[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Synuclein gamma (SNCG), previously identified as a breast cancer-specific gene, is highly expressed in malignant cancer cells but not in normal epithelium. The molecular targets of SNCG during breast cancer progression have not been fully identified. Here we analyzed the effect of SNCG on stimulation of membrane-initiated estrogen signaling. While SNCG expression enhanced estrogen-induced activation of ERK1/2 and mammalian target of rapamycin, knockdown of endogenous SNCG decreased membrane-initiated estrogen signaling. SNCG functions as a molecular chaperone protein for estrogen receptor (ER)-alpha36, a membrane-based variant of ER-alpha. SNCG bound to ER-alpha36 in the presence and absence of functional molecular chaperone heat shock protein 90. Disruption of heat shock protein 90 with 17-AAG significantly reduced ER-alpha36 expression and membrane-initiated estrogen signaling. However, expression of SNCG prevented ER-alpha36 degradation and completely recovered 17-AAG-mediated down-regulation of estrogen signaling. The function of SNCG in ER-alpha36-mediated estrogen signaling is consistent with its ability to stimulate cell growth in response to estrogen. Expression of SNCG also renders tamoxifen resistance, which is consistent with the clinical observation on the association of ER-alpha36 expression and tamoxifen resistance. The present study indicates that ER-alpha36 is a new member of the ER-alpha family that mediates membrane-initiated estrogen signaling and that SNCG can replace the function of heat shock protein 90, chaperone ER-alpha36 activity, stimulate ligand-dependent cell growth, and render tamoxifen resistance.
American Journal Of Pathology 08/2010; 177(2):964-73. · 4.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Synuclein gamma (SNCG), previously identified as a breast cancer-specific gene (BCSG1), is highly expressed in breast carcinomas but not in normal epithelium. SNCG regulates many pathways in growth and progression of breast cancer. To determine if SNCG is a biomarker for clinical prognosis of breast cancer, we generated a panel of murine monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against human SNCG and correlated SNCG protein expression in 358 clinical breast cancer specimens with clinical outcome. A panel of 14 mAbs was characterized by ELISA, immunoprecipitation (IP), Western blot, immunocytochemistry and immunohistochemistry. SNCG protein expression was determined in 438 clinical breast specimens by immunohistochemical analysis using mAb 5C5. Expression of SNCG was strongly correlated with the stage, lymph node involvement, metastasis, tumor size and Her-2 status, but its expression was not associated with ER and PR expression status. While 71.4% of advanced breast cancers were positive for SNCG expression, only 26.8% of Stage I/II breast cancers were positive for SNCG expression and 5.2% of benign hyperplasia expressed SNCG. SNCG protein was not detectable in normal tissue adjacent to breast cancer. After a median follow-up of 64 months, patients with an SNCG-positive tumor had a significantly shorter disease-free survival and overall survival and a high probability of death compared no expression of SNCG. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that SNCG was a strong independent prognostic variable. SNCG is a new unfavorable prognostic marker for breast cancer progression and a potential target for breast cancer treatment.
International Journal of Cancer 10/2007; 121(6):1296-305. · 6.20 Impact Factor