HSF1 regulation of ?-catenin in mammary cancer cells through control of HuR/elavL1 expression.
ABSTRACT: There is now compelling evidence to indicate a place for heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) in mammary carcinogenesis, tumour progression and metastasis. Here we have investigated a role for HSF1 in regulating the expression of the stem cell renewal factor ?-catenin in immortalized human mammary epithelial and carcinoma cells. We found HSF1 to be involved in regulating the translation of ?-catenin, by investigating effects of gain and loss of HSF1 on this protein. Interestingly, although HSF1 is a potent transcription factor, it was not directly involved in regulating levels of ?-catenin mRNA. Instead, our data suggest a complex role in translational regulation. HSF1 was shown to regulate levels of the RNA-binding protein HuR that controlled ?-catenin translation. An extra complexity was added to this scenario when it was shown that the long non-coding RNA molecule lincRNA-p21, known to be involved in ?-catenin mRNA (CTNNB1) translational regulation, was controlled by HSF1 repression. We have shown previously that HSF1 was positively regulated through phosphorylation by mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase on a key residue, serine 326, essential for transcriptional activity. In this study, we found that mTOR knockdown not only decreased HSF1-S326 phosphorylation in mammary cells, but also decreased ?-catenin expression through a mechanism requiring HuR. Our data point to a complex role for HSF1 in the regulation of HuR and ?-catenin expression that may be significant in mammary carcinogenesis.
Project description:Heat Shock Factor 1 (HSF1) is a key regulator of gene expression during acute environmental stress that enables the cell survival, which is also involved in different cancer-related processes. A high level of HSF1 in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer patients correlated with a worse prognosis. Here we demonstrated that 17?-estradiol (E2), as well as xenoestrogen bisphenol A and ER? agonist propyl pyrazole triol, led to HSF1 phosphorylation on S326 in ER? positive but not in ER?-negative mammary breast cancer cells. Furthermore, we showed that MAPK signaling (via MEK1/2) but not mTOR signaling was involved in E2/ER?-dependent activation of HSF1. E2-activated HSF1 was transcriptionally potent and several genes essential for breast cancer cells growth and/or ER? action, including HSPB8, LHX4, PRKCE, WWC1, and GREB1, were activated by E2 in a HSF1-dependent manner. Our findings suggest a hypothetical positive feedback loop between E2/ER? and HSF1 signaling, which may support the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors.
Project description:Overexpression of Rictor has been demonstrated to result in increased mechanistic target of rapamycin C2 (mTORC2) nucleation and activity leading to tumor growth and increased invasive characteristics in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). However, the mechanisms regulating Rictor expression in these tumors is not clearly understood. In this report, we demonstrate that Rictor is regulated at the level of mRNA translation via heat-shock transcription factor 1 (HSF1)-induced HuR activity. HuR is shown to directly bind the 3' untranslated region of the Rictor transcript and enhance translational efficiency. Moreover, we demonstrate that mTORC2/AKT signaling activates HSF1 resulting in a feed-forward cascade in which continued mTORC2 activity is able to drive Rictor expression. RNAi-mediated blockade of AKT, HSF1 or HuR is sufficient to downregulate Rictor and inhibit GBM growth and invasive characteristics in vitro and suppress xenograft growth in mice. Modulation of AKT or HSF1 activity via the ectopic expression of mutant alleles support the ability of AKT to activate HSF1 and demonstrate continued HSF1/HuR/Rictor signaling in the context of AKT knockdown. We further show that constitutive overexpression of HuR is able to maintain Rictor expression under conditions of AKT or HSF1 loss. The expression of these components is also examined in patient GBM samples and correlative associations between the relative expression of these factors support the presence of these signaling relationships in GBM. These data support a role for a feed-forward loop mechanism by which mTORC2 activity stimulates Rictor translational efficiency via an AKT/HSF1/HuR signaling cascade resulting in enhanced mTORC2 activity in these tumors.
Project description:Heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) generally exhibits its properties under stress conditions. In tumors, HSF1 has a pleiotropic feature in regulating growth, survival, and aggressiveness of cancer cells. In this study, we found HSF1 was increased in colorectal cancer (CRC) and had a positive correlation with shorter disease-free survival (DFS). Knockdown of HSF1 in CRC cells attenuated their growth while inhibiting mTOR activation and glutamine metabolism. HSF1 inhibited the expression of microRNA137 (MIR137), which targeted GLS1 (glutaminase 1), thus stimulating GLS1 protein expression to promote glutaminolysis and mTOR activation. HSF1 bound DNA methyltransferase DNMT3a and recruited it to the promoter of lncRNA MIR137 host gene (MIR137HG), suppressing the generation of primary MIR137. The chemical inhibitor of HSF1 also reduced cell growth, increased apoptosis, and impaired glutamine metabolism in vitro. Moreover, both chemical inhibition and genetic knockout of HSF1 succeeded in increasing MIR137 expression, reducing GLS1 expression, and alleviating colorectal tumorigenesis in azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) mice. In conclusion, HSF1 expression was increased and associated with poor prognosis in CRC. By recruiting DNMT3a to suppress the expression of MIR137 that targets GLS1 mRNA, HSF1 stimulated GLS1-dependent mTOR activation to promote colorectal carcinogenesis. Therefore, targeting HSF1 to attenuate glutaminolysis and mTOR activation could be a promising approach for CRC treatment.
Project description:Cancer cells can develop a strong addiction to discrete molecular regulators, which control the aberrant gene expression programs that drive and maintain the cancer phenotype. Here, we report the identification of the RNA-binding protein HuR/ELAVL1 as a central oncogenic driver for malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs), which are highly aggressive sarcomas that originate from cells of the Schwann cell lineage. HuR was found to be highly elevated and bound to a multitude of cancer-associated transcripts in human MPNST samples. Accordingly, genetic and pharmacological inhibition of HuR had potent cytostatic and cytotoxic effects on tumor growth, and strongly suppressed metastatic capacity in vivo. Importantly, we linked the profound tumorigenic function of HuR to its ability to simultaneously regulate multiple essential oncogenic pathways in MPNST cells, including the Wnt/?-catenin, YAP/TAZ, RB/E2F, and BET pathways, which converge on key transcriptional networks. Given the exceptional dependency of MPNST cells on HuR for survival, proliferation, and dissemination, we propose that HuR represents a promising therapeutic target for MPNST treatment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Heat shock transcription factor1 (HSF1) was overexpressed to promote glutaminolysis and activate mTOR in colorectal cancer (CRC). Here, we investigated the mechanism for cancer-specific overexpression of HSF1. METHODS:HSF1 expression was analyzed by chromatin immunoprecipitation, qRT-PCR, immunohistochemistry staining and immunoblotting. HSF1 translation was explored by polysome profiling and nascent protein analysis. Biotin pulldown and m6A RNA immunoprecipitation were applied to investigate RNA/RNA interaction and m6A modification. The relevance of HSF1 to CRC was analyzed in APCmin/+ and APCmin/+ HSF1+/-mice. RESULTS:HSF1 expression and activity were reduced after the inhibition of WNT/?-catenin signaling by pyrvinium or ?-catenin knockdown, but elevated upon its activation by lithium chloride (LiCl) or ?-catenin overexpression. There are much less upregulated genes in HSF1-KO MEF treated with LiCl when compared with LiCl-treated WT MEF. HSF1 protein expression was positively correlated with ?-catenin expression in cell lines and primary tissues. After ?-catenin depletion, HSF1 mRNA translation was impaired, accompanied by the reduction of its m6A modification and the upregulation of miR455-3p, which can interact with 3'-UTR of HSF1 mRNA to repress its translation. Interestingly, inhibition of miR455-3p rescued ?-catenin depletion-induced reduction of HSF1 m6A modification and METTL3 interaction. Both the size and number of tumors were significantly reduced in APCmin/+ mice when HSF1 was genetically knocked-out or chemically inhibited. CONCLUSIONS:?-catenin suppresses miR455-3p generation to stimulate m6A modification and subsequent translation of HSF1 mRNA. HSF1 is important for ?-catenin to promote CRC development. Targeting HSF1 could be a potential strategy for the intervention of ?-catenin-driven cancers.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) plays a critical role in the regulation of tissue homeostasis and carcinogenesis and is modulated by the levels, subcellular localization, and posttranslational modification of gap junction proteins, the connexins (Cx). Here, using oval cell-like rat liver epithelial cells, we demonstrate that the RNA-binding protein HuR promotes GJIC through two mechanisms. First, HuR silencing lowered the levels of Cx43 protein and Cx43 messenger RNA (mRNA), and decreased Cx43 mRNA half-life. This regulation was likely due to the direct stabilization of Cx43 mRNA by HuR, because HuR associated directly with Cx43 mRNA, a transcript that bears signature adenylate-uridylate-rich (AU-rich) and uridylate-rich (U-rich) sequences in its 3'-untranslated region. Second, HuR silencing reduced both half-life and the levels of beta-catenin mRNA, also a target of HuR; accordingly, HuR silencing lowered the levels of whole-cell and membrane-associated beta-catenin. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments showed a direct interaction between beta-catenin and Cx43. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated depletion of beta-catenin recapitulated the effects of decreasing HuR levels: it attenuated GJIC, decreased Cx43 levels, and redistributed Cx43 to the cytoplasm, suggesting that depletion of beta-catenin in HuR-silenced cells contributed to lowering Cx43 levels at the membrane. Finally, HuR was demonstrated to support GJIC after exposure to a genotoxic agent, doxorubicin, or an inducer of differentiation processes, retinoic acid, thus pointing to a crucial role of HuR in the cellular response to stress and in physiological processes modulated by GJIC. CONCLUSION:HuR promotes gap junctional intercellular communication in rat liver epithelial cells through two related regulatory processes, by enhancing the expression of Cx43 and by increasing the expression of beta-catenin, which, in turn, interacts with Cx43 and is required for proper positioning of Cx43 at the plasma membrane.
Project description:Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Over 90% of breast cancer deaths are attributable to metastasis. Our lab has recently reported that AKT activates heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), leading to epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in HER2-positive breast cancer. However, it is unknown whether the AKT-HSF1 pathway plays an important role in other breast cancer subtypes, breast cancer stem cells, or breast cancer growth and metastasis. Herein, we showed AKT and HSF1 to be frequently co-activated in breast cancer cell lines and specimens across different subtypes. Activated AKT (S473) and HSF1 (S326) are strongly associated with shortened time to metastasis. Inhibition of the AKT-HSF1 signaling axis using small molecule inhibitors, HSF1 knockdown or the dominant-negative HSF1 mutant (S326A) reduced the growth of metastatic breast cancer cells and breast cancer stem cells. The combination of small molecule inhibitors targeting AKT (MK-2206) and HSF1 (KRIBB11) resulted in synergistic killing of breast cancer cells and breast cancer stem cells across different molecular subtypes. Using an orthotopic xenograft mouse model, we found that combined targeting of AKT and HSF1 to significantly reduce tumor growth, induce tumor apoptosis, delay time to metastasis, and prolong host survival. Taken together, our results indicate AKT-HSF1 signaling mediates breast cancer stem cells self-renewal, tumor growth and metastasis, and that dual targeting of AKT and HSF1 resulted in synergistic suppression of breast cancer progression thereby supporting future testing of AKT-HSF1 combination therapy for breast cancer patients.
Project description:Posttranscriptional RNA regulation is important in determining the plasticity of cellular phenotypes. However, mechanisms of how RNA binding proteins (RBPs) influence cellular behavior are poorly understood. We show here that the RBP embryonic lethal abnormal vision like 1 (ELAVL1, also know as HuR) regulates the alternative splicing of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E nuclear import factor 1 (Eif4enif1), which encodes an eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E transporter (4E-T) protein and suppresses the expression of capped mRNAs. In the absence of ELAVL1, skipping of exon 11 of Eif4enif1 forms the stable, short isoform, 4E-Ts. This alternative splicing event results in the formation of RNA processing bodies (PBs), enhanced turnover of angiogenic mRNAs, and suppressed sprouting behavior of vascular endothelial cells. Further, endothelial-specific Elavl1 knockout mice exhibited reduced revascularization after hind limb ischemia and tumor angiogenesis in oncogene-induced mammary cancer, resulting in attenuated blood flow and tumor growth, respectively. ELAVL1-regulated alternative splicing of Eif4enif1 leading to enhanced formation of PB and mRNA turnover constitutes a novel posttranscriptional mechanism critical for pathological angiogenesis.
Project description:A novel role for HSF1 as an inhibitor of non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) repair activity was identified. HSF1 interacted directly with both of the N-terminal sequences of the Ku70 and Ku86 proteins, which inhibited the endogenous heterodimeric interaction between Ku70 and Ku86. The blocking of the Ku70 and Ku86 interaction by HSF1 induced defective NHEJ repair activity and ultimately activated genomic instability after ionizing radiation (IR), which was similar to effects seen in Ku70 or Ku80 knockout cells. The binding activity between HSF1 and Ku70 or Ku86 was dependent on DNA damage response such as IR exposure, but not on the heat shock mediated transcriptional activation of HSF1. Moreover, the posttranslational modification such as phosphorylation, acetylation and sumoylation of HSF1 did not alter the binding activities of HSF1-Ku70 or HSF1-Ku86. Furthermore, the defect in DNA repair activity by HSF1 was observed regardless of p53 status. Rat mammary tumors derived using dimethylbenz(a)anthracence revealed that high levels of HSF1 expression which correlate with aggressive malignancy, interfered with the binding of Ku70-Ku80. This data suggests that HSF1 interacts with both Ku70 and Ku86 to induce defective NHEJ repair activity and genomic instability, which in turn suggests a novel mechanism of HSF1-mediated cellular carcinogenesis.
Project description:Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (Mmp-9) is involved in different general and cell-type-specific processes, both in neuronal and non-neuronal cells. Moreover, it is implicated in an induction or progression of various human disorders, including diseases of the central nervous system. Mechanisms regulating activity-driven Mmp-9 expression in neurons are still not fully understood. Here, we show that stabilization of Mmp-9 mRNA is one of the factors responsible for the neuronal activity-evoked upregulation of Mmp-9 mRNA expression in hippocampal neurons. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the molecular mechanism related to this stabilization is dependent on the neuronal seizure-triggered transiently increased binding of the mRNA stability-inducing protein, HuR, to ARE1 and ARE4 motifs of the 3'UTR for Mmp-9 mRNA as well as the stably augmented association of another mRNA-stabilizing protein, HuB, to the ARE1 element of the 3'UTR. Intriguingly, we demonstrate further that both HuR and HuB are crucial for an incidence of Mmp-9 mRNA stabilization after neuronal activation. This study identifies Mmp-9 mRNA as the first HuB target regulated by mRNA stabilization in neurons. Moreover, these results are the first to describe an existence of HuR-dependent mRNA stabilization in neurons of the brain.