[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanisms through which cancer cells lock in altered transcriptional programs in support of metastasis remain largely unknown. Through integrative analysis of clinical breast cancer gene expression datasets, cell line models of breast cancer progression, and mutation data from cancer genome resequencing studies, we identified RNA binding motif protein 47 (RBM47) as a suppressor of breast cancer progression and metastasis. RBM47 inhibited breast cancer re-initiation and growth in experimental models. Transcriptome-wide HITS-CLIP analysis revealed widespread RBM47 binding to mRNAs, most prominently in introns and 3'UTRs. RBM47 altered splicing and abundance of a subset of its target mRNAs. Some of the mRNAs stabilized by RBM47, as exemplified by dickkopf WNT signaling pathway inhibitor 1, inhibit tumor progression downstream of RBM47. Our work identifies RBM47 as an RNA-binding protein that can suppress breast cancer progression and demonstrates how the inactivation of a broadly targeted RNA chaperone enables selection of a pro-metastatic state.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: How organ-specific metastatic traits arise in primary tumors remains unknown. Here, we show a role of the breast tumor stroma in selecting cancer cells that are primed for metastasis in bone. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in triple-negative (TN) breast tumors skew heterogeneous cancer cell populations toward a predominance of clones that thrive on the CAF-derived factors CXCL12 and IGF1. Limiting concentrations of these factors select for cancer cells with high Src activity, a known clinical predictor of bone relapse and an enhancer of PI3K-Akt pathway activation by CXCL12 and IGF1. Carcinoma clones selected in this manner are primed for metastasis in the CXCL12-rich microenvironment of the bone marrow. The evidence suggests that stromal signals resembling those of a distant organ select for cancer cells that are primed for metastasis in that organ, thus illuminating the evolution of metastatic traits in a primary tumor and its distant metastases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aberrant Wnt signaling can drive cancer development. In many cancer types, the genetic basis of Wnt pathway activation remains incompletely understood. Here, we report recurrent somatic mutations of the Drosophila melanogaster tumor suppressor-related gene FAT1 in glioblastoma (20.5%), colorectal cancer (7.7%), and head and neck cancer (6.7%). FAT1 encodes a cadherin-like protein, which we found is able to potently suppress cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo by binding β-catenin and antagonizing its nuclear localization. Inactivation of FAT1 via mutation therefore promotes Wnt signaling and tumorigenesis and affects patient survival. Taken together, these data strongly point to FAT1 as a tumor suppressor gene driving loss of chromosome 4q35, a prevalent region of deletion in cancer. Loss of FAT1 function is a frequent event during oncogenesis. These findings address two outstanding issues in cancer biology: the basis of Wnt activation in non-colorectal tumors and the identity of a 4q35 tumor suppressor.