Progesterone receptors (PRs) mediate proliferation during breast development and contribute to breast cancer progression, in part by synergizing with peptide growth factors. We have previously identified PR Ser294 as a key site for direct regulation of PR location, activity, and turnover in response to phosphorylation events. Herein, we sought to better understand how hormonal cross talk alters PR function. We demonstrate that progestins (R5020 and RU486) induce rapid (15 min) sumoylation of PR Lys388; sumoylation represses PR transcriptional activity on selected progesterone response element-driven and endogenous promoters and retards ligand-induced PR down-regulation. Consistent with this finding, we show that stabilized but weakly active phospho-mutant S294A PRs are heavily sumoylated. Conversely, desumoylated PR, created by mutation of PR Lys388 (K388R) or by overexpression of sentrin (SUMO)-specific protease desumoylating enzymes, are hypersensitive to low progestin concentrations. Combination of K388R and S294A mutations (KRSA double-mutant PR) rescues both transcription and turnover of impaired phospho-mutant (S294A) receptors. Notably, phosphorylation events antagonize PR-B but not PR-A sumoylation. Treatment of cells with epidermal growth factor or transient expression of activated mitogen-activated protein/ERK kinase kinase or cyclin-dependent protein kinase 2 induces PR-B Ser294 phosphorylation and blocks PR-B sumoylation, thereby derepressing receptor activity; PR-A is resistant to these events. Modulation of reversible PR sumoylation in response to diverse hormonal signals provides a mechanism for rapid isoform-specific changes in hormone responsiveness. In the context of elevated protein kinase activities, such as during mammary gland development or breast cancer progression, phosphorylated PR-B may be undersumoylated, transcriptionally hyperactive, and unstable/undetectable.
"PRs are highly post-translationally modified, primarily through N-terminal phosphorylation (select phosphorylation sites most relevant to breast cancer biology are highlighted in Figure 1), acetylation, SUMOylation, and ubiquitination [9,11-17]. These receptor modifications dramatically alter PR function, receptor localization and turnover, and promoter selectivity. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ovarian steroid hormone, progesterone, and its nuclear receptor, the progesterone receptor, are implicated in the progression of breast cancer. Clinical trial data on the effects of hormone replacement therapy underscore the importance of understanding how progestins influence breast cancer growth. The progesterone receptor regulation of distinct target genes is mediated by complex interactions between the progesterone receptor and other regulatory factors that determine the context-dependent transcriptional action of the progesterone receptor. These interactions often lead to post-translational modifications to the progesterone receptor that can dramatically alter receptor function, both in the normal mammary gland and in breast cancer. This review highlights the molecular components that regulate progesterone receptor transcriptional action and describes how a better understanding of the complex interactions between the progesterone receptor and other regulatory factors may be critical to enhancing the clinical efficacy of anti-progestins for use in the treatment of breast cancer.
BMC Medicine 02/2014; 12(1):32. DOI:10.1186/1741-7015-12-32 · 7.25 Impact Factor
"PR-mediated regulation of gene expression is controlled by many posttranslational modifications to the receptor, primarily on N-terminal serine (phosphorylation) and lysine (ubiquitination, sumoylation and acetylation) residues (10–15). These modifications significantly alter receptor stability, localization, transcriptional activity and target gene selectivity. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Progesterone receptors (PR) are transcription factors relevant to breast cancer biology. Herein, we describe an N-terminal common docking (CD) domain in PR-B, a motif first described in mitogen-activated protein kinases. Binding studies revealed PR-B interacts with dual-specificity phosphatase 6 (DUSP6) via the CD domain. Mutation of the PR-B CD domain (mCD) attenuated cell cycle progression and expression of PR-B target genes (including STAT5A and Wnt1); mCD PR-B failed to undergo phosphorylation on Ser81, a ck2-dependent site required for expression of these genes. PR-B Ser81 phosphorylation was dependent on binding with DUSP6 and required for recruitment of a transcriptional complex consisting of PR-B, DUSP6 and ck2 to an enhancer region upstream of the Wnt1 promoter. STAT5 was present at this site in the absence or presence of progestin. Furthermore, phospho-Ser81 PR-B was recruited to the STAT5A gene upon progestin treatment, suggestive of a feed-forward mechanism. Inhibition of JAK/STAT-signaling blocked progestin-induced STAT5A and Wnt1 expression. Our studies show that DUSP6 serves as a scaffold for ck2-dependent PR-B Ser81 phosphorylation and subsequent PR-B-specific gene selection in coordination with STAT5. Coregulation of select target genes by PR-B and STAT5 is likely a global mechanism required for growth promoting programs relevant to mammary stem cell biology and cancer.
Nucleic Acids Research 08/2013; 41(19). DOI:10.1093/nar/gkt706 · 9.11 Impact Factor
"Promoter structure (that is, the number of hormone response elements) is a key determinant of reporter-gene promoter recognition by SUMOylated glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) , while much less is known about how steroid receptor (SR) SUMOylation alters the regulation of endogenous genes (that is, in chromatin). To date, only a few endogenous genes have been shown to be sensitive to PR SUMOylation [13,16]. We propose that PR acts as a sensor for activated mitogenic protein kinases (that is, MAPKs and CDK2) frequently elevated in human breast cancer; under the influence of elevated Ser294 phosphorylation, genes that are sensitive to (that is, normally repressed by) PR SUMOylation may instead cooperate to drive breast cancer cell proliferation and pro-survival signaling. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Progesterone receptors (PR) are emerging as important breast cancer drivers. Phosphorylation events common to breast cancer cells impact PR transcriptional activity, in part by direct phosphorylation. PR-B but not PR-A isoforms are phosphorylated on Ser294 by mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) and cyclin dependent kinase 2 (CDK2). Phospho-Ser294 PRs are resistant to ligand-dependent Lys388 SUMOylation (that is, a repressive modification). Antagonism of PR small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO)ylation by mitogenic protein kinases suggests a mechanism for derepression (that is, transcriptional activation) of target genes. As a broad range of PR protein expression is observed clinically, a PR gene signature would provide a valuable marker of PR contribution to early breast cancer progression.
Global gene expression patterns were measured in T47D and MCF-7 breast cancer cells expressing either wild-type (SUMOylation-capable) or K388R (SUMOylation-deficient) PRs and subjected to pathway analysis. Gene sets were validated by RT-qPCR. Recruitment of coregulators and histone methylation levels were determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation. Changes in cell proliferation and survival were determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays and western blotting. Finally, human breast tumor cohort datasets were probed to identify PR-associated gene signatures; metagene analysis was employed to define survival rates in patients whose tumors express a PR gene signature.
'SUMO-sensitive' PR target genes primarily include genes required for proliferative and pro-survival signaling. DeSUMOylated K388R receptors are preferentially recruited to enhancer regions of derepressed genes (that is, MSX2, RGS2, MAP1A, and PDK4) with the steroid receptor coactivator, CREB-(cAMP-response element-binding protein)-binding protein (CBP), and mixed lineage leukemia 2 (MLL2), a histone methyltransferase mediator of nucleosome remodeling. PR SUMOylation blocks these events, suggesting that SUMO modification of PR prevents interactions with mediators of early chromatin remodeling at 'closed' enhancer regions. SUMO-deficient (phospho-Ser294) PR gene signatures are significantly associated with human epidermal growth factor 2 (ERBB2)-positive luminal breast tumors and predictive of early metastasis and shortened survival. Treatment with antiprogestin or MEK inhibitor abrogated expression of SUMO-sensitive PR target-genes and inhibited proliferation in BT-474 (estrogen receptor (ER)+/PR+/ERBB2+) breast cancer cells.
We conclude that reversible PR SUMOylation/deSUMOylation profoundly alters target gene selection in breast cancer cells. Phosphorylation-induced PR deSUMOylation favors a permissive chromatin environment via recruitment of CBP and MLL2. Patients whose ER+/PR+ tumors are driven by hyperactive (that is, derepressed) phospho-PRs may benefit from endocrine (antiestrogen) therapies that contain an antiprogestin.
Breast cancer research: BCR 06/2012; 14(3):R95. DOI:10.1186/bcr3211 · 5.49 Impact Factor
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