Regulation of C/EBPbeta1 by Ras in mammary epithelial cells and the role of C/EBPbeta1 in oncogene-induced senescence.
ABSTRACT: Overexpression of Ras(V12) in MCF10A cells, an immortalized mammary epithelial cell line, leads to transformation of these cells. We demonstrate that this is accompanied by degradation of C/EBPbeta1. C/EBPbeta is a transcription factor in which three protein isoforms exist because of alternative translation at three in-frame methionines. When C/EBPbeta1 is expressed in MCF10A-Ras(V12) cells, immunoblot analysis reveals that C/EBPbeta1 is degraded in these cells. Treatment of MCF10A-Ras(V12)-C/EBPbeta1 cells with the cdk inhibitor roscovitine leads to stabilization of C/EBPbeta1. It has been previously shown that cdk2 phosphorylates C/EBPbeta on Thr235. We demonstrate that mutation of Thr235 to alanine in C/EBPbeta1 is sufficient to restore the stability of C/EBPbeta1 expression in MCF10A-Ras(V12) cells. Overexpression of Ras(V12) in primary cells induces senescence rather than transformation, thus suppressing tumorigenesis. C/EBPbeta is required for Ras(V12)-induced senescence in primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Upregulation of interleukin-6 (IL6) by C/EBPbeta has been shown to be necessary for oncogene-induced senescence, but the specific isoform of C/EBPbeta has not been investigated. We show that the C/EBPbeta1 isoform upregulates IL6 when introduced into normal fibroblasts. In addition, we show that C/EBPbeta1 induces senescence. Taken together, degradation of C/EBPbeta1 by Ras activation may represent a mechanism to bypass OIS.
Project description:In primary cells, overexpression of oncogenes such as Ras(V12) induces premature senescence rather than transformation. Senescence is an irreversible form of G1 arrest that requires the p19ARF/p53 and p16INK4a/pRB pathways and may suppress tumorigenesis in vivo. Here we show that the transcription factor C/EBPbeta is required for Ras(V12)-induced senescence. C/EBPbeta-/- mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) expressing Ras(V12) continued to proliferate despite unimpaired induction of p19ARF and p53, and lacked morphological features of senescent fibroblasts. Enforced C/EBPbeta expression inhibited proliferation of wild-type MEFs and also slowed proliferation of p19Arf-/- and p53-/- cells, indicating that C/EBPbeta acts downstream or independently of p19ARF/p53 to suppress growth. C/EBPbeta was unable to inhibit proliferation of MEFs lacking all three RB family proteins or wild-type cells expressing dominant negative E2F-1 and, instead, stimulated their growth. C/EBPbeta decreased expression of several E2F target genes and was associated with their promoters in chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, suggesting that C/EBPbeta functions by repressing genes required for cell cycle progression. C/EBPbeta is therefore a novel component of the RB:E2F-dependent senescence program activated by oncogenic stress in primary cells.
Project description:Oncogenic RAS (H-RAS(V12)) induces premature senescence in primary cells by triggering production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), but the molecular role of ROS in senescence remains elusive. We investigated whether inhibition of protein tyrosine phosphatases by ROS contributed to H-RAS(V12)-induced senescence. We identified protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) as a major target of H-RAS(V12)-induced ROS. Inactivation of PTP1B was necessary and sufficient to induce premature senescence in H-RAS(V12)-expressing IMR90 fibroblasts. We identified phospho-Tyr 393 of argonaute 2 (AGO2) as a direct substrate of PTP1B. Phosphorylation of AGO2 at Tyr 393 inhibited loading with microRNAs (miRNAs) and thus miRNA-mediated gene silencing, which counteracted the function of H-RAS(V12)-induced oncogenic miRNAs. Overall, our data illustrate that premature senescence in H-RAS(V12)-transformed primary cells is a consequence of oxidative inactivation of PTP1B and inhibition of miRNA-mediated gene silencing.
Project description:The transcription factor, C/EBPbeta, is a key regulator of growth and differentiation in the mammary gland. There are three different protein isoforms of C/EBPbeta. C/EBPbeta-1 and -2 are transactivators, and differ by only 23 N-terminal amino acids present in beta-1 only. C/EBPbeta-3 (LIP) lacks the transactivation domain and represses transcription. Elevated C/EBPbeta-2 expression causes MCF10A normal human mammary epithelial cells to become transformed, undergo an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), and acquire an invasive phenotype. C/EBPbeta is a downstream transcriptional target of Ras signaling pathways and is required for Ras transformation of some cell types. Ras signaling pathways are activated in mammary epithelial cells by the ErbB receptor tyrosine kinase family. Therefore, we considered whether elevated C/EBPbeta-2 expression would resemble ErbB RTK activation in MCF10A cells.We show that elevated C/EBPbeta-2 expression confers EGF-independent growth in MCF10A mammary epithelial cells. However, MCF10A cells expressing C/EBPbeta-3 are not EGF-independent, and high C/EBPbeta-3 or LIP expression is incompatible with growth. C/EBPbeta-2 overexpression disrupts the normal acinar architecture of MCF10A cells in basement membrane cultures and induces complex multiacinar structures with filled lumen, similar to the consequences of aberrant ErbB2 activation.Given the ability of C/EBPbeta-2 to confer EGF-independent growth to mammary epithelial cells as well as its capability for disrupting normal epithelial architecture and causing EMT, it is worth considering whether inhibitors which target ErbB family signaling pathways could be less effective in mammary epithelial cells with elevated nuclear C/EBPbeta-2 expression.
Project description:In primary mammalian cells, expression of oncogenes such as activated Ras induces premature senescence rather than transformation. We show that homozygous deletion of glycogen synthase kinase (GSK) 3beta (GSK3beta-/-) bypasses senescence induced by mutant Ras(V12) allowing primary mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) as well as immortalized MEFs to exhibit a transformed phenotype in vitro and in vivo. Both catalytic activity and Axin-binding of GSK3beta are required to optimally suppress Ras transformation. The expression of Ras(V12) in GSK3beta-/-, but not in GSK3beta+/+ MEFs results in translocation of beta-catenin to the nucleus with concomitant up-regulation of cyclin D1. siRNA-mediated knockdown of beta-catenin decreases both cyclin D1 expression and anchorage-independent growth of transformed cells indicating a causal role for beta-catenin. Thus Ras(V12) and the lack of GSK3beta act in concert to activate the beta-catenin pathway, which may underlie the bypass of senescence and tumorigenic transformation by Ras.
Project description:Signaling through Ras GTPases controls the activity of many transcription factors including CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBPbeta), which regulates oncogenic H-Ras(V12)-induced senescence and growth arrest. Here we report that C/EBPbeta (LAP) DNA binding is inhibited by N-terminal sequences and derepressed by oncogenic Ras signaling. Sequence and mutational analyses showed that auto-repression involves two LXXLF (phiXXphiphi)-like motifs (LX1 and LX2) and a third element, auto-inhibitory domain (AID), located within conserved region CR5. LX1 is a critical component of the transactivation domain and has been shown to mediate C/EBPbeta binding to the TAZ2 region of p300/CREB-binding protein coactivators. C/EBPbeta auto-repression also involves a C-terminal regulatory domain (CRD) adjacent to the leucine zipper. CRD contains a third phiXXphiphi motif (LX3) and a short sequence, KQL, which has similarity to a region in the protein-binding site of TAZ2. The C/EBPbeta N- and C-terminal domains physically associate in a manner that requires the basic region and CRD. We propose a model in which the regulatory sequences form a hydrophobic core that reciprocally inhibits DNA binding and transactivation. We also suggest a mechanism for C/EBPbeta derepression involving several recently identified modifications within AID and CRD. Finally, we show that association of activated C/EBPbeta with p300/CREB-binding protein requires the LX2 and AID auto-inhibitory elements. Thus, the N-terminal regulatory elements have dual roles in auto-inhibition and coactivator binding.
Project description:Oncogene-induced senescence (OIS) protects normal cells from transformation by Ras, whereas cells lacking p14/p19(Arf) or other tumor suppressors can be transformed. The transcription factor C/EBP? is required for OIS in primary fibroblasts but is downregulated by H-Ras(V12) in immortalized NIH 3T3 cells through a mechanism involving p19(Arf) loss. Here, we report that members of the serum-induced early growth response (Egr) protein family are also downregulated in 3T3(Ras) cells and directly and redundantly control Cebpb gene transcription. Egr1, Egr2, and Egr3 recognize three sites in the Cebpb promoter and associate transiently with this region after serum stimulation, coincident with Cebpb induction. Codepletion of all three Egrs prevented Cebpb expression, and serum induction of Egrs was significantly blunted in 3T3(Ras) cells. Egr2 and Egr3 levels were also reduced in Ras(V12)-expressing p19(Arf) null mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), and overall Egr DNA-binding activity was suppressed in Arf-deficient but not wild-type (WT) MEFs, leading to Cebpb downregulation. Analysis of human cancers revealed a strong correlation between EGR levels and CEBPB expression, regardless of whether CEBPB was increased or decreased in tumors. Moreover, overexpression of Egrs in tumor cell lines induced CEBPB and inhibited proliferation. Thus, our findings identify the Arf-Egr-C/EBP? axis as an important determinant of cellular responses (senescence or transformation) to oncogenic Ras signaling.
Project description:We have previously shown that Singleminded-2s (SIM2s), a member of the basic helix-loop-helix Per-Arnt-Sim (bHLH/PAS) family of transcription factors, is downregulated in breast cancer samples and has tumor suppressor activity. However, the mechanism by which SIM2s is repressed in breast cancer cells has not been determined. In this study, we show that transformation of MCF10A cells by Harvey-Ras (Ha-Ras) induces CCAAT/enhance binding protein beta (C/EBPbeta) and activates the NOTCH signaling pathway to block SIM2s gene expression. NOTCH-mediated repression acts through a C-repeat binding factor 1 (CBF1)-independent mechanism, as introduction of CBF1 had no effect on SIM2s expression. Consistent with C/ebpbeta-dependent inhibition of SIM2s, C/ebpbeta(-/-) mouse mammary glands express high levels of SIM2s and reestablishment of C/ebpbeta isoforms decreased SIM2s mRNA levels in C/ebpbeta immortalized mammary epithelial cell lines. These studies illustrate a novel pathway of tumor suppressor gene silencing in Ha-Ras-transformed breast epithelial cells and identify SIM2s as a target of C/EBPbeta and NOTCH signaling.
Project description:The MYC and RAS oncogenes are sufficient for transformation of normal rodent cells. This cooperativity is at least in part based on suppression of RAS-induced cellular senescence by MYC and block of MYC-induced apoptosis by RAS - thereby canceling out two main barriers against tumor development. However, it remains unclear whether MYC and RAS cooperate in this way in human cells, where MYC and RAS are not sufficient for transformation. To address this question, we established a combined Tet-inducible H-RAS<sup>V12</sup> and hydroxytamoxifen-inducible MycER system in normal human BJ fibroblasts. We show here that activation of RAS alone induced senescence while activation of MYC alone or together with RAS triggered DNA damage, induction of p53 and massive apoptosis, suggesting that RAS cannot rescue MYC-induced apoptosis in this system. Although coexpression with MYC reduced certain RAS-induced senescence markers (histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation and senescence-associated ?-GAL activity), the induction of the senescence marker p16INK4A was further enhanced and the culture ceased to proliferate within a few days, revealing that MYC could not fully suppress RAS-induced senescence. Furthermore, depletion of p53, which enhanced proliferation and rescued the cells from RAS-induced senescence, did not abrogate MYC-induced apoptosis. We conclude that MYC and RAS are unable to cooperate in overcoming senescence and apoptosis in normal human fibroblasts even after depletion of p53, indicating that additional oncogenic events are required to abrogate these fail-safe mechanisms and pave the way for cellular transformation. These findings have implications for our understanding of the transformation process in human cells. Abbreviations and acronyms: CDK: Cyclin-dependent kinase; DDR: DNA damage response; DOX: Doxycycline; EdU: 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine; FACS: Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting; MycER: MYC-estrogen receptor; OHT: 4-hydroxytamoxifen; OIS: Oncogene-induced senescence; PP2A: Protein phosphatase 2A; ROS: Reactive oxygen species; SA-?-GAL: Senescence-associated ?-galactosidase; SAHF: Senescence-associated heterochromatin foci; shRNA: Short hairpin RNA; YFP: Yellow fluorescent protein.
Project description:Mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) deficient for pocket proteins (i.e., pRB/p107-, pRB/p130-, or pRB/p107/p130-deficient MEFs) have lost proper G(1) control and are refractory to Ras(V12)-induced senescence. However, pocket protein-deficient MEFs expressing Ras(V12) were unable to exhibit anchorage-independent growth or to form tumors in nude mice. We show that depending on the level of pocket proteins, loss of adhesion induces G(1) and G(2) arrest, which could be alleviated by overexpression of the TBX2 oncogene. TBX2-induced transformation occurred only in the absence of pocket proteins and could be attributed to downregulation of the p53/p21(CIP1) pathway. Our results show that a balance between the pocket protein and p53 pathways determines the level of transformation of MEFs by regulating cyclin-dependent kinase activities. Since transformation of human fibroblasts also requires ablation of both pathways, our results imply that the mechanisms underlying transformation of human and mouse cells are not as different as previously claimed.
Project description:Several ETS transcription factors, including ELF4/MEF, can function as oncogenes in murine cancer models and are overexpressed in human cancer. We found that Elf4/Mef activates Mdm2 expression; thus, lack of or knockdown of Elf4/Mef reduces Mdm2 levels in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (mef's), leading to enhanced p53 protein accumulation and p53-dependent senescence. Even though p53 is absent in Elf4(-/-) p53(-/-) mef's, neither oncogenic H-Ras(V12) nor c-myc can induce transformation of these cells. This appears to relate to the INK4a/ARF locus; both p19(ARF) and p16 are increased in Elf4(-/-) p53(-/-) mef's, and expression of Bmi-1 or knockdown of p16 in this context restores H-Ras(V12)-induced transformation. Thus, ELF4/MEF promotes tumorigenesis by inhibiting both the p53 and p16/Rb pathways.