Runx2 mediates epigenetic silencing of the bone morphogenetic protein-3B (BMP-3B/GDF10) in lung cancer cells

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Rush University Medical Center, Armour Academic Center, 600 S, Paulina St, Suite 507, Chicago, IL, 60612, USA.
Molecular Cancer (Impact Factor: 4.26). 04/2012; 11(1):27. DOI: 10.1186/1476-4598-11-27
Source: PubMed


The Runt-related transcription factor Runx2 is essential for bone development but is also implicated in progression of several cancers of breast, prostate and bone, where it activates cancer-related genes and promotes invasive properties. The transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) family member bone morphogenetic protein-3B (BMP-3B/GDF10) is regarded as a tumor growth inhibitor and a gene silenced in lung cancers; however the regulatory mechanisms leading to its silencing have not been identified.
Here we show that Runx2 is highly expressed in lung cancer cells and downregulates BMP-3B. This inverse relationship between Runx2 and BMP-3B expression is further supported by increased expression of BMP-3B in mesenchymal cells from Runx2 deficient mice. The ectopic expression of Runx2, but not DNA binding mutant Runx2, in normal lung fibroblast cells and lung cancer cells resulted in suppression of BMP-3B levels. The chromatin immunoprecipitation studies identified that the mechanism of Runx2-mediated suppression of BMP-3B is due to the recruitment of Runx2 and histone H3K9-specific methyltransferase Suv39h1 to BMP-3B proximal promoter and a concomitant increase in histone methylation (H3K9) status. The knockdown of Runx2 in H1299 cells resulted in decreased histone H3K9 methylation on BMP-3B promoter and increased BMP-3B expression levels. Furthermore, co-immunoprecipitation studies showed a direct interaction of Runx2 and Suv39h1 proteins. Phenotypically, Runx2 overexpression in H1299 cells increased wound healing response to TGFβ treatment.
Our studies identified BMP-3B as a new Runx2 target gene and revealed a novel function of Runx2 in silencing of BMP-3B in lung cancers. Our results suggest that Runx2 is a potential therapeutic target to block tumor suppressor gene silencing in lung cancer cells.

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Available from: Jitesh Pratap, Feb 05, 2014
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    • "The ChIP was performed as previously described [29]. The TF Search database was used to locate conserved Runx binding sites in mTOR promoter (−5,000 bases) [30]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Runt-related transcription factor Runx2 is critical for skeletal development but is also aberrantly expressed in breast cancers, and promotes cell growth and invasion. A de-regulated serine/threonine kinase Akt signaling pathway is implicated in mammary carcinogenesis and cell survival; however the mechanisms underlying Runx2 role in survival of invasive breast cancer cells are still unclear. The phenotypic analysis of Runx2 function in cell survival was performed by gene silencing and flow cytometric analysis in highly invasive MDA-MB-231 and SUM-159-PT mammary epithelial cell lines. The expression analysis of Runx2 and pAkt (serine 473) proteins in metastatic breast cancer specimens was performed by immunohistochemistry. The mRNA and protein levels of kinases and phosphatases functional in Akt signaling were determined by real-time PCR and western blotting, while DNA-protein interaction was studied by chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. The high Runx2 levels in invasive mammary epithelial cell lines promoted cell survival in Akt phosphorylation (pAkt-serine 473) dependent manner. The analysis of kinases and phosphatases associated with pAkt regulation revealed that Runx2 promotes pAkt levels via mammalian target of rapamycin complex-2 (mTORC2). The recruitment of Runx2 on mTOR promoter coupled with Runx2-dependent expression of mTORC2 component Rictor defined Runx2 function in pAkt-mediated survival of invasive breast cancer cells. Our results identified a novel mechanism of Runx2 regulatory crosstalk in Akt signaling that could have important consequences in targeting invasive breast cancer-associated cell survival.
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