecule inhibitors (SMIs) against SRCs have the potential to simultaneously disrupt multiple signal transduction networks and transcription factors involved in tumor progression. Here, high-throughput screening was performed to identify compounds able to inhibit the intrinsic transcriptional activities of the three members of the SRC family. Verrucarin A was identified as a SMI that can selectively promote the degradation of the SRC-3 protein, while affecting SRC-1 and SRC-2 to a lesser extent and having no impact on CARM-1 and p300 protein levels. Verrucarin A was cytotoxic toward multiple types of cancer cells at low nanomolar concentrations, but not toward normal liver cells. Moreover, verrucarin A was able to inhibit expression of the SRC-3 target genes MMP2 and MMP13 and attenuated cancer cell migration. We found that verrucarin A effectively sensitized cancer cells to treatment with other anti-cancer drugs. Binding studies revealed that verrucarin A does not bind directly to SRC-3, suggesting that it inhibits SRC-3 through its interaction with an upstream effector. In conclusion, unlike other SRC SMIs characterized by our laboratory that directly bind to SRCs, verrucarin A is a potent and selective SMI that blocks SRC-3 function through an indirect mechanism.

Xu Y, Hu B, Qin L, et al.
SRC-1 and Twist1 expression positively correlates with a poor prognosis in human breast cancer.
Int J Biol Sci. 2014; 10(4):396-403 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
To evaluate the possible prognostic value of Steroid Receptor Coactivator-1 (SRC-1) and Twist1 expression in human breast cancer, we examined SRC-1 and Twist1 expression using immunohistochemistry on tissue microarray sections containing 137 breast cancer specimens. All patients were followed up for a median of 5 years following surgery. Survival curves were generated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Multivariate analysis was performed using the Cox proportional hazard regression model to assess the prognostic values. The results showed a positive correlation between SRC-1 and Twist1 expression at protein levels (P < 0.001). Also, SRC-1 expression positively correlated with HER2 expression (P = 0.024). The protein expression of Twist1 positively associated with lymph node metastasis (P < 0.001), but inversely correlated with PR status (P = 0.041). Patients with SRC-1 or Twist1-positive expression exhibited poorer overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) than did those with SRC-1 or Twist1-negative expression (P < 0.05 for all). In addition, SRC-1-negativeive/Twist1-negative patients had the best OS and DFS (P < 0.01 for both). In multivariate survival analysis, SRC-1 expression, tumor stage, and PR were found to be independent prognostic factors related to OS (P = 0.019, < 0.001 and 0.02, respectively) and Twist1 expression, lymph node status and PR were independent predictors of DFS (P = 0.006, 0.001 and 0.029, respectively). These results suggest that a combined SRC-1/Twist1 expression status could improve the prognostic judgment for breast cancer patients.

Tints K, Prink M, Neuman T, Palm K
LXXLL peptide converts transportan 10 to a potent inducer of apoptosis in breast cancer cells.
Int J Mol Sci. 2014; 15(4):5680-98 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Degenerate expression of transcription coregulator proteins is observed in most human cancers. Therefore, in targeted anti-cancer therapy development, intervention at the level of cancer-specific transcription is of high interest. The steroid receptor coactivator-1 (SRC-1) is highly expressed in breast, endometrial, and prostate cancer. It is present in various transcription complexes, including those containing nuclear hormone receptors. We examined the effects of a peptide that contains the LXXLL-motif of the human SRC-1 nuclear receptor box 1 linked to the cell-penetrating transportan 10 (TP10), hereafter referred to as TP10-SRC1LXXLL, on proliferation and estrogen-mediated transcription of breast cancer cells in vitro. Our data show that TP10-SRC1LXXLL induced dose-dependent cell death of breast cancer cells, and that this effect was not affected by estrogen receptor (ER) status. Surprisingly TP10-SRC1LXXLL severely reduced the viability and proliferation of hormone-unresponsive breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells. In addition, the regulation of the endogenous ERα direct target gene pS2 was not affected by TP10-SRC1LXXLL in estrogen-stimulated MCF-7 cells. Dermal fibroblasts were similarly affected by treatment with higher concentrations of TP10-SRC1LXXLL and this effect was significantly delayed. These results suggest that the TP10-SRC1LXXLL peptide may be an effective drug candidate in the treatment of cancers with minimal therapeutic options, for example ER-negative tumors.

Walsh CA, Bolger JC, Byrne C, et al.
Global gene repression by the steroid receptor coactivator SRC-1 promotes oncogenesis.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(9):2533-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transcriptional control is the major determinant of cell fate. The steroid receptor coactivator (SRC)-1 enhances the activity of the estrogen receptor in breast cancer cells, where it confers cell survival benefits. Here, we report that a global analysis of SRC-1 target genes suggested that SRC-1 also mediates transcriptional repression in breast cancer cells. Combined SRC-1 and HOXC11 ChIPseq analysis identified the differentiation marker, CD24, and the apoptotic protein, PAWR, as direct SRC-1/HOXC11 suppression targets. Reduced expression of both CD24 and PAWR was associated with disease progression in patients with breast cancer, and their expression was suppressed in metastatic tissues. Investigations in endocrine-resistant breast cancer cell lines and SRC-1(-/-)/PyMT mice confirmed a role for SRC-1 and HOXC11 in downregulation of CD24 and PAWR. Through bioinformatic analysis and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, we identified AP1 proteins and Jumonji domain containing 2C (JMD2C/KDM4C), respectively, as members of the SRC-1 interactome responsible for transcriptional repression. Our findings deepen the understanding of how SRC-1 controls transcription in breast cancers.

Wagner M, Koslowski M, Paret C, et al.
NCOA3 is a selective co-activator of estrogen receptor α-mediated transactivation of PLAC1 in MCF-7 breast cancer cells.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:570 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The placenta-specific 1 (PLAC1) gene encodes a membrane-associated protein which is selectively expressed in the placental syncytiotrophoblast and in murine fetal tissues during embryonic development. In contrast to its transcriptional repression in all other adult normal tissues, PLAC1 is frequently activated and highly expressed in a variety of human cancers, in particular breast cancer, where it associates with estrogen receptor α (ERα) positivity. In a previous study, we showed that ERα-signaling in breast cancer cells transactivates PLAC1 expression in a non-classical pathway. As the members of the p160/nuclear receptor co-activator (NCOA) family, NCOA1, NCOA2 and NCOA3 are known to be overexpressed in breast cancer and essentially involved in estrogen-mediated cancer cell proliferation we asked if these proteins are involved in the ERα-mediated transactivation of PLAC1 in breast cancer cells.
METHODS: Applying quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR), Western Blot analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation, we analyzed the involvement of NCOA1, NCOA2, NCOA3 in the ERα-mediated transactivation of PLAC1 in the breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and SK-BR-3. RNAi-mediated silencing of NCOA3, qRT-PCR, Western blot analysis and ERα activation assays were used to examine the role of NCOA3 in the ERα-mediated regulation of PLAC1 in further detail. Transcript expression of NCOA3 and PLAC1 in 48 human breast cancer samples was examined by qRT-PCR and statistical analysis was performed using Student's t-test.
RESULTS: We detected selective recruitment of NCOA3 but not NCOA1 or NCOA2 to the PLAC1 promoter only in ERα-positive MCF-7 cells but not in ERα-negative SK-BR-3 breast cancer cells. In addition, we demonstrate that silencing of NCOA3 results in a remarkable decrease of PLAC1 expression levels in MCF-7 cells which cannot be restored by treatment with estradiol (E₂). Moreover, significant higher transcript levels of PLAC1 were found only in ERα-positive human breast cancer samples which also show a NCOA3 overexpression.
CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we identified NCOA3 as a selective co-activator of ERα-mediated transactivation of PLAC1 in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Our data introduce PLAC1 as novel target gene of NCOA3 in breast cancer, supporting the important role of both factors in breast cancer biology.

Wu J, Liu J, Jia R, Song H
Nur77 inhibits androgen-induced bladder cancer growth.
Cancer Invest. 2013; 31(10):654-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
Currently, bladder cancer ranks as the second most common genitourinary malignancy which is exacting significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although there are abundant epidemiological and basic studies which strongly suggest the role of androgen hormone in bladder cancer, the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. In the current study, we sought to identify a new competitive inhibitor for androgen receptor in bladder cancer cells. Our results showed that Nur77 hyperexpression inhibits UM-UC-3 cell growth and cell cycle progression while Nur77 knockdown exerts the opposite effect. In our cell culture model, we also demonstrated that Nur77 competitively inhibits androgen-dependent transcription activity and more specifically, Nur77 competes with androgen receptor for binding to src-1, a well-known coactivator for steroids. More importantly, we also showed that a small molecule agonist for Nur77, Cytosporone B, significantly inhibits androgen-dependent bladder cancer cell growth in two different cell lines. These data provide a good proof-of-principle that Nur77 signaling machinery could be a new target for growth control of androgen-dependent bladder cancer cells.

Feng Y, Singleton D, Guo C, et al.
DNA homologous recombination factor SFR1 physically and functionally interacts with estrogen receptor alpha.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e68075 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Estrogen receptor alpha (ERα), a ligand-dependent transcription factor, mediates the expression of its target genes by interacting with corepressors and coactivators. Since the first cloning of SRC1, more than 280 nuclear receptor cofactors have been identified, which orchestrate target gene transcription. Aberrant activity of ER or its accessory proteins results in a number of diseases including breast cancer. Here we identified SFR1, a protein involved in DNA homologous recombination, as a novel binding partner of ERα. Initially isolated in a yeast two-hybrid screen, the interaction of SFR1 and ERα was confirmed in vivo by immunoprecipitation and mammalian one-hybrid assays. SFR1 co-localized with ERα in the nucleus, potentiated ER's ligand-dependent and ligand-independent transcriptional activity, and occupied the ER binding sites of its target gene promoters. Knockdown of SFR1 diminished ER's transcriptional activity. Manipulating SFR1 expression by knockdown and overexpression revealed a role for SFR1 in ER-dependent and -independent cancer cell proliferation. SFR1 differs from SRC1 by the lack of an intrinsic activation function. Taken together, we propose that SFR1 is a novel transcriptional modulator for ERα and a potential target in breast cancer therapy.

Katoh M
Functional and cancer genomics of ASXL family members.
Br J Cancer. 2013; 109(2):299-306 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Additional sex combs-like (ASXL)1, ASXL2 and ASXL3 are human homologues of the Drosophila Asx gene that are involved in the regulation or recruitment of the Polycomb-group repressor complex (PRC) and trithorax-group (trxG) activator complex. ASXL proteins consist of ASXN, ASXH, ASXM1, ASXM2 and PHD domains. ASXL1 directly interacts with BAP1, KDM1A (LSD1), NCOA1 and nuclear hormone receptors (NHRs), such as retinoic acid receptors, oestrogen receptor and androgen receptor. ASXL family members are epigenetic scaffolding proteins that assemble epigenetic regulators and transcription factors to specific genomic loci with histone modifications. ASXL1 is involved in transcriptional repression through an interaction with PRC2 and also contributes to transcriptional regulation through interactions with BAP1 and/or NHR complexes. Germ-line mutations of human ASXL1 and ASXL3 occur in Bohring-Opitz and related syndromes. Amplification and overexpression of ASXL1 occur in cervical cancer. Truncation mutations of ASXL1 occur in colorectal cancers with microsatellite instability (MSI), malignant myeloid diseases, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, and liver, prostate and breast cancers; those of ASXL2 occur in prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer and breast cancer and those of ASXL3 are observed in melanoma. EPC1-ASXL2 gene fusion occurs in adult T-cell leukaemia/lymphoma. The prognosis of myeloid malignancies with misregulating truncation mutations of ASXL1 is poor. ASXL family members are assumed to be tumour suppressive or oncogenic in a context-dependent manner.

Khan JA, Tikad A, Fay M, et al.
A new strategy for selective targeting of progesterone receptor with passive antagonists.
Mol Endocrinol. 2013; 27(6):909-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Currently available progesterone (P4) receptor (PR) antagonists, such as mifepristone (RU486), lack specificity and display partial agonist properties, leading to potential drawbacks in their clinical use. Recent x-ray crystallographic studies have identified key contacts involved in the binding of agonists and antagonists with PR opening the way for a new rational strategy for inactivating PR. We report here the synthesis and characterization of a novel class of PR antagonists (APRn) designed from such studies. The lead molecule, the homosteroid APR19, displays in vivo endometrial anti-P4 activity. APR19 inhibits P4-induced PR recruitment and transactivation from synthetic and endogenous gene promoters. Importantly, it exhibits high PR selectivity with respect to other steroid hormone receptors and is devoid of any partial agonist activity on PR target gene transcription. Two-hybrid and immunostaining experiments reveal that APR19-bound PR is unable to interact with either steroid receptor coactivators 1 and 2 (SRC1 and SCR2) or nuclear receptor corepressor (NcoR) and silencing mediator of retinoid acid and thyroid hormone receptor (SMRT), in contrast to RU486-PR complexes. APR19 also inhibits agonist-induced phosphorylation of serine 294 regulating PR transcriptional activity and turnover kinetics. In silico docking studies based on the crystal structure of the PR ligand-binding domain show that, in contrast to P4, APR19 does not establish stabilizing hydrogen bonds with the ligand-binding cavity, resulting in an unstable ligand-receptor complex. Altogether, these properties highly distinguish APR19 from RU486 and likely its derivatives, suggesting that it belongs to a new class of pure antiprogestins that inactivate PR by a passive mechanism. These specific PR antagonists open new perspectives for long-term hormonal therapy.

Mosquera JM, Sboner A, Zhang L, et al.
Recurrent NCOA2 gene rearrangements in congenital/infantile spindle cell rhabdomyosarcoma.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2013; 52(6):538-50 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Spindle cell rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a rare form of RMS with different clinical characteristics between children and adult patients. Its genetic hallmark remains unknown and it remains debatable if there is pathogenetic relationship between the spindle cell and the so-called sclerosing RMS. We studied two pediatric and one adult spindle cell RMS by next generation RNA sequencing and FusionSeq data analysis to detect novel fusions. An SRF-NCOA2 fusion was detected in a spindle cell RMS from the posterior neck in a 7-month-old child. The fusion matched the tumor karyotype and was confirmed by FISH and RT-PCR, which showed fusion of SRF exon 6 to NCOA2 exon 12. Additional 14 spindle cell (from 8 children and 6 adults) and 4 sclerosing (from 2 children and 2 adults) RMS were tested by FISH for the presence of abnormalities in NCOA2, SRF, as well as for PAX3 and NCOA1. NCOA2 rearrangements were found in two additional spindle cell RMS from a 3-month-old and a 4-week-old child. In the latter tumor, TEAD1 was identified by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) to be the NCOA2 gene fusion partner. None of the adult tumors were positive for NCOA2 rearrangement. Despite similar histomorphology in adults and young children, these results suggest that spindle cell RMS is a heterogeneous disease genetically as well as clinically. Our findings also support a relationship between NCOA2-rearranged spindle cell RMS occurring in young childhood and the so-called congenital RMS, which often displays rearrangements at 8q13 locus (NCOA2).

Wan R, Wu J, Baloue KK, Crowe DL
Regulation of the Nijmegen breakage syndrome 1 gene NBS1 by c-myc, p53 and coactivators mediates estrogen protection from DNA damage in breast cancer cells.
Int J Oncol. 2013; 42(2):712-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
In mammalian cells more than 90% of double-strand breaks are repaired by NHEJ. Impairment of this pathway is associated with cell cycle arrest, cell death, genomic instability and cancer. Human diseases such as Nijmegen breakage syndrome, due to mutations in the NBS1 gene, produce defects in resection of double-strand breaks. NBS1 hypomorphic mutant mice are viable, and cells from these mice are defective in S phase and G2/M checkpoints. NBS1 polymorphisms have been associated with increased risk of breast cancer. We previously demonstrated that estradiol protected estrogen receptor (ER)-positive (+) breast cancer cell lines against double-strand breaks and cell death. We now demonstrate that protection from double-strand break damage in ER+ cells is mediated via regulation by c-myc, p53, CBP and SRC1 coactivators in intron 1 of the NBS1 gene. We concluded that NBS1 is responsible for estradiol-mediated protection from double-strand breaks in ER+ breast cancer cells.

Renoir JM, Marsaud V, Lazennec G
Estrogen receptor signaling as a target for novel breast cancer therapeutics.
Biochem Pharmacol. 2013; 85(4):449-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
In breast cancer (BC) epithelial cells, the mitogenic action of estradiol is transduced through binding to two receptors, ERα and ERβ, which act as transcription factors. Anti-estrogens (AEs) and aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are used clinically to arrest the estrogen-dependent growth of BC. In the case of AE or AI resistance, Herceptin or lapatinib may be used to inhibit growth factors. Estrogen effects are mediated not only through nuclear ERs but also through cytoplasmic/membrane ERs and G-protein-coupled ERs. These estrogen-binding systems associate with various proteins that direct cell cycle signaling, proliferation and survival. The partners of nuclear ER include SRC1-3, HDACs and ERβ itself as well as newly identified proteins, such as E6-AP, LKB1, PELP1, PAX-2 and FOXA1. The partners of extra-nuclear ERα include PI3K and the tyrosine kinase Src. These various factors are all potential targets for therapeutic intervention. In addition, BC proliferation is enhanced by insulin and EGF, which stimulate signaling through the MAPK and PI3K/AKT pathways by activation of the IGF-1R and EGFR axes, respectively. These pathways are tightly interconnected with ER-activated signaling, and membrane ERα forms complexes with Src and PI3K. Chemokine-mediated signaling also modulates the estrogen response. Inhibiting these pathways with specific inhibitors or activating some of the pathways by gene manipulation may be therapeutically valuable for arresting BC cell cycle progression and for inducing apoptosis to antagonize hormone-resistance. Here, we review some newly identified putatively targetable ER partners and highlight the need to develop tumor-targeting drug carrier systems affecting both the tumor cells and the tumor environment.

Fabris S, Mosca L, Cutrona G, et al.
Chromosome 2p gain in monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis and in early stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Am J Hematol. 2013; 88(1):24-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recent studies have described chromosome 2p gain as a recurrent lesion in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). We investigated the 2p gain and its relationship with common prognostic biomarkers in a prospective series of 69 clinical monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (cMBL) and 218 early stage (Binet A) CLL patients. The 2p gain was detected by FISH in 17 patients (6%, 16 CLL, and 1 cMBL) and further characterized by single nucleotide polymorphism-array. Overall, unfavorable cytogenetic deletions, i.e., del(11)(q23) and del(17)(p13) (P = 0.002), were significantly more frequent in 2p gain cases, as well as unmutated status of IGHV (P < 1 × 10(-4) ) and CD38 (P < 1 × 10(-4) ) and ZAP-70 positive expression (P = 0.003). Furthermore, 2p gain patients had significantly higher utilization of stereotyped B-cell receptors compared with 2p negative patients (P = 0.009), and the incidence of stereotyped subset #1 in 2p gain patients was significantly higher than that found in the remaining CLLs (P = 0.031). Transcriptional profiling analysis identified several genes significantly upregulated in 2p gain CLLs, most of which mapped to 2p. Among these, NCOA1 and ROCK2 are known for their involvement in tumor progression in several human cancers, whereas among those located in different chromosomes, CAV1 at 7q31.1 has been recently identified to play a critical role in CLL progression. Thus, 2p gain can be present since the early stages of the disease, particularly in those cases characterized by other poor prognosis markers. The finding of genes upregulated in the cells with 2p gain provides new insights to define the pathogenic role of this lesion.

Andreou K, Rajendran R, Krstic-Demonacos M, Demonacos C
Regulation of CXCR4 gene expression in breast cancer cells under diverse stress conditions.
Int J Oncol. 2012; 41(6):2253-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chronic inflammation is a critical component in breast cancer progression. Pro-inflammatory mediators along with growth/survival factors within the tumor microenvironment potentiate the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1, IL-6, TNF-α), chemotactic cytokines and their receptors (CXCR4, CXCL12, CXCL8) and angiogenic factors (VEGF) that often overcome the effect of anti-inflammatory molecules (IL-4, IL-10) thus evading the host's antitumor immunity. Detailed knowledge, therefore, of the regulatory mechanisms determining cytokine levels is essential to understand the pathogenesis of breast cancer. HIF-1α and NF-κB transcription factors are important players for the establishment of a pro-inflammatory and potentially oncogenic environment. HIF-1α is the key mediator of the cellular response to oxygen deprivation and induces the expression of genes involved in survival and angiogenesis within solid hypoxic tumors. The expression of these genes is often modulated by the p53 tumor suppressor protein that induces apoptosis or cell cycle arrest in neoplastic cells. Functional crosstalk between HIF-1α and p53 pathways mediated by modulators shared between the two transcription factors such as SRC-1 and SIRT-1 differentially regulate the expression of distinct subsets of their target genes under variable stress conditions. In an attempt to shed light on the complex regulatory mechanisms involved in cancer-related inflammation, we investigated the role of the two common p53 and HIF-1α co-regulators SRC-1 and SIRT-1, in the expression of the highly potent metastatic chemokine receptor CXCR4. Both SRC-1 and SIRT-1 overexpression in DSFX-treated MCF-7 cells reduced CXCR4 cellular levels implying that both co-regulators are crucial factors in the determination of the metastatic potential of breast cancer cells.

Schoenmakers EF, Bunt J, Hermers L, et al.
Identification of CUX1 as the recurrent chromosomal band 7q22 target gene in human uterine leiomyoma.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2013; 52(1):11-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Uterine leiomyomas are benign solid tumors of mesenchymal origin which occur with an estimated incidence of up to 77% of all women of reproductive age. The majority of these tumors remains symptomless, but in about a quarter of cases they cause leiomyoma-associated symptoms including chronic pelvic pain, menorrhagia-induced anemia, and impaired fertility. As a consequence, they are the most common indication for pre-menopausal hysterectomy in the USA and Japan and annually translate into a multibillion dollar healthcare problem. Approximately 40% of these neoplasms present with recurring structural cytogenetic anomalies, including del(7)(q22), t(12;14)(q15;q24), t(1;2)(p36;p24), and anomalies affecting 6p21 and/or 10q22. Using positional cloning strategies, we and others previously identified HMGA1, HMGA2, RAD51L1, MORF, and, more recently, NCOA1 as primary target (fusion) genes associated with tumor initiation in four of these distinct cytogenetic subgroups. Despite the fact that the del(7)(q22) subgroup is the largest among leiomyomas, and was first described more than twenty years ago, the 7q22 leiomyoma target gene still awaits unequivocal identification. We here describe a positional cloning effort from two independent uterine leiomyomas, containing respectively a pericentric and a paracentric chromosomal inversion, both affecting band 7q22. We found that both chromosomal inversions target the cut-like homeobox 1 (CUX1) gene on chromosomal band 7q22.1 in a way which is functionally equivalent to the more frequently observed del(7q) cases, and which is compatible with a mono-allelic knock-out scenario, similar as was previously described for the cytogenetic subgroup showing chromosome 14q involvement.

Simeonova I, Lejour V, Bardot B, et al.
Fuzzy tandem repeats containing p53 response elements may define species-specific p53 target genes.
PLoS Genet. 2012; 8(6):e1002731 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Evolutionary forces that shape regulatory networks remain poorly understood. In mammals, the Rb pathway is a classic example of species-specific gene regulation, as a germline mutation in one Rb allele promotes retinoblastoma in humans, but not in mice. Here we show that p53 transactivates the Retinoblastoma-like 2 (Rbl2) gene to produce p130 in murine, but not human, cells. We found intronic fuzzy tandem repeats containing perfect p53 response elements to be important for this regulation. We next identified two other murine genes regulated by p53 via fuzzy tandem repeats: Ncoa1 and Klhl26. The repeats are poorly conserved in evolution, and the p53-dependent regulation of the murine genes is lost in humans. Our results indicate a role for the rapid evolution of tandem repeats in shaping differences in p53 regulatory networks between mammalian species.

Hernández-Hernández OT, González-García TK, Camacho-Arroyo I
Progesterone receptor and SRC-1 participate in the regulation of VEGF, EGFR and Cyclin D1 expression in human astrocytoma cell lines.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2012; 132(1-2):127-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Astrocytomas are the most common primary brain tumors in humans. It has been reported that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), cyclin D1 and progesterone receptor (PR) expression levels are elevated in patients with high-grade astrocytomas. Progesterone (P) regulates astrocytomas growth through its interaction with PR, which recruits coregulatory proteins such as steroid receptor coactivator-1 (SRC-1) that are required for efficient transcriptional activation. The regulation of VEGF, EGFR and cyclin D1 expression by P in human astrocytoma cells is not known. We studied the role of PR and SRC-1 in the expression of VEGF, EGFR and cyclin D1 mediated by P in human astrocytoma cell lines grade III (U373) and IV (D54). P significantly increased VEGF and EGFR mRNA expression after 12h of treatment in D54 cells that was reflected at protein level 24h after treatment. This effect was blocked by the PR antagonist, RU 486. In U373 cells cyclin D1 mRNA and protein expression was induced by P after 6 and 8h of treatment, respectively, and this effect was blocked with RU 486. Transfection with short hairpin RNA targeting coactivator SRC-1 significantly reduced VEGF expression after 24h of treatment. Collectively, our results indicate that P regulates VEGF and EGFR expression in D54 cells and cyclin D1 expression in U373 through PR, and that SRC-1 participates in the regulation of VEGF expression.

Abdel-Hafiz HA, Horwitz KB
Control of progesterone receptor transcriptional synergy by SUMOylation and deSUMOylation.
BMC Mol Biol. 2012; 13:10 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Covalent modification of nuclear receptors by the Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO) is dynamically regulated by competing conjugation/deconjugation steps that modulate their overall transcriptional activity. SUMO conjugation of progesterone receptors (PRs) at the N-terminal lysine (K) 388 residue of PR-B is hormone-dependent and suppresses PR-dependent transcription. Mutation of the SUMOylation motif promotes transcriptional synergy.
RESULTS: The present studies address mechanisms underlying this transcriptional synergy by using SUMOylation deficient PR mutants and PR specifically deSUMOylated by Sentrin-specific proteases (SENPs). We show that deSUMOylation of a small pool of receptors by catalytically competent SENPs globally modulates the cooperativity-driven transcriptional synergy between PR observed on exogenous promoters containing at least two progesterone-response elements (PRE2). This occurs in part by raising PR sensitivity to ligands. The C-terminal ligand binding domain of PR is required for the transcriptional stimulatory effects of N-terminal deSUMOylation, but neither a functional PR dimerization interface, nor a DNA binding domain exhibiting PR specificity, are required.
CONCLUSION: We conclude that direct and reversible SUMOylation of a minor PR protein subpopulation tightly controls the overall transcriptional activity of the receptors at complex synthetic promoters. Transcriptional synergism controlled by SENP-dependent PR deSUMOylation is dissociable from MAPK-catalyzed receptor phosphorylation, from SRC-1 coactivation and from recruitment of histone deacetylases to promoters. This will provide more information for targeting PR as a part of hormonal therapy of breast cancer. Taken together, these data demonstrate that the SUMOylation/deSUMOylation pathway is an interesting target for therapeutic treatment of breast cancer.

Walsh CA, Qin L, Tien JC, et al.
The function of steroid receptor coactivator-1 in normal tissues and cancer.
Int J Biol Sci. 2012; 8(4):470-85 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In 1995, the steroid receptor coactivator-1 (SRC-1) was identified as the first authentic steroid receptor coactivator. Since then, the SRC proteins have remained at the epicenter of coregulator biology, molecular endocrinology and endocrine-related cancer. Cumulative works on SRC-1 have shown that it is primarily a nuclear receptor coregulator and functions to construct highly specific enzymatic protein complexes which can execute efficient and successful transcriptional activation of designated target genes. The versatile nature of SRC-1 enables it to respond to steroid dependent and steroid independent stimulation, allowing it to bind across many families of transcription factors to orchestrate and regulate complex physiological reactions. This review highlights the multiple functions of SRC-1 in the development and maintenance of normal tissue functions as well as its major role in mediating hormone receptor responsiveness. Insights from genetically manipulated mouse models and clinical data suggest SRC-1 is significantly overexpressed in many cancers, in particular, cancers of the reproductive tissues. SRC-1 has been associated with cellular proliferation and tumor growth but its major tumorigenic contributions are promotion and execution of breast cancer metastasis and mediation of resistance to endocrine therapies. The ability of SRC-1 to coordinate multiple signaling pathways makes it an important player in tumor cells' escape of targeted therapy.

Kasina S, Macoska JA
The CXCL12/CXCR4 axis promotes ligand-independent activation of the androgen receptor.
Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2012; 351(2):249-63 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The molecular mechanisms responsible for the transition of some prostate cancers from androgen ligand-dependent to androgen ligand-independent are incompletely established. Molecules that are ligands for G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) have been implicated in ligand-independent androgen receptor (AR) activation. The purpose of this study was to examine whether CXCL12, the ligand for the GPCR, CXCR4, might mediate prostate cancer cell proliferation through AR-dependent mechanisms involving functional transactivation of the AR in the absence of androgen. The results of these studies showed that activation of the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis promoted: The nuclear accumulation of both wild-type and mutant AR in several prostate epithelial cell lines; AR-dependent proliferative responses; nuclear accumulation of the AR co-regulator SRC-1 protein; SRC-1:AR protein:protein association; co-localization of AR and SRC-1 on the promoters of AR-regulated genes; AR- and SRC-1 dependent transcription of AR-regulated genes; AR-dependent secretion of the AR-regulated PSA protein; P13K-dependent phosphorylation of AR; MAPK-dependent phosphorylation of SRC-1, and both MAPK- and P13K-dependent secretion of the PSA protein, in the absence of androgen. Taken together, these studies identify CXCL12 as a novel, non-steroidal growth factor that promotes the growth of prostate epithelial cells through AR-dependent mechanisms in the absence of steroid hormones. These findings support the development of novel therapeutics targeting the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis as an ancillary to those targeting the androgen/AR axis to effectively treat castration resistant/recurrent prostate tumors.

McCartan D, Bolger JC, Fagan A, et al.
Global characterization of the SRC-1 transcriptome identifies ADAM22 as an ER-independent mediator of endocrine-resistant breast cancer.
Cancer Res. 2012; 72(1):220-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The development of breast cancer resistance to endocrine therapy results from an increase in cellular plasticity that permits the emergence of a hormone-independent tumor. The steroid coactivator protein SRC-1, through interactions with developmental proteins and other nonsteroidal transcription factors, drives this tumor adaptability. In this discovery study, we identified ADAM22, a non-protease member of the ADAM family of disintegrins, as a direct estrogen receptor (ER)-independent target of SRC-1. We confirmed SRC-1 as a regulator of ADAM22 by molecular, cellular, and in vivo studies. ADAM22 functioned in cellular migration and differentiation, and its levels were increased in endocrine resistant-tumors compared with endocrine-sensitive tumors in mouse xenograft models of human breast cancer. Clinically, ADAM22 was found to serve as an independent predictor of poor disease-free survival. Taken together, our findings suggest that SRC-1 switches steroid-responsive tumors to a steroid-resistant state in which the SRC-1 target gene ADAM22 has a critical role, suggesting this molecule as a prognostic and therapeutic drug target that could help improve the treatment of endocrine-resistant breast cancer.

Zwart W, Theodorou V, Kok M, et al.
Oestrogen receptor-co-factor-chromatin specificity in the transcriptional regulation of breast cancer.
EMBO J. 2011; 30(23):4764-76 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The complexity of oestrogen receptor α (ERα)-mediated transcription is becoming apparent, but global insight into the co-regulatory proteins that assist ERα transcription is incomplete. Here, we present the most comprehensive chromatin-binding landscape of ERα co-regulatory proteins to date. We map by ChIP-seq the essential p160 co-regulators (SRC1, SRC2 and SRC3), and the histone acetyl transferases p300 and CBP in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. We find a complex network of co-regulator binding, with preferential binding sites for each co-regulator. Unlike previous suggestions, we find SRC recruitment almost exclusively following ligand treatment. Interestingly, we find specific subsets of genes regulated by ligand-dependent and -independent co-regulator recruitment. Co-factor-binding profiles were integrated with expression data from cell lines and primary tumour cohorts, to reveal specific transcriptional networks that influence clinical outcome. Genes that are bound by SRC3, but not other p160 proteins, have predictive value in cohorts of breast cancer patients. By generating a robust and global view of co-factor-binding properties, we discover new levels of co-regulator complexity, but also reveal specific gene networks that may influence endocrine response.

Hidalgo AA, Montecinos VP, Paredes R, et al.
Biochemical characterization of nuclear receptors for vitamin D3 and glucocorticoids in prostate stroma cell microenvironment.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011; 412(1):13-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The disruption of stromal cell signals in prostate tissue microenvironment influences the development of prostate cancer to androgen independence. 1α,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1,25D(3)) and glucocorticoids, either alone or in combination, have been investigated as alternatives for the treatment of advanced prostate cancers that fails androgen therapies. The effects of glucocorticoids are mediated by the intracellular glucocorticoid receptor (GR). Similarly, the effect of 1,25D(3) is mediated by the 1,25D(3) nuclear receptor (VDR). In this study, fibroblasts from benign- (BAS) and carcinoma-associated stroma (CAS) were isolated from human prostates to characterize VDR and GR function as transcription factors in prostate stroma. The VDR-mediated transcriptional activity assessed using the CYP24-luciferase reporter was limited to 3-fold induction by 1,25D(3) in 9 out of 13 CAS (70%), as compared to >10-fold induction in the BAS clinical sample pair. Expression of His-tagged VDR (Ad-his-VDR) failed to recover the low transcriptional activity of the luciferase reporter in 7 out of 9 CAS. Interestingly, expression of Ad-his-VDR successfully recovered receptor-mediated induction in 2 out of the 9 CAS analyzed, suggesting that changes in the receptor protein itself was responsible for decreased response and resistance to 1,25D(3) action. Conversely, VDR-mediated transcriptional activity was more efficient in 4 out of 13 CAS (30%), as compared to the BAS sample pair. Consistent with the reduced response to 1,25D(3) observed in CAS, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays indicated decreased recruitment of coactivators SRC-1/CBP, without major changes in the recruitment of VDR to the CYP24 promoter. In addition, we observed that GR-mediated transcriptional activity was also altered in CAS, as compared to BAS. Disruption of coactivators SRC-1/CBP recruitment may promote hormone resistance in CaP, and highlights the relevance of molecular diagnosis and drug design in tumor cell microenvironment.

deBlacam C, Byrne C, Hughes E, et al.
HOXC11-SRC-1 regulation of S100beta in cutaneous melanoma: new targets for the kinase inhibitor dasatinib.
Br J Cancer. 2011; 105(1):118-23 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cutaneous melanoma is an aggressive disease. S100beta is an established biomarker of disease progression; however, the mechanism of its regulation in melanoma is undefined.
METHODS: Expression of HOXC11 and SRC-1 was examined by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. Molecular and cellular techniques were used to investigate regulation of S100beta, including, western blot, qPCR, ChIP and migration assays.
RESULTS: Expression levels of the transcription factor HOXC11 and its coactivator SRC-1 were significantly elevated in malignant melanoma in comparison with benign nevi (P<0.001 and P=0.017, respectively, n=80), and expression of HOXC11 and SRC-1 in the malignant tissue associated with each other (P<0.001). HOXC11 recruitment to the promoter of S100beta was observed in the primary melanoma cell line SKMel28. S100beta expression was found to be dependant on both HOXC11 and SRC-1. Treatment with the Src/Abl inhibitor, dasatinib, reduced HOXC11-SRC-1 interaction and prevented recruitment of HOXC11 to the S100beta promoter. Dasatinib inhibited both mRNA and protein levels of S100beta and reduced migration of the metastatic cell line MeWo.
CONCLUSION: We have defined a signalling mechanism regulating S100beta in melanoma, which can be modulated by dasatinib. Profiling patients for expression of key markers of this network has the potential to increase the efficacy of dasatinib treatment.

Wang H, Zhang C, Rorick A, et al.
CCI-779 inhibits cell-cycle G2-M progression and invasion of castration-resistant prostate cancer via attenuation of UBE2C transcription and mRNA stability.
Cancer Res. 2011; 71(14):4866-76 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The cell-cycle G(2)-M phase gene UBE2C is overexpressed in various solid tumors including castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Our recent studies found UBE2C to be a CRPC-specific androgen receptor (AR) target gene that is necessary for CRPC growth, providing a potential novel target for therapeutic intervention. In this study, we showed that the G(1)-S cell-cycle inhibitor-779 (CCI-779), an mTOR inhibitor, inhibited UBE2C mRNA and protein expression in AR-positive CRPC cell models abl and C4-2B. Treatment with CCI-779 significantly decreased abl cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo through inhibition of cell-cycle progression of both G(2)-M and G(1)-S phases. In addition, exposure of abl and C4-2B cells to CCI-779 also decreased UBE2C-dependent cell invasion. The molecular mechanisms for CCI-779 inhibition of UBE2C gene expression involved a decreased binding of AR coactivators SRC1, SRC3, p300, and MED1 to the UBE2C enhancers, leading to a reduction in RNA polymerase II loading to the UBE2C promoter, and attenuation of UBE2C mRNA stability. Our data suggest that, in addition to its ability to block cell-cycle G(1) to S-phase transition, CCI-779 causes a cell-cycle G(2)-M accumulation and an inhibition of cell invasion through a novel UBE2C-dependent mechanism, which contributes to antitumor activities of CCI-779 in UBE2C overexpressed AR-positive CRPC.

Qin L, Chen X, Wu Y, et al.
Steroid receptor coactivator-1 upregulates integrin α₅ expression to promote breast cancer cell adhesion and migration.
Cancer Res. 2011; 71(5):1742-51 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Metastatic breast cancer remains a lethal disease with poorly understood molecular mechanisms. Steroid receptor coactivator-1 (SRC-1 or NCOA1) is overexpressed in a subset of breast cancers with poor prognosis. It potentiates gene expression by serving as a coactivator for nuclear receptors and other transcription factors. We previously reported that SRC-1 promotes breast cancer metastasis without affecting primary mammary tumor formation. Herein, we found that SRC-1 deficiency in mouse and human breast cancer cells substantially reduced cell adhesion and migration capabilities on fibronectin and significantly extended the time of focal adhesion disassembly and reassembly. In agreement with this phenotype, SRC-1 expression positively correlated with integrin α(5) (ITGA5) expression in estrogen receptor-negative breast tumors whereas SRC-1 deficiency decreased ITGA5 expression. Furthermore, ITGA5 reduction in SRC-1-deficient/insufficient breast cancer cells or knockdown of ITGA5 in SRC-1-expressing breast cancer cells was associated with a disturbed integrin-mediated signaling. Critical downstream changes included reduced phosphorylation and/or dampened activation of focal adhesion kinase, paxillin, Rac1, and Erk1/2 during cell adhesion. Finally, we found that SRC-1 enhanced ITGA5 promoter activity through an AP-1 (activator protein)-binding site proximal to the transcriptional initiation site; both SRC-1 and c-Jun were recruited to this promoter region in breast cancer cells. These results show that SRC-1 can promote breast cancer metastasis by directly enhancing ITGA5 expression and thus promoting ITGA5-mediated cell adhesion and migration. Therefore, targeting ITGA5 in SRC-1-positive breast cancers may result in inhibition of SRC-1-promoted breast cancer metastasis.

Kim SH, Nagalingam A, Saxena NK, et al.
Benzyl isothiocyanate inhibits oncogenic actions of leptin in human breast cancer cells by suppressing activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3.
Carcinogenesis. 2011; 32(3):359-67 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Molecular effects of obesity, a well-established risk factor for breast cancer progression, are mediated by adipocytokine leptin. Given the important role of leptin in breast cancer growth and metastasis, novel strategies to antagonize biological effects of this adipocytokine are much desired. We showed previously that benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC), a constituent of edible cruciferous vegetables (e.g. garden cress), confers significant protection against mammary carcinogenesis in a transgenic mouse model. The present study provides first evidence for the efficacy of BITC against oncogenic effects of leptin. The BITC treatment circumvented leptin-induced clonogenicity and anchorage-independent growth of MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Leptin-stimulated migration and invasion of these cells was also inhibited in the presence of BITC. Analysis of the underlying molecular mechanisms revealed that BITC treatment suppressed leptin-induced Stat3 phosphorylation and cyclin D1 transactivation. The BITC-mediated inhibition of MDA-MB-231 xenograft growth correlated with a modest yet significant decrease in levels of Tyr705 phosphorylated Stat3. The BITC treatment efficiently inhibited Stat3 and SRC1 recruitment to cyclin D1 promoter in a chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis. Furthermore, overexpression of constitutively active Stat3 imparted significant protection against BITC-mediated inhibition of cyclin D1 transactivation, whereas RNA interference of Stat3 resulted in a significant increase in BITC-mediated inhibition of cyclin D1 transactivation in the presence of leptin. These results indicate that Stat3 plays an important role in BITC-mediated inhibition of leptin-induced cyclin D1 transactivation. In conclusion, BITC could potentially be a rational therapeutic strategy for breast carcinoma in obese patients with high leptin levels.

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