COP1 is a tumour suppressor that causes degradation of ETS transcription factors

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech, Inc., 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.
Nature (Impact Factor: 41.46). 06/2011; 474(7351):403-6. DOI: 10.1038/nature10005
Source: PubMed


The proto-oncogenes ETV1, ETV4 and ETV5 encode transcription factors in the E26 transformation-specific (ETS) family, which includes the most frequently rearranged and overexpressed genes in prostate cancer. Despite being critical regulators of development, little is known about their post-translational regulation. Here we identify the ubiquitin ligase COP1 (also known as RFWD2) as a tumour suppressor that negatively regulates ETV1, ETV4 and ETV5. ETV1, which is mutated in prostate cancer more often, was degraded after being ubiquitinated by COP1. Truncated ETV1 encoded by prostate cancer translocation TMPRSS2:ETV1 lacks the critical COP1 binding motifs and was 50-fold more stable than wild-type ETV1. Almost all patient translocations render ETV1 insensitive to COP1, implying that this confers a selective advantage to prostate epithelial cells. Indeed, COP1 deficiency in mouse prostate elevated ETV1 and produced increased cell proliferation, hyperplasia, and early prostate intraepithelial neoplasia. Combined loss of COP1 and PTEN enhanced the invasiveness of mouse prostate adenocarcinomas. Finally, rare human prostate cancer samples showed hemizygous loss of the COP1 gene, loss of COP1 protein, and elevated ETV1 protein while lacking a translocation event. These findings identify COP1 as a tumour suppressor whose downregulation promotes prostatic epithelial cell proliferation and tumorigenesis.

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    • "DISCUSSION Mammalian COP1 is a known tumor suppressor whose downregulation promotes prostatic epithelial cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. Specifically, it regulates p53 protein level by acting as an E3 ubiquitin ligase of p53 (Dornan et al., 2004; Migliorini et al., 2011; Vitari et al., 2011). Human NOSIP/RUL, a homolog of Arabidopsis CSU1, also acts as an E3 ubiquitin ligase and mediates the ubiquitination of EpoR. "
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    ABSTRACT: CONSTITUTIVE PHOTOMORPHOGENIC1 (COP1) functions as an E3 ubiquitin ligase in both plants and animals. In dark-grown Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings, COP1 targets photomorphogenesis-promoting factors for degradation to repress photomorphogenesis. Little is known, however, about how COP1 itself is regulated. Here, we identify COP1 SUPPRESSOR1 (CSU1), a RING-finger E3 ubiquitin ligase, as a regulator of COP1. Genetic evidence demonstrates that csu1 mutations suppress cop1-6 phenotypes completely in the dark. Furthermore, CSU1 colocalizes with COP1 in nuclear speckles and negatively regulates COP1 protein accumulation in darkness. CSU1 can ubiquitinate COP1 in vitro and is essential for COP1 ubiquitination in vivo. Therefore, we conclude that CSU1 plays a major role in maintaining COP1 homeostasis by targeting COP1 for ubiquitination and degradation in dark-grown seedlings.
    The Plant Cell 05/2014; 26(5). DOI:10.1105/tpc.114.124024 · 9.34 Impact Factor
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    • "However, it is worth noting that the truncated ETV1 encoded by TMPRSS2:ETV1 loses the major RFWD2 binding ability and becomes more stable than its wild-type counterpart. Animal model studies further verified that RFWD2 deficiency upregulated ETV1 level and enhanced uncontrolled cellular growth and early stage of prostate malignancy [51]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer is a gland tumor in the male reproductive system. It is a multifaceted and genomically complex disease. Transmembrane protease, serine 2 and v-ets erythroblastosis virus E26 homolog (TMPRSS2-ERG) gene fusions are the common molecular signature of prostate cancer. Although tremendous advances have been made in unraveling various facets of TMPRSS2-ERG-positive prostate cancer, many research findings must be sequentially collected and re-interpreted. It is important to understand the activation or repression of target genes and proteins in response to various stimuli and the assembly in signal transduction in TMPRSS2-ERG fusion-positive prostate cancer cells. Accordingly, we divide this multi-component review ofprostate cancer cells into several segments: 1) The role of TMPRSS2-ERG fusion in genomic instability and methylated regulation in prostate cancer and normal cells; 2) Signal transduction cascades in TMPRSS2-ERG fusion-positive prostate cancer; 3) Overexpressed genes in TMPRSS2-ERG fusion-positive prostate cancer cells; 4) miRNA mediated regulation of the androgen receptor (AR) and its associated protein network; 5) Quantitative control of ERG in prostate cancer cells; 6) TMPRSS2-ERG encoded protein targeting; In conclusion, we provide a detailed understanding of TMPRSS2-ERG fusion related information in prostate cancer development to provide a rationale for exploring TMPRSS2-ERG fusion-mediated molecular network machinery.
    Cancer Cell International 04/2014; 14(1):34. DOI:10.1186/1475-2867-14-34 · 2.77 Impact Factor
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    • "Surprisingly, despite an ETV1 gene rearrangement [14], and high ETV1 mRNA levels [25], ETV1 protein was not observed in LNCaP cells. However, this is consistent with results from Vitari et al. who showed low ETV1 protein levels in LNCaP cells due to proteasomal targeting by the COP1 E3 ubiquitin ligase [26]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The RAS/ERK and PI3K/AKT pathways induce oncogenic gene expression programs and are commonly activated together in cancer cells. Often, RAS/ERK signaling is activated by mutation of the RAS or RAF oncogenes, and PI3K/AKT is activated by loss of the tumor suppressor PTEN. In prostate cancer, PTEN deletions are common, but, unlike other carcinomas, RAS and RAF mutations are rare. We have previously shown that over-expression of "oncogenic" ETS transcription factors, which occurs in about one-half of prostate tumors due to chromosome rearrangement, can bypass the need for RAS/ERK signaling in the activation of a cell migration gene expression program. In this study we test the role of RAS/ERK and PI3K/AKT signaling in the function of oncogenic ETS proteins. We find that oncogenic ETS expression negatively correlates with RAS and RAF mutations in prostate tumors. Furthermore, the oncogenic ETS transcription factors only increased cell migration in the absence of RAS/ERK activation. In contrast to RAS/ERK, it has been reported that oncogenic ETS expression positively correlates with PI3K/AKT activation. We identified a mechanistic explanation for this finding by showing that oncogenic ETS proteins required AKT signaling to activate a cell migration gene expression program through ETS/AP-1 binding sequences. Levels of pAKT correlated with the ability of oncogenic ETS proteins to increase cell migration, but this process did not require mTORC1. Our findings indicate that oncogenic ETS rearrangements cause a cell migration gene expression program to switch from RAS/ERK control to PI3K/AKT control and provide a possible explanation for the high frequency of PTEN, but not RAS/RAF mutations in prostate cancer.
    Molecular Cancer 03/2014; 13(1):61. DOI:10.1186/1476-4598-13-61 · 4.26 Impact Factor
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