[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metastasis suppressor 1 (MTSS1) is an important tumor suppressor protein, and loss of MTSS1 expression has been observed in several types of human cancers. Importantly, decreased MTSS1 expression is associated with more aggressive forms of breast and prostate cancers, and with poor survival rate. Currently, it remains unclear how MTSS1 is regulated in cancer cells, and whether reduced MTSS1 expression contributes to elevated cancer cell proliferation and migration. Here we report that the SCFβ-TRCP regulates MTSS1 protein stability by targeting it for ubiquitination and subsequent destruction via the 26S proteasome. Notably, depletion of either Cullin 1 or β-TRCP1 led to increased levels of MTSS1. We further demonstrated a crucial role for Ser322 in the DSGXXS degron of MTSS1 in governing SCFβ-TRCP-mediated MTSS1 degradation. Mechanistically, we defined that Casein Kinase Iδ (CKIδ) phosphorylates Ser322 to trigger MTSS1's interaction with β-TRCP for subsequent ubiquitination and degradation. Importantly, introducing wild-type MTSS1 or a non-degradable MTSS1 (S322A) into breast or prostate cancer cells with low MTSS1 expression significantly inhibited cellular proliferation and migration. Moreover, S322A-MTSS1 exhibited stronger effects in inhibiting cell proliferation and migration when compared to ectopic expression of wild-type MTSS1. Therefore, our study provides a novel molecular mechanism for the negative regulation of MTSS1 by β-TRCP in cancer cells. It further suggests that preventing MTSS1 degradation could be a possible novel strategy for clinical treatment of more aggressive breast and prostate cancers.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) functions as a critical regulator of cellular growth and metabolism by forming multi-component, yet functionally distinct complexes mTORC1 and mTORC2. Although mTORC2 has been implicated in mTORC1 activation, little is known about how mTORC2 is regulated. Here we report that phosphorylation of Sin1 at Thr 86 and Thr 398 suppresses mTORC2 kinase activity by dissociating Sin1 from mTORC2. Importantly, Sin1 phosphorylation, triggered by S6K or Akt, in a cellular context-dependent manner, inhibits not only insulin- or IGF-1-mediated, but also PDGF- or EGF-induced Akt phosphorylation by mTORC2, demonstrating a negative regulation of mTORC2 independent of IRS-1 and Grb10. Finally, a cancer-patient-derived Sin1-R81T mutation impairs Sin1 phosphorylation, leading to hyper-activation of mTORC2 by bypassing this negative regulation. Together, our results reveal a Sin1-phosphorylation-dependent mTORC2 regulation, providing a potential molecular mechanism by which mutations in the mTORC1-S6K-Sin1 signalling axis might cause aberrant hyper-activation of the mTORC2-Akt pathway, which facilitates tumorigenesis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aberrant Skp2 signaling has been implicated as a driving event in tumorigenesis. Although the underlying molecular mechanisms remain elusive, cytoplasmic Skp2 correlates with more aggressive forms of breast and prostate cancers. Here, we report that Skp2 is acetylated by p300 at K68 and K71, which is a process that can be antagonized by the SIRT3 deacetylase. Inactivation of SIRT3 leads to elevated Skp2 acetylation, which leads to increased Skp2 stability through impairment of the Cdh1-mediated proteolysis pathway. As a result, Skp2 oncogenic function is increased, whereby cells expressing an acetylation-mimetic mutant display enhanced cellular proliferation and tumorigenesis in vivo. Moreover, acetylation of Skp2 in the nuclear localization signal (NLS) promotes its cytoplasmic retention, and cytoplasmic Skp2 enhances cellular migration through ubiquitination and destruction of E-cadherin. Thus, our study identifies an acetylation-dependent regulatory mechanism governing Skp2 oncogenic function and provides insight into how cytoplasmic Skp2 controls cellular migration.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The incidence of human papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is increasing and an aggressive subtype of this disease is resistant to treatment with vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) inhibitor. VEGFR2 promotes angiogenesis by triggering endothelial cell proliferation and migration. However, the molecular mechanisms governing VEGFR2 stability in vivo remain unknown. Additionally, whether VEGFR2 influences PTC cell migration is not clear. We show that the ubiquitin E3 ligase SCF(β-TRCP) promotes ubiquitination and destruction of VEGFR2 in a casein kinase I (CKI)-dependent manner. β-TRCP knockdown or CKI inhibition causes accumulation of VEGFR2, resulting in increased activity of signaling pathways downstream of VEGFR2. β-TRCP-depleted endothelial cells exhibit enhanced migration and angiogenesis in vitro. Furthermore, β-TRCP knockdown increased angiogenesis and vessel branching in zebrafish. Importantly, we found an inverse correlation between β-TRCP protein levels and angiogenesis in PTC. We also show that β-TRCP inhibits cell migration and decreases sensitivity to the VEGFR2 inhibitor sorafenib in poorly differentiated PTC cells. These results provide a new biomarker that may aid a rational use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors to treat refractory PTC.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 06/2012; 209(7):1289-307. · 13.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The NFkB/Rel family of proteins play critical roles in a variety of cellular processes. Thus, their physiological activation is tightly controlled. Recently, the NFkB2/p100 precursor has been characterized as the fourth IkB type of suppressor for NFkB. However, the molecular mechanism(s) underlying regulated destruction of NFkB2 remains largely unknown. Here, we report that, unlike other IkBs, ubiquitination and destruction of NFkB2 are governed by SCF(Fbw7) in a GSK3-dependent manner. In Fbw(7-/-) cells, elevated expression of NFkB2/p100 leads to a subsequent reduction in NFkB signaling pathways and elevated sensitivity to TNFa-induced cell death. Reintroducing wild-type Fbw7, but not disease-derived mutant forms of Fbw7, rescues NFkB activity. Furthermore, T cell-specific depletion of Fbw7 also leads to reduced NFkB activity and perturbed T cell differentiation. Therefore, our work identifies Fbw7 as a physiological E3 ligase controlling NFkB20s stability. It further implicates that Fbw7 might exert its tumor-suppressor function by regulating NFkB activity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fbw7 is the substrate recognition component of the Skp1-Cullin-F-box (SCF)-type E3 ligase complex and a well-characterized tumor suppressor that targets numerous oncoproteins for destruction. Genomic deletion or mutation of FBW7 has been frequently found in various types of human cancers; however, little is known about the upstream signaling pathway(s) governing Fbw7 stability and cellular functions. Here we report that Fbw7 protein destruction and tumor suppressor function are negatively regulated by the prolyl isomerase Pin1. Pin1 interacts with Fbw7 in a phoshorylation-dependent manner and promotes Fbw7 self-ubiquitination and protein degradation by disrupting Fbw7 dimerization. Consequently, overexpressing Pin1 reduces Fbw7 abundance and suppresses Fbw7's ability to inhibit proliferation and transformation. By contrast, depletion of Pin1 in cancer cells leads to elevated Fbw7 expression, which subsequently reduces Mcl-1 abundance, sensitizing cancer cells to Taxol. Thus, Pin1-mediated inhibition of Fbw7 contributes to oncogenesis, and Pin1 may be a promising drug target for anticancer therapy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deregulation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway has been found in a variety of human cancers. However, the exact molecular mechanism how the mTOR signaling pathway is regulated remains largely elusive. Recently, DEPTOR was identified as an endogenous mTOR inhibitor that could suppress mTOR activity in vivo. More importantly, accumulated evidence has implicated that DEPTOR plays a pivotal role in the development and progression of human malignances, which could in part be mediated through its inhibitory role toward mTOR. Furthermore, three independent laboratories including our own have demonstrated that the stability of DEPTOR is controlled by the SCF(β-TrCP) E3 ubiquitin ligase and deregulated DEPTOR destruction might contribute to hyperactivation of mTOR in pathologic conditions including cancer. This review discusses the recent literature regarding the function of DEPTOR involved in cell growth, apoptosis, autophagy, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and drug resistance, all of which are associated with the pathogenesis of human cancers. Moreover, we also summarize that targeting DEPTOR may be a novel strategy for achieving better anticancer treatments.
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 05/2012; 14(5):368-75. · 5.48 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: FBW7 is a ubiquitin E3 ligase substrate adaptor that targets many important oncoproteins-such as Notch, c-Myc, cyclin E and c-Jun-for ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis. By doing so, it plays crucial roles in many cellular processes, including cell cycle progression, cell growth, cellular metabolism, differentiation and apoptosis. Loss of FBW7 has been observed in many types of human cancer, and its role as a tumour suppressor was confirmed by genetic ablation of FBW7 in mice, which leads to the induction of tumorigenesis. How FBW7 exerts its tumour suppression function, and whether loss of FBW7 leads to de-differentiation or acquisition of stemness-a process frequently seen in human carcinomas-remains unclear. Emerging evidence shows that FBW7 controls stem cell self-renewal, differentiation, survival and multipotency in various stem cells, including those of the haematopoietic and nervous systems, liver and intestine. Here, we focus on the function of FBW7 in stem cell differentiation, and its potential relevance to human disease and therapeutics.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The APC/Cdh1 E3 ubiquitin ligase plays an essential role in both mitotic exit and G1/S transition by targeting key cell-cycle regulators for destruction. There is mounting evidence indicating that Cdh1 has other functions in addition to cell-cycle regulation. However, it remains unclear whether these additional functions depend on its E3 ligase activity. Here, we report that Cdh1, but not Cdc20, promotes the E3 ligase activity of Smurf1. This is mediated by disruption of an autoinhibitory Smurf1 homodimer and is independent of APC/Cdh1 E3 ligase activity. As a result, depletion of Cdh1 leads to reduced Smurf1 activity and subsequent activation of multiple downstream targets, including the MEKK2 signaling pathway, inducing osteoblast differentiation. Our studies uncover a cell-cycle-independent function of Cdh1, establishing Cdh1 as an upstream component that governs Smurf1 activity. They further suggest that modulation of Cdh1 is a potential therapeutic option for treatment of osteoporosis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The activities of both mTORC1 and mTORC2 are negatively regulated by their endogenous inhibitor, DEPTOR. As such, the abundance of DEPTOR is a critical determinant in the activity status of the mTOR network. DEPTOR stability is governed by the 26S-proteasome through a largely unknown mechanism. Here we describe an mTOR-dependent phosphorylation-driven pathway for DEPTOR destruction via SCF(βTrCP). DEPTOR phosphorylation by mTOR in response to growth signals, and in collaboration with casein kinase I (CKI), generates a phosphodegron that binds βTrCP. Failure to degrade DEPTOR through either degron mutation or βTrCP depletion leads to reduced mTOR activity, reduced S6 kinase activity, and activation of autophagy to reduce cell growth. This work expands the current understanding of mTOR regulation by revealing a positive feedback loop involving mTOR and CKI-dependent turnover of its inhibitor, DEPTOR, suggesting that misregulation of the DEPTOR destruction pathway might contribute to aberrant activation of mTOR in disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Loss of the Fbw7 tumor suppressor is common in diverse human cancer types, including T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (T-ALL), although the mechanistic basis of its anti-oncogenic activity remains largely unclear. We recently reported that SCFFbw7 regulates cellular apoptosis by controlling the ubiquitination and destruction of the pro-survival protein, Mcl-1, in a GSK3 phosphorylation-dependent manner. We found that human T-ALL cell lines displayed a close relationship between Fbw7 loss and Mcl-1 overexpression. More interestingly, T-ALL cell lines that are deficient in Fbw7 are particularly sensitive to sorafenib, a multi-kinase inhibitor that has been demonstrated to reduce Mcl-1 expression through an unknown mechanism. On the other hand, Fbw7-deficient T-ALL cell lines are much more resistant to the Bcl-2 antagonist, ABT-737. Furthermore, reconstitution of Fbw7 or depletion of Mcl-1 in Fbw7-deficient cells restores ABT-737 sensitivity, suggesting that elevated Mcl-1 expression is important for Fbw7-deficient cells to evade apoptosis. Therefore, our work provides a novel molecular mechanism for the tumor suppression function of Fbw7. Furthermore, it provides the rationale for targeted usage of Mcl-1 antagonists to treat Fbw7-deficient T-ALL patients.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effective use of targeted therapy is highly dependent on the identification of responder patient populations. Loss of FBW7, which encodes a tumour-suppressor protein, is frequently found in various types of human cancer, including breast cancer, colon cancer and T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL). In line with these genomic data, engineered deletion of Fbw7 in mouse T cells results in T-ALL, validating FBW7 as a T-ALL tumour suppressor. Determining the precise molecular mechanisms by which FBW7 exerts antitumour activity is an area of intensive investigation. These mechanisms are thought to relate in part to FBW7-mediated destruction of key proteins relevant to cancer, including Jun, Myc, cyclin E and notch 1 (ref. 9), all of which have oncoprotein activity and are overexpressed in various human cancers, including leukaemia. In addition to accelerating cell growth, overexpression of Jun, Myc or notch 1 can also induce programmed cell death. Thus, considerable uncertainty surrounds how FBW7-deficient cells evade cell death in the setting of upregulated Jun, Myc and/or notch 1. Here we show that the E3 ubiquitin ligase SCF(FBW7) (a SKP1-cullin-1-F-box complex that contains FBW7 as the F-box protein) governs cellular apoptosis by targeting MCL1, a pro-survival BCL2 family member, for ubiquitylation and destruction in a manner that depends on phosphorylation by glycogen synthase kinase 3. Human T-ALL cell lines showed a close relationship between FBW7 loss and MCL1 overexpression. Correspondingly, T-ALL cell lines with defective FBW7 are particularly sensitive to the multi-kinase inhibitor sorafenib but resistant to the BCL2 antagonist ABT-737. On the genetic level, FBW7 reconstitution or MCL1 depletion restores sensitivity to ABT-737, establishing MCL1 as a therapeutically relevant bypass survival mechanism that enables FBW7-deficient cells to evade apoptosis. Therefore, our work provides insight into the molecular mechanism of direct tumour suppression by FBW7 and has implications for the targeted treatment of patients with FBW7-deficient T-ALL.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Mdm2/p53 pathway is compromised in more than 50% of all human cancers, therefore it is an intensive area of research to understand the upstream regulatory pathways governing Mdm2/p53 activity. Mdm2 is frequently overexpressed in human cancers while the molecular mechanisms underlying the timely destruction of Mdm2 remain unclear. We recently reported that Casein Kinase I phosphorylates Mdm2 at multiple sites to trigger Mdm2 interaction with, and subsequent ubiquitination and destruction by the SCF(β-TRCP) E3 ubiquitin ligase. We also demonstrated that the E3 ligase activity-deficient Mdm2 was still unstable in the G1 phase and could be efficiently degraded by SCF(β-TRCP). Thus our finding expands the current knowledge on how Mdm2 is tightly regulated by both self- and SCF(β-TRCP)-dependent ubiquitination to control p53 activity in response to stress. It further indicates that loss of β-TRCP or Casein Kinase I function contributes to elevated Mdm2 expression that is frequently found in various types of tumors.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Rictor/mTOR complex (also known as mTORC2) plays a critical role in cellular homeostasis by phosphorylating AGC kinases such as Akt and SGK at their hydrophobic motifs to activate downstream signaling. However, the regulation of mTORC2 and whether it has additional function(s) remain largely unknown. Here, we report that Rictor associates with Cullin-1 to form a functional E3 ubiquitin ligase. Rictor, but not Raptor or mTOR alone, promotes SGK1 ubiquitination. Loss of Rictor/Cullin-1-mediated ubiquitination leads to increased SGK1 protein levels as detected in Rictor null cells. Moreover, as part of a feedback mechanism, phosphorylation of Rictor at T1135 by multiple AGC kinases disrupts the interaction between Rictor and Cullin-1 to impair SGK1 ubiquitination. These findings indicate that the Rictor/Cullin-1 E3 ligase activity is regulated by a specific signal relay cascade and that misregulation of this mechanism may contribute to the frequent overexpression of SGK1 in various human cancers.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mdm2 is the major negative regulator of the p53 pathway. Here, we report that Mdm2 is rapidly degraded after DNA damage and that phosphorylation of Mdm2 by casein kinase I (CKI) at multiple sites triggers its interaction with, and subsequent ubiquitination and destruction, by SCF(beta-TRCP). Inactivation of either beta-TRCP or CKI results in accumulation of Mdm2 and decreased p53 activity, and resistance to apoptosis induced by DNA damaging agents. Moreover, SCF(beta-TRCP)-dependent Mdm2 turnover also contributes to the control of repeated p53 pulses in response to persistent DNA damage. Our results provide insight into the signaling pathways controlling Mdm2 destruction and further suggest that compromised regulation of Mdm2 results in attenuated p53 activity, thereby facilitating tumor progression.
Cancer cell 08/2010; 18(2):147-59. · 25.29 Impact Factor