P53 regulates epithelial-mesenchymal transition through microRNAs targeting ZEB1 and ZEB2.
ABSTRACT: p53 suppresses tumor progression and metastasis. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key process in tumor progression and metastasis. The transcription factors ZEB1 and ZEB2 promote EMT. Here, we show that p53 suppresses EMT by repressing expression of ZEB1 and ZEB2. By profiling 92 primary hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) and 9 HCC cell lines, we found that p53 up-regulates microRNAs (miRNAs), including miR-200 and miR-192 family members. The miR-200 family members transactivated by p53 then repress ZEB1/2 expression. p53-regulated miR-192 family members also repress ZEB2 expression. Inhibition or overexpression of the miRNAs affects p53-regulated EMT by altering ZEB1 and ZEB2 expression. Our findings indicate that p53 can regulate EMT, and that p53-regulated miRNAs are critical mediators of p53-regulated EMT.
Project description:Arsenic is a well-recognized human carcinogen, yet the mechanism by which it causes human cancer has not been elucidated. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a big family of small noncoding RNAs and negatively regulate the expression of a large number of protein-coding genes. We investigated the role of miRNAs in arsenic-induced human bronchial epithelial cell malignant transformation and tumor formation. We found that prolonged exposure of immortalized p53-knocked down human bronchial epithelial cells (p53(low)HBECs) to low levels of arsenite (NaAsO?, 2.5 ?M) caused malignant transformation that was accompanied by epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and reduction in the levels of miR-200 family members. Stably reexpressing miR-200b in arsenite-transformed cells (As-p53(low)HBECs) completely reversed their transformed phenotypes, as evidenced by inhibition of colony formation in soft agar and prevention of xenograft tumor formation in nude mice. Moreover, stably expressing miR-200b alone in parental nontransformed p53(low)HBECs was sufficient to completely prevent arsenite exposure from inducing EMT and malignant transformation. Further mechanistic studies showed that depletion of miR-200 in arsenite-transformed cells involved induction of the EMT-inducing transcription factors zinc-finger E-box-binding homeobox factor 1 (ZEB1) and ZEB2 and increased methylation of miR-200 promoters. Stably expressing ZEB1 alone in parental nontransformed p53(low)HBECs was sufficient to deplete miR-200, induce EMT and cause cell transformation, phenocopying the oncogenic effect of 16-week arsenite exposure. These findings establish for the first time a causal role for depletion of miR-200b expression in human cell malignant transformation and tumor formation resulting from arsenic exposure.
Project description:MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNA molecules that can regulate gene expression by interacting with multiple mRNAs and inducing either translation suppression or degradation of mRNA. Recently, several miRNAs were identified as either promoters or suppressors of metastasis. However, it is unclear in which step(s) of the multistep metastatic cascade these miRNAs play a defined functional role. To study the functional importance of miRNAs in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a process thought to initiate metastasis by enhancing the motility of tumor cells, we used a well established in vitro EMT assay: transforming growth factor-beta-induced EMT in NMuMG murine mammary epithelial cells. We found that members of the miR-200 family, organized as two clusters in the genome, were repressed during EMT. Overexpression of each miRNA individually or as clusters in NMuMG cells hindered EMT by enhancing E-cadherin expression through direct targeting of ZEB1 and ZEB2, which encode transcriptional repressors of E-cadherin. In the 4TO7 mouse carcinoma cell line, which expresses low levels of endogenous E-cadherin and displays a mesenchymal phenotype, ectopic expression of the miR-200 family miRNAs significantly increased E-cadherin expression and altered cell morphology to an epithelial phenotype. Furthermore, ectopic expression of each miR-200 miRNA cluster significantly reduced the in vitro motility of 4TO7 cells in migration assays. These results suggested that loss of expression of the miR-200 family members may play a critical role in the repression of E-cadherin by ZEB1 and ZEB2 during EMT, thereby enhancing migration and invasion during cancer progression.
Project description:Bladder cancer (BC) is a highly prevalent disease, ranking fifth in the most common cancers worldwide. Various miRNAs have recently emerged as potential prognostic biomarkers in cancer. The miR-200 family, which repressed the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), is repressed in multiple advanced cancers. However, its expression and function in BC is still poorly understood. Here we show that miR-200 family displays increased expression, probably due to the activation of specific oncogenic signaling pathways, and reduced promoter methylation, in BC compared to normal bladder samples. Furthermore, we show that the expression of these miRNAs is decreased in high grade and stage tumors, and the down-regulation is associated with patient's poor clinical outcome. Our data indicate that the miR-200 family plays distinct roles in Non-Muscle (NMIBC) and Muscle-Invasive BC (MIBC). In MIBC, miR-200 expression post transcriptionally regulates EMT-promoting transcription factors ZEB1 and ZEB2, whereas suppresses BMI1 expression in NMIBC. Interestingly, we show that increased EZH2 and/or BMI1 expression repress the expression of miR-200 family members. Collectively, these findings support a model of BC progression through a coordinated action between the Polycomb Repression Complex (PRC) members repressing the miR-200 expression, which ultimately favors invasive BC development. Since pharmacological inhibition of EZH2 in BC cell lines lead to increased miR-200 expression, our findings may support new therapeutic strategies for BC clinical management.
Project description:Long-term immunity depends partly on the establishment of memory CD8+ T cells. We identified a counterregulatory network between the homologous transcription factors ZEB1 and ZEB2 and the miR-200 microRNA family, which modulates effector CD8+ T cell fates. Unexpectedly, Zeb1 and Zeb2 had reciprocal expression patterns and were functionally uncoupled in CD8+ T cells. ZEB2 promoted terminal differentiation, whereas ZEB1 was critical for memory T cell survival and function. Interestingly, the transforming growth factor ? (TGF-?) and miR-200 family members, which counterregulate the coordinated expression of Zeb1 and Zeb2 during the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, inversely regulated Zeb1 and Zeb2 expression in CD8+ T cells. TGF-? induced and sustained Zeb1 expression in maturing memory CD8+ T cells. Meanwhile, both TGF-? and miR-200 family members selectively inhibited Zeb2. Additionally, the miR-200 family was necessary for optimal memory CD8+ T cell formation. These data outline a previously unknown genetic pathway in CD8+ T cells that controls effector and memory cell fate decisions.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The miR-200c/141 cluster has recently been implicated in the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) process. The expression of these two miRNAs is inversely correlated with tumorigenicity and invasiveness in several human cancers. The role of these miRNAs in cancer progression is based in part on their capacity to target the EMT activators ZEB1 and ZEB2, two transcription factors, which in turn repress expression of E-cadherin. Little is known about the regulation of the mir200c/141 cluster, whose targeting has been proposed as a promising new therapy for the most aggressive tumors.<h4>Findings</h4>We show that the miR-200c/141 cluster is repressed by DNA methylation of a CpG island located in the promoter region of these miRNAs. Whereas in vitro methylation of the miR-200c/141 promoter led to shutdown of promoter activity, treatment with a demethylating agent caused transcriptional reactivation in breast cancer cells formerly lacking expression of miR-200c and miR-141. More importantly, we observed that DNA methylation of the identified miR-200c/141 promoter was tightly correlated with phenotype and the invasive capacity in a panel of 8 human breast cancer cell lines. In line with this, in vitro induction of EMT by ectopic expression of the EMT transcription factor Twist in human immortalized mammary epithelial cells (HMLE) was accompanied by increased DNA methylation and concomitant repression of the miR-200c/141 locus.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The present study demonstrates that expression of the miR-200c/141 cluster is regulated by DNA methylation, suggesting epigenetic regulation of this miRNA locus in aggressive breast cancer cell lines as well as untransformed mammary epithelial cells. This epigenetic silencing mechanism might represent a novel component of the regulatory circuit for the maintenance of EMT programs in cancer and normal cells.
Project description:Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is required for the specification of tissues during embryonic development and is recapitulated during the metastatic progression of tumors. The miR-200 family plays a critical role in enforcing the epithelial state with their expression lost in cells undergoing EMT. EMT can be mediated by activation of the ZEB1 and ZEB2 (ZEB) transcription factors, which repress miR-200 expression via a self-reinforcing double negative feedback loop to promote the mesenchymal state. However, it remains unclear what factors drive and maintain epithelial-specific expression of miR-200 in the absence of EMT-inducing factors. Here, we show that the transcription factor Specificity Protein 1 (Sp1) binds to the miR-200b?200a?429 proximal promoter and activates miR-200 expression in epithelial cells. In mesenchymal cells, Sp1 expression is maintained, but its ability to activate the miR-200 promoter is perturbed by ZEB-mediated repression. Reduction of Sp1 expression caused changes in EMT-associated markers in epithelial cells. Furthermore, we observed co-expression of Sp1 and miR-200 during mouse embryonic development wherein miR-200 expression was only lost in regions with high ZEB expression. Together, these findings indicate that miR-200 family members require Sp1 to drive basal expression and to maintain an epithelial state.
Project description:Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) can both promote and suppress cell migration, but the underlying mechanisms have not been elucidated. In this study, we show that the function of KLF5 in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and migration of liver cancer cells depends on the status of the cellular tumor antigen p53 (p53). Furthermore, zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 2 (ZEB2) is the main regulator of KLF5 in EMT in liver cancer cells in the context of p53 loss. Most importantly, the regulation of ZEB2 by p53 and KLF5 is indirect and that miR-192 mediates this regulation. Finally, we find that in invasive liver cancer, KLF5 is absent in the context of p53 loss or mutation.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: Increased deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) within the kidney is driven by profibrotic mediators including transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF). We investigated whether some of their effects may be mediated through changes in expression of certain microRNAs (miRNAs). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Proximal tubular cells, primary rat mesangial cells, and human podocytes were analyzed for changes in the expression of key genes, ECM proteins, and miRNA after exposure to TGF-beta (1-10 ng/microl). Tubular cells were also infected with CTGF-adenovirus. Kidneys from diabetic apoE mice were also analyzed for changes in gene expression and miRNA levels. RESULTS: TGF-beta treatment was associated with morphologic and phenotypic changes typical of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) including increased fibrogenesis in all renal cell types and decreased E-cadherin expression in tubular cells. TGF-beta treatment also modulated the expression of certain miRNAs, including decreased expression of miR-192/215 in tubular cells, mesangial cells, which are also decreased in diabetic kidney. Ectopic expression of miR-192/215 increased E-cadherin levels via repressed translation of ZEB2 mRNA, in the presence and absence of TGF-beta, as demonstrated by a ZEB2 3'-untranslated region luciferase reporter assay. However, ectopic expression of miR-192/215 did not affect the expression of matrix proteins or their induction by TGF-beta. In contrast, CTGF increased miR-192/215 levels, causing a decrease in ZEB2, and consequently increased E-cadherin mRNA. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate the linking role of miRNA-192/215 and ZEB2 in TGF-beta/CTGF-mediated changes in E-cadherin expression. These changes appear to occur independently of augmentation of matrix protein synthesis, suggesting that a multistep EMT program is not necessary for fibrogenesis to occur.
Project description:Throughout most of pregnancy, uterine quiescence is maintained by increased progesterone receptor (PR) transcriptional activity, whereas spontaneous labor is initiated/facilitated by a concerted series of biochemical events that activate inflammatory pathways and have a negative impact on PR function. In this study, we uncovered a previously undescribed regulatory pathway whereby micro-RNAs (miRNAs) serve as hormonally modulated and conserved mediators of contraction-associated genes in the pregnant uterus in the mouse and human. Using miRNA and gene expression microarray analyses of uterine tissues, we identified a conserved family of miRNAs, the miR-200 family, that is highly induced at term in both mice and humans as well as two coordinately down-regulated targets, zinc finger E-box binding homeobox proteins ZEB1 and ZEB2, which act as transcriptional repressors. We also observed up-regulation of the miR-200 family and down-regulation of ZEB1 and ZEB2 in two different mouse models of preterm labor. We further demonstrated that ZEB1 is directly up-regulated by the action of progesterone (P(4))/PR at the ZEB1 promoter. Excitingly, we observed that ZEB1 and ZEB2 inhibit expression of the contraction-associated genes, oxytocin receptor and connexin-43, and block oxytocin-induced contractility in human myometrial cells. Together, these findings implicate the miR-200 family and their targets, ZEB1 and ZEB2, as unique P(4)/PR-mediated regulators of uterine quiescence and contractility during pregnancy and labor and shed light on the molecular mechanisms involved in preterm birth.
Project description:Inactivation of p53 contributes significantly to the dismal prognosis of breast tumors, most notably triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs). How the relief from p53 tumor suppressive functions results in tumor cell aggressive behavior is only partially elucidated. In an attempt to shed light on the implication of microRNAs in this context, we discovered a new signaling axis involving p53, miR-30a and ZEB2. By an in silico approach we identified miR-30a as a putative p53 target and observed that in breast tumors reduced miR-30a expression correlated with p53 inactivation, lymph node positivity and poor prognosis. We demonstrate that p53 binds the MIR30A promoter and induces the transcription of both miRNA strands 5p and 3p. Both miR-30a-5p and -3p showed the capacity of targeting ZEB2, a transcription factor involved in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), tumor cell migration and drug resistance. Intriguingly, we found that p53 does restrain ZEB2 expression via miR-30a. Finally, we provide evidence that the new p53/miR-30a/ZEB2 axis controls tumor cell invasion and distal spreading and impinges upon miR-200c expression. Overall, this study highlights the existence of a novel axis linking p53 to EMT via miR-30a, and adds support to the notion that miRNAs represent key elements of the complex network whereby p53 inactivation affects TNBC clinical behavior.