The forkhead transcription factor FOXK2 promotes AP-1-mediated transcriptional regulation.
ABSTRACT: The transcriptional control circuitry in eukaryotic cells is complex and is orchestrated by combinatorially acting transcription factors. Forkhead transcription factors often function in concert with heterotypic transcription factors to specify distinct transcriptional programs. Here, we demonstrate that FOXK2 participates in combinatorial transcriptional control with the AP-1 transcription factor. FOXK2 binding regions are widespread throughout the genome and are often coassociated with AP-1 binding motifs. FOXK2 acts to promote AP-1-dependent gene expression changes in response to activation of the AP-1 pathway. In this context, FOXK2 is required for the efficient recruitment of AP-1 to chromatin. Thus, we have uncovered an important new molecular mechanism that controls AP-1-dependent gene expression.
Project description:Several mammalian forkhead transcription factors have been shown to impact on cell cycle regulation and are themselves linked to cell cycle control systems. Here we have investigated the little studied mammalian forkhead transcription factor FOXK2 and demonstrate that it is subject to control by cell cycle-regulated protein kinases. FOXK2 exhibits a periodic rise in its phosphorylation levels during the cell cycle, with hyperphosphorylation occurring in mitotic cells. Hyperphosphorylation occurs in a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)·cyclin-dependent manner with CDK1·cyclin B as the major kinase complex, although CDK2 and cyclin A also appear to be important. We have mapped two CDK phosphorylation sites, serines 368 and 423, which play a role in defining FOXK2 function through regulating its stability and its activity as a transcriptional repressor protein. These two CDK sites appear vital for FOXK2 function because expression of a mutant lacking these sites cannot be tolerated and causes apoptosis.
Project description:There are numerous forkhead transcription factors in mammalian cells but we know little about the molecular functions of the majority of these. FOXK2 is a ubiquitously expressed family member suggesting an important function across multiple cell types. Here, we show that FOXK2 binds to the SIN3A and PR-DUB complexes. The PR-DUB complex contains the important tumour suppressor protein, the deubiquitinase BAP1. FOXK2 recruits BAP1 to DNA, promotes local histone deubiquitination and causes changes in target gene activity. Our results therefore provide an important link between BAP1 and the transcription factor FOXK2 and demonstrate how BAP1 can be recruited to specific regulatory loci.
Project description:The forkhead transcription factor FOXK2 plays a critical role in suppressing tumorigenesis and mediating cytotoxic drug action in breast cancer. However, the mechanism by which the biological function of FOXK2 is regulated remains poorly understood. Here, we investigated the role of SUMOylation in modulating FOXK2-mediated drug sensitivity. We identified SUMOylation consensus motifs within the FOXK2 sequence and constructed two SUMOylation-defective double mutants by converting lysine 527 and 633 to arginines and glutamic acid 529 and 635 to alanines, respectively. We found that both the FOXK2 SUMOylation-deficient (K527/633?R) and (E529/635?A) mutants were ineffective in mediating the cytotoxic function of paclitaxel when compared to the wild-type (WT) FOXK2. When overexpressed, unlike the wild-type (WT) FOXK2, the K527/633?R mutant had little effect on the sensitivity of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells to paclitaxel, as examined by cell viability and clonogenic assays. Our results also showed that MCF-7 cells overexpressing the K527/633?R mutant form of FOXK2 or the empty expression vector have lower protein and mRNA levels of its tumour suppressive transcriptional target FOXO3 compared to the wild-type FOXK2. Consistently, ChIP assays revealed that unlike wild-type FOXK2, the SUMOylation-defective (K527/633?R) mutant is unable to bind to the FOXO3 promoter, despite expressing comparable levels of protein and having the same subcellular localization as the wild-type FOXK2 in MCF-7 cells. Interestingly, expression of neither the wild-type nor the K527/633?R mutant FOXK2 had any effect on the proliferation and paclitaxel sensitivity of the MCF-7 TaxR paclitaxel-resistant cells. In agreement, both the wild-type and the (K527/633?R) mutant FOXK2 failed to bind to the endogenous FOXO3 promoter in these cells. Collectively, our results suggest that SUMOylation positively regulates FOXK2 transcriptional activity and has a role in mediating the cytotoxic response to paclitaxel through the tumour suppressor FOXO3.
Project description:Estrogen receptors (ERs) are critical regulators of breast cancer development. Identification of molecules that regulate the function of ERs may facilitate the development of more effective breast cancer treatment strategies. In this study, we showed that the forkhead transcription factor FOXK2 interacted with ER?, and inhibited ER?-regulated transcriptional activities by enhancing the ubiquitin-mediated degradation of ER?. This process involved the interaction between FOXK2 and BRCA1/BARD1, the E3 ubiquitin ligase of ER?. FOXK2 interacted with BARD1 and acted as a scaffold protein for BRCA1/BARD1 and ER?, leading to enhanced degradation of ER?, which eventually accounted for its decreased transcriptional activity. Consistent with these observations, overexpression of FOXK2 inhibited the transcriptional activity of ER?, decreased the transcription of ER? target genes, and suppressed the proliferation of ER?-positive breast cancer cells. In contract, knockdown of FOXK2 in MCF-7 cells promoted cell proliferation. However, when ER? was also knocked down, knockdown of FOXK2 had no effect on cell proliferation. These findings suggested that FOXK2 might act as a negative regulator of ER?, and its association with both ER? and BRCA1/BARD1 could lead to the down-regulation of ER? transcriptional activity, effectively regulating the function of ER?.
Project description:A major target of insulin signaling is the FoxO family of Forkhead transcription factors, which translocate from the nucleus to the cytoplasm following insulin-stimulated phosphorylation. Here we show that the Forkhead transcription factors FoxK1 and FoxK2 are also downstream targets of insulin action, but that following insulin stimulation, they translocate from the cytoplasm to nucleus, reciprocal to the translocation of FoxO1. FoxK1/FoxK2 translocation to the nucleus is dependent on the Akt-mTOR pathway, while its localization to the cytoplasm in the basal state is dependent on GSK3. Knockdown of FoxK1 and FoxK2 in liver cells results in upregulation of genes related to apoptosis and down-regulation of genes involved in cell cycle and lipid metabolism. This is associated with decreased cell proliferation and altered mitochondrial fatty acid metabolism. Thus, FoxK1/K2 are reciprocally regulated to FoxO1 following insulin stimulation and play a critical role in the control of apoptosis, metabolism and mitochondrial function.
Project description:Background: Metastasis is the major reason for high recurrence rates and poor survival among patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the underlying molecular mechanism of CRC metastasis is unclear. This study aimed to investigate the role of forkhead box K2 (FOXK2), one of the most markedly increased FOX genes in CRC, and the mechanism by which it is deregulated in CRC metastasis. Methods: FOXK2 levels were analyzed in two independent human CRC cohorts (cohort I, n = 363; cohort II, n = 390). In vitro Transwell assays and in vivo lung and liver metastasis models were used to examine CRC cell migration, invasion and metastasis. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and luciferase reporter assays were used to measure the binding of transcription factors to the promoters of FOXK2, zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Cetuximab was utilized to treat FOXK2-mediated metastatic CRC. Results: FOXK2 was significantly upregulated in human CRC tissues, was correlated with more aggressive features and indicated a poor prognosis. FOXK2 overexpression promoted CRC migration, invasion and metastasis, while FOXK2 downregulation had the opposite effects. ZEB1 and EGFR were determined to be direct transcriptional targets of FOXK2 and were essential for FOXK2-mediated CRC metastasis. Moreover, activation of EGFR signaling by EGF enhanced FOXK2 expression via the extracellular regulated protein kinase (ERK) and nuclear factor (NF)-κB pathways. The EGFR monoclonal antibody cetuximab significantly inhibited FOXK2-promoted CRC metastasis. In clinical CRC tissues, FOXK2 expression was positively correlated with the expression of p65, ZEB1 and EGFR. CRC patients who coexpressed p65/FOXK2, FOXK2/ZEB1 and FOXK2/EGFR had poorer prognosis. Conclusions: FOXK2 serves as a prognostic biomarker in CRC. Cetuximab can block the EGF-NF-κB-FOXK2-EGFR feedback loop and suppress CRC metastasis.
Project description:Chromatin immunoprecipitation of FOXK2 (tagged with Flag and His tags) in U2OS cells detected by SOLiD sequencing. ***Correction March 2014: The sample “FOXK2_Dox_treated” has been renamed, it was originally named “FOXK2_rep2”. A new sample “FOXK2_rep2” has been added, with new files. It has come to our attention that one of the FOXK2 ChIP-seq replicates 'FOXK2_rep2' that we used in our paper recent paper (Ji, Z., Donaldson, I.J., Liu, J., Hayes, A., Zeef, L.A.H. and Sharrocks, A.D. (2012) The forkhead transcription factor FOXK2 promotes AP-1-mediated transcriptional regulation. Mol. Cell. Biol. 32, 385-398. doi:10.1128/MCB.05504-11) was incorrect. The replicate was actually treated with doxorubicin prior to ChIP-seq analysis resulting in the loss of many FOXK2 binding events.***
Project description:Transcription factors belonging to the same transcription factor families contain very similar DNA binding domains and hence have the potential to bind to related DNA sequences. However, subtle differences in binding specificities can be detected in vitro with the potential to direct specific responses in vivo. Here, we have examined the binding properties of three Forkhead (FOX) transcription factors, FOXK2, FOXO3 and FOXJ3 in vivo. Extensive overlap in chromatin binding is observed, although underlying differential DNA binding specificity can dictate the recruitment of FOXK2 and FOXJ3 to chromatin. However, functionally, FOXO3-dependent gene regulation is generally mediated not through uniquely bound regions but through regions occupied by both FOXK2 and FOXO3 where both factors play a regulatory role. Our data point to a model whereby FOX transcription factors control gene expression through dynamically binding and generating partial occupancy of the same site rather than mutually exclusive binding derived by stable binding of individual FOX proteins.
Project description:Forkhead box K2 (FOXK2) is a member of the forkhead box family of transcription factors. Recently, researchers discovered that overexpression of FOXK2 inhibits the proliferation and metastasis of breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and colorectal cancer, and is related to the clinical prognosis. However, in hepatocellular carcinoma, FOXK2 results in the opposite phenotypes. Currently, the contribution of FOXK2 to glioma pathogenesis is not clear.We evaluated the expression of FOXK2 in 151 glioma patients using immunohistochemistry assays. The associations among the expression of FOXK2, clinicopathological parameters, and the prognosis of glioma patients were statistically analyzed. We downregulated and upregulated the level of FOXK2 in glioma cells by transfections with small interfering RNA and plasmids. Then, we investigated the effects on tumor cell behavior in vitro by Cell Counting Kit-8 assays, colony-formation assay, transwell assay, and the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) biomarker levels.The clinical data showed that expression of FOXK2 gradually decreased with increasing World Health Organization (WHO) grades and a low level of FOXK2 indicates a poor prognosis. FOXK2 expression is negatively correlated with Ki67 expression and the WHO degree but is not correlated with other clinicopathological parameters, including sex, age, Karnofsky Performance Status, tumor diameter, O-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase, and glutathione S-transferase pi. FOXK2 knockdown enhances glioma cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and EMT process, and, in contrast, FOXK2 overexpression inhibits glioma cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and the EMT process.Expression of FOXK2 gradually decreases with increasing WHO grades. FOXK2 inhibits tumor proliferation, migration, and invasion. FOXK2 is a critical mediator of the EMT process.
Project description:The forkhead transcription factor FOXK2 has recently been implicated in cancer cell proliferation and survival, but a role in cancer chemotherapeutic drug resistance has hitherto not been explored. Here we demonstrate that FOXK2 has a central role in mediating the cytotoxic drug response in breast cancer. Clonogenic and cell viability assays showed that enhanced FOXK2 expression sensitizes MCF-7 breast cancer cells to paclitaxel or epirubicin treatment, whereas FOXK2 depletion by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) confers drug resistance. Our data also showed that the activation of the tumour suppressor FOXO3a by paclitaxel and epirubicin is mediated through the induction of FOXK2, as depletion of FOXK2 by siRNA limits the induction of FOXO3a by these drugs in MCF-7 cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis showed that in response to drug treatment, FOXK2 accumulates and binds to the proximal FOXO3a promoter region in MCF-7 cells. Furthermore, we also uncovered that FOXK2 is deregulated and, therefore, can express at high levels in the nucleus of both the paclitaxel and epirubicin drug-resistant MCF-7 cells. Our results showed that ectopically overexpressed FOXK2 accumulates in the nuclei of drug-resistant MCF-7 cells but failed to be recruited to target genes, including FOXO3a. Crucially, we found that FOXO3a is required for the anti-proliferative and epirubicin-induced cytotoxic function of FOXK2 in MCF-7 cells by sulphorhodamine and clonogenic assays. The physiological importance of the regulation of FOXO3a by FOXK2 is further confirmed by the significant correlations between FOXO3a and FOXK2 expression in breast carcinoma patient samples. Further survival analysis also reveals that high nuclear FOXK2 expression significantly associates with poorer clinical outcome, particularly in patients who have received conventional chemotherapy, consistent with our finding that FOXK2 is deregulated in drug-resistant cells. In summary, our results suggest that paclitaxel and epirubicin target the FOXK2 to modulate their cytotoxicity and deregulated FOXK2 confers drug resistance.