Downregulation of Smurf2, a tumor-suppressive ubiquitin ligase, in triple-negative breast cancers

Involvement of the RB-microRNA axis

Xianpeng Liu, Xin Gu, Limin Sun, Ashley B. Flowers, Alfred W Rademaker, Yiran Zhou, Hiroaki Kiyokawa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The HECT family ubiquitin ligase Smurf2 regulates cell polarity, migration, division, differentiation and death, by targeting diverse substrates that are critical for receptor signaling, cytoskeleton, chromatin remodeling and transcription. Recent studies suggest that Smurf2 functions as a tumor suppressor in mice. However, no inactivating mutation of SMURF2 has been reported in human, and information about Smurf2 expression in human cancer remains limited or complicated. Here we demonstrate that Smurf2 expression is downregulated in human breast cancer tissues, especially of the triple-negative subtype, and address the mechanism of Smurf2 downregulation in triple-negative breast cancer cells.Methods: Human breast cancer tissues (47 samples expressing estrogen receptor (ER) and 43 samples with triple-negative status) were examined by immunohistochemistry for the expression of Smurf2. Ten widely-studied human breast cancer cell lines were examined for the expression of Smurf2. Furthermore, microRNA-mediated regulation of Smurf2 was investigated in triple-negative cancer cell lines.Results: Immunohistochemical analysis showed that benign mammary epithelial cells expressed high levels of Smurf2, so did cells in ductal carcinomas in situ. In contrast, invasive ductal carcinomas showed focal or diffuse decrease in Smurf2 expression, which was observed more frequently in triple-negative tumors than in ER-positive tumors. Consistently, human triple-negative breast cancer cell lines such as BT549, MDA-MB-436, DU-4475 and MDA-MB-468 cells showed significantly lower expression of Smurf2 protein, compared to ER + or HER2+ cell lines. Studies using quantitative PCR and specific microRNA inhibitors indicated that increased expression of miR-15a, miR-15b, miR-16 and miR-128 was involved in Smurf2 downregulation in those triple-negative cancer cell lines, which have mutations in the retinoblastoma (RB) gene. Forced expression of RB increased levels of Smurf2 protein with concomitant decreases in the expression of the microRNAs.Conclusions: This study provides evidence of posttranscriptional downregulation of Smurf2 in triple-negative breast cancers, and demonstrates that the loss of RB function is involved in microRNA-mediated interference with Smurf2 translation. The new link from RB inactivation to Smurf2 downregulation is likely to play a role in malignant phenotypes of triple-negative breast cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number57
JournalBMC cancer
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 3 2014

Fingerprint

Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms
Retinoblastoma
Ligases
Ubiquitin
MicroRNAs
Down-Regulation
Cell Line
Estrogen Receptors
Neoplasms
Breast Neoplasms
Retinoblastoma Genes
Cell Polarity
Ductal Carcinoma
Mutation
Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating
Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly
Cytoskeleton
Cell Movement
Proteins
Breast

Keywords

  • MicroRNA
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Triple-negative breast cancer
  • Tumor suppressor
  • Ubiquitination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

@article{9a1cb36abf0a41e78570147ca0341915,
title = "Downregulation of Smurf2, a tumor-suppressive ubiquitin ligase, in triple-negative breast cancers: Involvement of the RB-microRNA axis",
abstract = "Background: The HECT family ubiquitin ligase Smurf2 regulates cell polarity, migration, division, differentiation and death, by targeting diverse substrates that are critical for receptor signaling, cytoskeleton, chromatin remodeling and transcription. Recent studies suggest that Smurf2 functions as a tumor suppressor in mice. However, no inactivating mutation of SMURF2 has been reported in human, and information about Smurf2 expression in human cancer remains limited or complicated. Here we demonstrate that Smurf2 expression is downregulated in human breast cancer tissues, especially of the triple-negative subtype, and address the mechanism of Smurf2 downregulation in triple-negative breast cancer cells.Methods: Human breast cancer tissues (47 samples expressing estrogen receptor (ER) and 43 samples with triple-negative status) were examined by immunohistochemistry for the expression of Smurf2. Ten widely-studied human breast cancer cell lines were examined for the expression of Smurf2. Furthermore, microRNA-mediated regulation of Smurf2 was investigated in triple-negative cancer cell lines.Results: Immunohistochemical analysis showed that benign mammary epithelial cells expressed high levels of Smurf2, so did cells in ductal carcinomas in situ. In contrast, invasive ductal carcinomas showed focal or diffuse decrease in Smurf2 expression, which was observed more frequently in triple-negative tumors than in ER-positive tumors. Consistently, human triple-negative breast cancer cell lines such as BT549, MDA-MB-436, DU-4475 and MDA-MB-468 cells showed significantly lower expression of Smurf2 protein, compared to ER + or HER2+ cell lines. Studies using quantitative PCR and specific microRNA inhibitors indicated that increased expression of miR-15a, miR-15b, miR-16 and miR-128 was involved in Smurf2 downregulation in those triple-negative cancer cell lines, which have mutations in the retinoblastoma (RB) gene. Forced expression of RB increased levels of Smurf2 protein with concomitant decreases in the expression of the microRNAs.Conclusions: This study provides evidence of posttranscriptional downregulation of Smurf2 in triple-negative breast cancers, and demonstrates that the loss of RB function is involved in microRNA-mediated interference with Smurf2 translation. The new link from RB inactivation to Smurf2 downregulation is likely to play a role in malignant phenotypes of triple-negative breast cancer cells.",
keywords = "MicroRNA, Retinoblastoma, Triple-negative breast cancer, Tumor suppressor, Ubiquitination",
author = "Xianpeng Liu and Xin Gu and Limin Sun and Flowers, {Ashley B.} and Rademaker, {Alfred W} and Yiran Zhou and Hiroaki Kiyokawa",
year = "2014",
month = "2",
day = "3",
doi = "10.1186/1471-2407-14-57",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "14",
journal = "BMC Cancer",
issn = "1471-2407",
publisher = "BioMed Central",
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}

Downregulation of Smurf2, a tumor-suppressive ubiquitin ligase, in triple-negative breast cancers : Involvement of the RB-microRNA axis. / Liu, Xianpeng; Gu, Xin; Sun, Limin; Flowers, Ashley B.; Rademaker, Alfred W; Zhou, Yiran; Kiyokawa, Hiroaki.

In: BMC cancer, Vol. 14, No. 1, 57, 03.02.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Downregulation of Smurf2, a tumor-suppressive ubiquitin ligase, in triple-negative breast cancers

T2 - Involvement of the RB-microRNA axis

AU - Liu, Xianpeng

AU - Gu, Xin

AU - Sun, Limin

AU - Flowers, Ashley B.

AU - Rademaker, Alfred W

AU - Zhou, Yiran

AU - Kiyokawa, Hiroaki

PY - 2014/2/3

Y1 - 2014/2/3

N2 - Background: The HECT family ubiquitin ligase Smurf2 regulates cell polarity, migration, division, differentiation and death, by targeting diverse substrates that are critical for receptor signaling, cytoskeleton, chromatin remodeling and transcription. Recent studies suggest that Smurf2 functions as a tumor suppressor in mice. However, no inactivating mutation of SMURF2 has been reported in human, and information about Smurf2 expression in human cancer remains limited or complicated. Here we demonstrate that Smurf2 expression is downregulated in human breast cancer tissues, especially of the triple-negative subtype, and address the mechanism of Smurf2 downregulation in triple-negative breast cancer cells.Methods: Human breast cancer tissues (47 samples expressing estrogen receptor (ER) and 43 samples with triple-negative status) were examined by immunohistochemistry for the expression of Smurf2. Ten widely-studied human breast cancer cell lines were examined for the expression of Smurf2. Furthermore, microRNA-mediated regulation of Smurf2 was investigated in triple-negative cancer cell lines.Results: Immunohistochemical analysis showed that benign mammary epithelial cells expressed high levels of Smurf2, so did cells in ductal carcinomas in situ. In contrast, invasive ductal carcinomas showed focal or diffuse decrease in Smurf2 expression, which was observed more frequently in triple-negative tumors than in ER-positive tumors. Consistently, human triple-negative breast cancer cell lines such as BT549, MDA-MB-436, DU-4475 and MDA-MB-468 cells showed significantly lower expression of Smurf2 protein, compared to ER + or HER2+ cell lines. Studies using quantitative PCR and specific microRNA inhibitors indicated that increased expression of miR-15a, miR-15b, miR-16 and miR-128 was involved in Smurf2 downregulation in those triple-negative cancer cell lines, which have mutations in the retinoblastoma (RB) gene. Forced expression of RB increased levels of Smurf2 protein with concomitant decreases in the expression of the microRNAs.Conclusions: This study provides evidence of posttranscriptional downregulation of Smurf2 in triple-negative breast cancers, and demonstrates that the loss of RB function is involved in microRNA-mediated interference with Smurf2 translation. The new link from RB inactivation to Smurf2 downregulation is likely to play a role in malignant phenotypes of triple-negative breast cancer cells.

AB - Background: The HECT family ubiquitin ligase Smurf2 regulates cell polarity, migration, division, differentiation and death, by targeting diverse substrates that are critical for receptor signaling, cytoskeleton, chromatin remodeling and transcription. Recent studies suggest that Smurf2 functions as a tumor suppressor in mice. However, no inactivating mutation of SMURF2 has been reported in human, and information about Smurf2 expression in human cancer remains limited or complicated. Here we demonstrate that Smurf2 expression is downregulated in human breast cancer tissues, especially of the triple-negative subtype, and address the mechanism of Smurf2 downregulation in triple-negative breast cancer cells.Methods: Human breast cancer tissues (47 samples expressing estrogen receptor (ER) and 43 samples with triple-negative status) were examined by immunohistochemistry for the expression of Smurf2. Ten widely-studied human breast cancer cell lines were examined for the expression of Smurf2. Furthermore, microRNA-mediated regulation of Smurf2 was investigated in triple-negative cancer cell lines.Results: Immunohistochemical analysis showed that benign mammary epithelial cells expressed high levels of Smurf2, so did cells in ductal carcinomas in situ. In contrast, invasive ductal carcinomas showed focal or diffuse decrease in Smurf2 expression, which was observed more frequently in triple-negative tumors than in ER-positive tumors. Consistently, human triple-negative breast cancer cell lines such as BT549, MDA-MB-436, DU-4475 and MDA-MB-468 cells showed significantly lower expression of Smurf2 protein, compared to ER + or HER2+ cell lines. Studies using quantitative PCR and specific microRNA inhibitors indicated that increased expression of miR-15a, miR-15b, miR-16 and miR-128 was involved in Smurf2 downregulation in those triple-negative cancer cell lines, which have mutations in the retinoblastoma (RB) gene. Forced expression of RB increased levels of Smurf2 protein with concomitant decreases in the expression of the microRNAs.Conclusions: This study provides evidence of posttranscriptional downregulation of Smurf2 in triple-negative breast cancers, and demonstrates that the loss of RB function is involved in microRNA-mediated interference with Smurf2 translation. The new link from RB inactivation to Smurf2 downregulation is likely to play a role in malignant phenotypes of triple-negative breast cancer cells.

KW - MicroRNA

KW - Retinoblastoma

KW - Triple-negative breast cancer

KW - Tumor suppressor

KW - Ubiquitination

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