The gain of function of p53 cancer mutant in promoting mammary tumorigenesis.
ABSTRACT: Tumor suppressor p53 is critical for suppressing all types of human cancers, including breast cancer. The p53 gene is somatically mutated in over half of all human cancers. The majority of the p53 mutations are missense mutations, leading to the expression of the full-length p53 mutants. Several hotspot mutations, including R175H, are frequently detected in human breast cancer. P53 cancer mutants not only lose tumor suppression activity but, more problematically, also gain new oncogenic activities. Despite correlation of the expression of p53 cancer mutants and the poor prognosis of human breast cancer patients, the roles of p53 cancer mutants in promoting breast cancer remain unclear. We used the humanized p53 cancer mutant knock-in (R175H) mice and mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-Wnt-1 transgenic (mWnt-1) mice to specifically address the gain of function of R175H in promoting breast cancer. Although both R175H/R175HmWnt-1(R175HmWnt-1) and p53(-/-)mWnt-1 mice died from mammary tumor at the same kinetics, which was much earlier than mWnt-1 mice, most of the R175HmWnt-1 mice developed multiple mammary tumors per mouse, whereas p53(-/-)mWnt-1 and mWnt-1 mice mostly developed one tumor per mouse. The multiple mammary tumors arose in the same R175HmWnt-1 mouse exhibited different histological characters. Moreover, R175H gain-of-function mutant expands the mammary epithelial stem cells (MESCs) that give rise to the mammary tumors. As ATM suppresses the expansion of MESCs, the inactivation of ATM by R175H in mammary epithelial cells (MECs) could contribute to the expansion of MESCs in R175HmWnt-1 mice. These findings provide the basis for R175H to promote the initiation of breast cancer by expanding MESCs.
Project description:The p53 gene is one of the most frequently mutated genes in human cancer. Some p53 mutations impart additional functions that promote oncogenesis. To investigate how these p53 mutants function, a proteomic analysis was performed. The protein, translocator of the inner mitochondrial membrane 50 (Tim50), was upregulated in a non-small cell lung carcinoma cell line (H1299) that expressed the p53 mutants R175H and R273H compared to cells lacking p53. Tim50 was also elevated in the breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB-468 and SK-BR-3, that endogenously express the p53 mutants R175H and R273H, respectively, compared to MCF-10A. The p53 mutants R175H and R273H, but not WT p53, upregulated the expression of a Tim50 promoter construct and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis indicated increased histone acetylation and increased interaction of the transcription factors Ets-1, CREB and CREB-binding protein (CBP) with the Tim50 promoter in the presence of mutant p53. Finally, reduction of Tim50 expression reduced the growth rate and chemoresistance of cells harboring mutant p53 but had no effect upon cells lacking p53. Taken together, these findings identify the Tim50 gene as a transcriptional target of mutant p53 and suggest a novel mechanism by which p53 mutants enhance cell growth and chemoresistance.
Project description:The critical tumor suppressor p53 is mutated in over half of all human cancers. The majority of p53 cancer mutations are missense mutations, which can be classified into contact mutations that directly disrupt the DNA-binding of p53 but have modest impact on p53 conformation and structural mutations that greatly disrupt p53 conformation. Many p53 cancer mutants, including the hot spot mutations (R175H, R248W and R273H), not only lose p53-dependent tumor-suppressor activities, but also acquire new oncogenic activities to promote cancer. Therefore, it is critical to elucidate the gain of oncogenic function of p53 cancer mutants. Using humanized p53-mutant knock-in mouse models, we have identified a gain of oncogenic function shared by the most common p53 contact mutants (R273H and R248W) and structural mutant (R175H). This gain of function inactivates Mre11/ATM-dependent DNA damage responses, leading to chromosomal translocation and defective G(2)/M checkpoint. Considering the critical roles of ATM in maintaining genetic stability and therapeutic responses to many cancer treatments, the identification of this common gain of function of p53 cancer mutants will have important implication on the drug resistance of a significant portion of human cancers that express either the contact or structural p53 cancer mutants.
Project description:Gain-of-function p53 mutants such as p53-R175H form stable aggregates that accumulate in cells and play an important role in cancer progression. Selective degradation of gain-of-function p53 mutants has emerged as a highly attractive therapeutic strategy to target cancer cells harboring specific p53 mutations. We identified a small molecule called MCB-613 to cause rapid ubiquitination, nuclear export, and degradation of p53-R175H through lysosome-mediated pathway leading to catastrophic cancer cell death. In contrast to its effect on the p53-R175H mutant, MCB-613 causes slight stabilization of p53-WT and has weaker effects on other p53 gain-of-function mutants. Using state-of-the-art genetic and chemical approaches, we identified the deubiquitinase USP15 as the mediator of MCB-613’s effect on p53-R175H and established USP15 as a selective upstream regulator of p53-R175H in ovarian cancer cells. These results confirm that distinct pathways regulate the turnover of p53-WT and the different p53 mutants and open new opportunities to selectively target them. Overall design: Comparison between the RNAseq data between NSC632839 (a deubiquitinase inhibitor) treated and MCB613 treated MCF7 breast cancer cell
Project description:The tumor suppressor gene p53 is frequently mutated in human breast cancer and is a marker for poor prognosis and resistance to chemotherapy. Transplantation of p53 null mouse mammary epithelium into syngeneic wild-type mice leads to normal mammary gland development followed by spontaneous mammary tumors that recapitulate many of the phenotypic, molecular and genetic features of human breast cancer. Transient exposure of p53 null mice to the anti-estrogen, tamoxifen leads to sustained and robust protection against tumor development. However the mechanism underlying this anti-tumor activity remains poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that transient exposure to tamoxifen leads to a reduction in mammary ductal side-branching and epithelial cell proliferation after tamoxifen withdrawal. Global gene expression analysis showed that transient tamoxifen exposure leads to persistent changes in the expression of a subset of estrogen regulated gene signatures in mammary epithelial cells (MECs). Among these was the protein tyrosine phosphatase, non-receptor type 5 (Ptpn5). We show that Ptpn5 is a novel tamoxifen regulated target gene which is upregulated in MECs after transient tamoxifen exposure and displays tumor suppressor activity in human breast cancer cells. Further, PTPN5 expression is strongly associated with good clinical outcome in tamoxifen treated human breast cancer patients suggesting that PTPN5 may represent a novel biomarker of tamoxifen response in human breast cancer.
Project description:Upregulation of estrogen receptor beta (ER?) in breast cancer cells is associated with epithelial maintenance, decreased proliferation and invasion, and a reduction in the expression of the receptor has been observed in invasive breast tumors. However, proof of an association between loss of ER? and breast carcinogenesis is still missing.To study the role of ER? in breast oncogenesis, we generated mouse conditional mutants with specific inactivation of ER? and p53 in the mammary gland epithelium. For epithelium-specific knockout of ER? and p53, ER? F/F and p53 F/F mice were crossed to transgenic mice that express the Cre recombinase under the control of the human keratin 14 promoter.Somatic loss of ER? significantly accelerated formation of p53-deficient mammary tumors. Loss of the receptor also resulted in the development of less differentiated carcinomas with stronger spindle cell morphology and decreased expression of luminal epithelial markers.Our results show that synergism between ER? and p53 inactivation functions to determine important aspects of breast oncogenesis and cancer progression.
Project description:p53 is a pivotal tumor suppressor and a major barrier against cancer. We now report that silencing of the Hippo pathway tumor suppressors LATS1 and LATS2 in nontransformed mammary epithelial cells reduces p53 phosphorylation and increases its association with the p52 NF-?B subunit. Moreover, it partly shifts p53's conformation and transcriptional output toward a state resembling cancer-associated p53 mutants and endows p53 with the ability to promote cell migration. Notably, LATS1 and LATS2 are frequently down-regulated in breast cancer; we propose that such down-regulation might benefit cancer by converting p53 from a tumor suppressor into a tumor facilitator.
Project description:p53 is a pivotal tumor suppressor and a major barrier against cancer. We now report that silencing of the Hippo pathway tumor suppressors LATS1 and LATS2 in non-transformed mammary epithelial cells reduces p53 phosphorylation and increases its association with the p52 NF-κB subunit. Moreover, it partly shifts p53’s conformation and transcriptional output towards a state resembling cancer-associated p53 mutants, and endow p53 with the ability to promote cell migration. Notably, LATS1 and LATS2 are frequently downregulated in breast cancer; we propose that such downregulation might benefit cancer by converting p53 from a tumor suppressor into a tumor facilitator.
Project description:In response to oncogene activation and oncogene-induced aberrant proliferation, mammalian cells activate apoptosis and senescence, usually via the p53-ARF tumor-suppressor pathway. Apoptosis is a known barrier to cancer and is usually downregulated before full malignancy, but senescence as an anticancer barrier is controversial due to its presence in the tumor environment. In addition, senescence may aid cancer progression via releasing senescence-associated factors that instigate neighboring tumor cells. Here, it is demonstrated that apoptosis unexpectedly remains robust in ErbB2 (ERBB2/HER2)-initiated mammary early lesions arising in adult mice null for either p53 or ARF. These early lesions, however, downregulate senescence significantly. This diminished senescence response is associated with accelerated progression to cancer in ARF-null mice compared with ARF-wild-type mice. Thus, the ARF-p53 pathway is dispensable for the apoptosis anticancer barrier in the initiation of ErbB2 breast cancer, the apoptosis barrier alone cannot halt mammary tumorigenesis, and senescence is a key barrier against carcinogenesis.Findings in this relevant mouse model of HER2-driven breast cancer suggest that effective prevention relies upon preserving both ARF/p53-independent apoptosis and ARF/p53-dependent senescence.
Project description:The "guardian of the genome", p53, functions as a tumor suppressor that responds to cell stressors such as DNA damage, hypoxia, and tumor formation by inducing cell-cycle arrest, senescence, or apoptosis. Mutation of p53 disrupts its tumor suppressor function, leading to various types of human cancers. One particular mutant, R175H, is a structural mutant that inactivates the DNA damage response pathway and acquires oncogenic functions that promotes both cancer and drug resistance. Our current work aims to understand how p53 wild-type function is disrupted due to the R175H mutation. We use a series of atomistic integrative models built previously from crystal structures of the full-length p53 tetramer bound to DNA and model the R175H mutant using in silico site-directed mutagenesis. Explicitly solvated all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on wild-type and the R175H mutant p53 reveal insights into how wild-type p53 searches and recognizes DNA, and how this mechanism is disrupted as a result of the R175H mutation. Specifically, our work reveals the optimal quaternary DNA binding mode of the DNA binding domain and shows how this binding mode is altered via symmetry loss as a result of the R175H mutation, indicating a recognition mechanism that is reminiscent of the asymmetry seen in wild type p53 binding to nonspecific genomic elements. Altogether our work sheds new light into the hitherto unseen molecular mechanisms governing transcription factor, DNA recognition.
Project description:Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), an aggressive disease comprising several subtypes including basal-like and claudin-low, involves frequent deletions or point mutations in TP53, as well as loss of PTEN. We previously showed that combined deletion of both tumor suppressors in the mouse mammary epithelium invariably induced claudin-low-like TNBC. The effect of p53 mutation plus Pten deletion on mammary tumorigenesis and whether this combination can induce basal-like TNBC in the mouse are unknown.WAP-Cre:Pten(f/f):p53(lox.stop.lox_R270H) composite mice were generated in which Pten is deleted and a p53-R270H mutation in the DNA-binding domain is induced upon expression of Cre-recombinase in pregnancy-identified alveolar progenitors. Tumors were characterized by histology, marker analysis, transcriptional profiling [GEO-GSE75989], bioinformatics, high-throughput (HTP) FDA drug screen as well as orthotopic injection to quantify tumor-initiating cells (TICs) and tail vein injection to identify lung metastasis.Combined Pten deletion plus induction of p53-R270H mutation accelerated formation of four distinct mammary tumors including poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma (PDA) and spindle/mesenchymal-like lesions. Transplantation assays revealed highest frequency of TICs in PDA and spindle tumors compared with other subtypes. Hierarchical clustering demonstrated that the PDA and spindle tumors grouped closely with human as well as mouse models of basal and claudin-low subtypes, respectively. HTP screens of primary Pten(?):p53(?) vs. Pten(?):p53(R270H) spindle tumor cells with 1120 FDA-approved drugs identified 8-azaguanine as most potent for both tumor types, but found no allele-specific inhibitor. A gene set enrichment analysis revealed increased expression of a metastasis pathway in Pten(?):p53(R270H) vs. Pten(?):p53(?) spindle tumors. Accordingly, following tail vein injection, both Pten(?):p53(R270H) spindle and PDA tumor cells induced lung metastases and morbidity significantly faster than Pten(?):p53(?) double-deletion cells, and this was associated with the ability of Pten(?):p53(R270H) tumor cells to upregulate E-cadherin expression in lung metastases.Our results demonstrate that WAP-Cre:Pten(f/f):p53(lox.stop.lox_R270H) mice represent a tractable model to study basal-like breast cancer because unlike p53 deletion, p53(R270H) mutation in the mouse does not skew tumors toward the claudin-low subtype. The WAP-Cre:Pten(f/f):p53(lox.stop.lox_R270H) mice develop basal-like breast cancer that is enriched in TICs, can readily form lung metastasis, and provides a preclinical model to study both basal-like and claudin-low TNBC in immune-competent mice.