Estrogen receptor alpha (ER?/ESR1) mediates the p53-independent overexpression of MDM4/MDMX and MDM2 in human breast cancer.
ABSTRACT: MDM2 and MDM4 are heterodimeric, non-redundant oncoproteins that potently inhibit the p53 tumor suppressor protein. MDM2 and MDM4 also enhance the tumorigenicity of breast cancer cells in in vitro and in vivo models and are overexpressed in primary human breast cancers. Prior studies have characterized Estrogen Receptor Alpha (ER?/ESR1) as a regulator of MDM2 expression and an MDM2- and p53-interacting protein. However, similar crosstalk between ER? and MDM4 has not been investigated. Moreover, signaling pathways that mediate the overexpression of MDM4 in human breast cancer remain to be elucidated. Using the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) breast invasive carcinoma patient cohort, we have analyzed correlations between ER? status and MDM4 and MDM2 expression in primary, treatment-naïve, invasive breast carcinoma samples. We report that the expression of MDM4 and MDM2 is elevated in primary human breast cancers of luminal A/B subtypes and associates with ER?-positive disease, independently of p53 mutation status. Furthermore, in cell culture models, ER? positively regulates MDM4 and MDM2 expression via p53-independent mechanisms, and these effects can be blocked by the clinically-relevant endocrine therapies fulvestrant and tamoxifen. Additionally, ER? also positively regulates p53 expression. Lastly, we report that endogenous MDM4 negatively regulates ER? expression and forms a protein complex with ER? in breast cancer cell lines and primary human breast tumor tissue. This suggests direct signaling crosstalk and negative feedback loops between ER? and MDM4 expression in breast cancer cells. Collectively, these novel findings implicate ER? as a central component of the p53-MDM2-MDM4 signaling axis in human breast cancer.
Project description:Murine double minute 4 (MDM4) shares significant structural homology with murine double minute 2 (MDM2) and interacts and regulates transcriptional activity of the tumor suppressor p53. In tumors with wild-type p53, there is often overexpression of MDM2 or MDM4 leading to functional inactivation of p53. A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the promoter of human MDM2 (SNP309) was shown to associate with increased MDM2 expression and increased risk of cancer. This study evaluated the association of a SNP in human MDM4 (C>T) with age of onset of breast cancer in two independent cohorts. In cohort 1 of 675 patients, the average age of diagnosis for women with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive and ER-negative breast cancers was 53.2 and 48 years, respectively. In this cohort, homozygous variant (TT) carriers developed ER-negative carcinomas at an earlier age than homozygous wild-type (CC) or heterozygous (TC) such that the age at diagnosis was accelerated by 5.0 years (P = 0.018). This association was validated in a second cohort of breast cancer patients (n = 148), where TT carriers with ER-negative cancer developed the disease 3.8 years earlier than CC carriers (P = 0.006). The effect was more pronounced in Caucasians with ER-negative ductal carcinomas with TT homozygotes developing disease 7.5 years (P = 0.031) and 6.2 years (P = 7 x 10(-5)) earlier than CC carriers in cohorts 1 and 2, respectively. No association was seen in ER-positive ductal cancers suggesting that the SNP in MDM4 only has a functional association in ER-negative breast cancer.
Project description:Melanoma antigen A (MAGE-A) proteins comprise a structurally and biochemically similar sub-family of Cancer/Testis antigens that are expressed in many cancer types and are thought to contribute actively to malignancy. MAGE-A proteins are established regulators of certain cancer-associated transcription factors, including p53, and are activators of several RING finger-dependent ubiquitin E3 ligases. Here, we show that MAGE-A2 associates with MDM2, a ubiquitin E3 ligase that mediates ubiquitylation of more than 20 substrates including mainly p53, MDM2 itself, and MDM4, a potent p53 inhibitor and MDM2 partner that is structurally related to MDM2. We find that MAGE-A2 interacts with MDM2 via the N-terminal p53-binding pocket and the RING finger domain of MDM2 that is required for homo/hetero-dimerization and for E2 ligase interaction. Consistent with these data, we show that MAGE-A2 is a potent inhibitor of the E3 ubiquitin ligase activity of MDM2, yet it does not have any significant effect on p53 turnover mediated by MDM2. Strikingly, however, increased MAGE-A2 expression leads to reduced ubiquitylation and increased levels of MDM4. Similarly, silencing of endogenous MAGE-A expression diminishes MDM4 levels in a manner that can be rescued by the proteasomal inhibitor, bortezomid, and permits increased MDM2/MDM4 association. These data suggest that MAGE-A proteins can: (i) uncouple the ubiquitin ligase and degradation functions of MDM2; (ii) act as potent inhibitors of E3 ligase function; and (iii) regulate the turnover of MDM4. We also find an association between the presence of MAGE-A and increased MDM4 levels in primary breast cancer, suggesting that MAGE-A-dependent control of MDM4 levels has relevance to cancer clinically.
Project description:A large body of evidence strongly suggests that the p53 tumor suppressor pathway is central in reducing cancer frequency in vertebrates. The protein product of the haploinsufficient mouse double minute 2 (MDM2) oncogene binds to and inhibits the p53 protein. Recent studies of human genetic variants in p53 and MDM2 have shown that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) can affect p53 signaling, confer cancer risk, and suggest that the pathway is under evolutionary selective pressure (1-4). In this report, we analyze the haplotype structure of MDM4, a structural homolog of MDM2, in several different human populations. Unusual patterns of linkage disequilibrium (LD) in the haplotype distribution of MDM4 indicate the presence of candidate SNPs that may also modify the efficacy of the p53 pathway. Association studies in 5 different patient populations reveal that these SNPs in MDM4 confer an increased risk for, or early onset of, human breast and ovarian cancers in Ashkenazi Jewish and European cohorts, respectively. This report not only implicates MDM4 as a key regulator of tumorigenesis in the human breast and ovary, but also exploits for the first time evolutionary driven linkage disequilibrium as a means to select SNPs of p53 pathway genes that might be clinically relevant.
Project description:The p53 tumor suppressor is mutated in most human tumors. MDM2, a well-known inhibitor of p53, is overexpressed in a large number of tumors, suggesting that increased levels of MDM2 also contribute to tumorigenesis. A novel p53 inhibitor, MDM4, was more recently identified. The role of MDM4 in cancer development is not well understood. We set out to examine the levels of MDM4 by immunohistochemistry in head and neck squamous carcinomas (HNSC) to ask whether high MDM4 levels could contribute to its development and progression. In addition, MDM2 and p53 levels were examined to identify overlapping expression patterns. MDM4 is present at high levels in 50% of HNSC. In addition, overexpression of MDM2 was detected in 80% of tumors, many of which were also positive for MDM4. A subset of tumors displayed high levels of all 3 proteins. Sequencing of the p53 gene revealed that tumors with positive immunoreactivity for MDM2 or MDM4, some of which also had high levels of p53, did not carry mutations in this gene. Thus, the detection of p53 by immunohistochemistry was not synonymous with the presence of p53 mutations. Expression of both MDM2 and MDM4 in tumors without p53 mutations strongly suggests that MDM2 and MDM4 inhibit the activity of this tumor suppressor in HNSC.
Project description:Inactivation of the TP53 tumor suppressor gene is essential during cancer development and progression. Mutations of TP53 are often missense and occur in various human cancers. In some fraction of wild-type (wt) TP53 tumors, p53 is inactivated by upregulated murine double minute homolog 2 (MDM2) and MDM4. We previously reported that simultaneous knockdown of MDM4 and MDM2 using synthetic DNA-modified siRNAs revived p53 activity and synergistically inhibited in vitro cell growth in cancer cells with wt TP53 and high MDM4 expression (wtTP53/highMDM4). In the present study, MDM4/MDM2 double knockdown with the siRNAs enhanced 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-induced p53 activation, arrested the cell cycle at G1 phase, and potentiated the antitumor effect of 5-FU in wtTP53/highMDM4 human colon (HCT116 and LoVo) and gastric (SNU-1 and NUGC-4) cancer cells. Exposure to 5-FU alone induced MDM2 as well as p21 and PUMA by p53 activation. As p53-MDM2 forms a negative feedback loop, enhancement of the antitumor effect of 5-FU by MDM4/MDM2 double knockdown could be attributed to blocking of the feedback mechanism in addition to direct suppression of these p53 antagonists. Intratumor injection of the MDM4/MDM2 siRNAs suppressed in vivo tumor growth and boosted the antitumor effect of 5-FU in an athymic mouse xenograft model using HCT116 cells. These results suggest that a combination of MDM4/MDM2 knockdown and conventional cytotoxic drugs could be a promising treatment strategy for wtTP53/highMDM4 gastrointestinal cancers.
Project description:The identification of the essential role of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) in the control of cell division has prompted the development of small-molecule CDK inhibitors as anticancer drugs. For many of these compounds, the precise mechanism of action in individual tumor types remains unclear as they simultaneously target different classes of CDKs - enzymes controlling the cell cycle progression as well as CDKs involved in the regulation of transcription. CDK inhibitors are also capable of activating p53 tumor suppressor in tumor cells retaining wild-type p53 gene by modulating MDM2 levels and activity. In the current study, we link, for the first time, CDK activity to the overexpression of the MDM4 (MDMX) oncogene in cancer cells. Small-molecule drugs targeting the CDK9 kinase, dinaciclib, flavopiridol, roscovitine, AT-7519, SNS-032, and DRB, diminished MDM4 levels and activated p53 in A375 melanoma and MCF7 breast carcinoma cells with only a limited effect on MDM2. These results suggest that MDM4, rather than MDM2, could be the primary transcriptional target of pharmacological CDK inhibitors in the p53 pathway. CDK9 inhibitor atuveciclib downregulated MDM4 and enhanced p53 activity induced by nutlin-3a, an inhibitor of p53-MDM2 interaction, and synergized with nutlin-3a in killing A375 melanoma cells. Furthermore, we found that human pluripotent stem cell lines express significant levels of MDM4, which are also maintained by CDK9 activity. In summary, we show that CDK9 activity is essential for the maintenance of high levels of MDM4 in human cells, and drugs targeting CDK9 might restore p53 tumor suppressor function in malignancies overexpressing MDM4.
Project description:The MDM4 protein plays an important part in the negative regulation of the tumor suppressor p53 through its interaction with MDM2. In line with this, MDM4 amplification has been observed in several tumor forms. A polymorphism (rs4245739 A>C; SNP34091) in the MDM4 3' untranslated region has been reported to create a target site for hsa-miR-191, resulting in decreased MDM4 mRNA levels. In this population-based case-control study, we examined the potential association between MDM4 SNP34091, alone and in combination with the MDM2 SNP309T>G (rs2279744), and the risk of breast-, colon-, lung-, and prostate cancer in Norway. SNP34091 was genotyped in 7,079 cancer patients as well as in 3,747 gender- and age-matched healthy controls. MDM4 SNP34091C was not associated with risk for any of the tumor forms examined, except for a marginally significant association with reduced risk for breast cancer in a recessive model (OR = 0.77: 95% CI = 0.59-0.99). Stratifying according to MDM2 SNP309 status, we observed a reduced risk for breast cancer related to MDM4 SNP34091CC among individuals harboring the MDM2 SNP309GG genotype (OR = 0.41; 95% CI = 0.21-0.82). We conclude, MDM4 SNP34091 status to be associated with reduced risk of breast cancer, in particular in individuals carrying the MDM2 SNP309GG genotype, but not to be associated with either lung-, colon- or prostate cancer.
Project description:A wild-type (wt) p53 gene characterizes thyroid tumors, except for the rare anaplastic histotype. Because p53 inactivation is a prerequisite for tumor development, alterations of p53 regulators represent an alternative way to impair p53 function. Indeed, murine double minute 2 (MDM2), the main p53 negative regulator, is overexpressed in many tumor histotypes including those of the thyroid. A new p53 regulator, MDM4 (a.k.a. MDMX or HDMX) an analog of MDM2, represents a new oncogene although its impact on tumor properties remains largely unexplored. We estimated levels of MDM2, MDM4, and its variants, MDM4-S (originally HDMX-S) and MDM4-211 (originally HDMX211), in a group of 57 papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC), characterized by wt tumor protein 53, in comparison to matched contra-lateral lobe normal tissue. Further, we evaluated the association between expression levels of these genes and the histopathological features of tumors. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed a highly significant downregulation of MDM4 mRNA in tumor tissue compared to control tissue (P<0.0001), a finding confirmed by western blot on a subset of 20 tissue pairs. Moreover, the tumor-to-normal ratio of MDM4 levels for each individual was significantly lower in late tumor stages, suggesting a specific downregulation of MDM4 expression with tumor progression. In comparison, MDM2 messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels were frequently upregulated with no correlation with MDM4 levels. Lastly, we frequently detected overexpression of MDM4-S mRNA and presence of the aberrant form, MDM4-211 in this tumor group. These findings indicate that MDM4 alterations are a frequent event in PTC. It is worthy to note that the significant downregulation of full-length MDM4 in PTC reveals a novel status of this factor in human cancer that counsels careful evaluation of its role in human tumorigenesis and of its potential as therapeutic target.
Project description:MDM2 and MDM4, a structurally related MDM2 homolog, negatively regulates expression and functions of TP53 tumor suppressor gene. To explore the precise expression patterns and function of MDM2 and MDM4 in wild-type (wt) TP53 cancer cells, we analyzed 11 various cancer cell lines with wt TP53. All cell lines exhibited deregulated expression of MDM2 and MDM4, and were divided into two distinct types; the one expressing high levels of MDM4 and another expressing low levels of MDM4. The low MDM4 type expressed higher MDM2 levels than the high MDM4 type. In cells with high MDM4 expression, knockdown of MDM4 or MDM2 reactivated TP53, and simultaneous knockdown of MDM2 and MDM4 synergistically reactivated TP53. In contrast, in cells with low MDM4 expression, knockdown of only MDM2 reactivated TP53. These results suggest that both MDM2 and MDM4 are closely involved in TP53 inactivation in cancer cells with high MDM4 expression, whereas only MDM2, and not MDM4, is a regulator of TP53 in cells with low MDM4 expression. MDM4 expression in wt TP53-tumors is a potential indicator for TP53 reactivation cancer therapy by simultaneous targeting of MDM4 and MDM2. Specific knockdown of MDM2 and MDM4 might be applicable for TP53 restoration therapy.
Project description:Background: The role of liver kinase B1 (LKB1), a serine/threonine kinase, has been described in the development of PeutzJagher's syndrome, where a proportion (~45%) of patients have developed breast cancer in their lifetime. Cell line studies have linked LKB1 with oestrogen receptors (ER) and with the Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway for energy metabolism. However, limited studies have investigated protein expression of LKB1 in tumour tissues and its intracellular relationships. This study aimed to investigate the intracellular molecular relationships of LKB1 in older women with early operable primary breast cancer and its correlation with long-term clinical outcome. Methods: Between 1973 and 2010, a consecutive series of 1758 older (?70 years) women with T0-2N0-1M0 breast carcinoma were managed in a dedicated facility. Of these, 813 patients underwent primary surgery, and 575 had good quality tumour samples available for tissue microarray construction. LKB1 was assessed in 407 cases by indirect immunohistochemistry (IHC). Tumours with 30% or more of cells with cytoplasmic LKB1 expression were considered positive. LKB1 expression was compared with tumour size, histological grade, axillary lymph node stage, ER, PgR, EGFR, HER2, HER3, HER4, BRCA1&2, p53, Ki67, Bcl2, Muc1, E-Cadherin, CD44, basal (CK5, CK5/6, CK14 and CK17) and luminal (CK7/8, CK18 and CK19) cytokeratins, MDM2 and MDM4, and correlated with long-term clinical outcome. Results: Positive LKB1 expression was seen in 318 (78.1%) patients, and was significantly associated with high tumour grade, high Ki67, over-expression of HER2, VEGF, HER4, BRCA2, MDM2 and negative expression of CD44 (p < 0.05). There was no significant correlation with tumour size, axillary lymph node status, ER, PgR, p53, basal or luminal cytokeratins, Bcl2, Muc1, EGFR, HER3, MDM4, E-cadherin and BRCA1. LKB1 did not show any significant influence on survival in the overall population; however, in those patients receiving adjuvant endocrine therapy for ER positive tumours, those with positive LKB1 had significantly better 5-year breast cancer specific survival when compared to those without such expression (93% versus 74%, p = 0.03). Conclusion: LKB1 expression has shown association with poor prognostic factors in older women with breast cancer. However, LKB1 expression appears to be associated with better survival outcome among those patients receiving adjuvant endocrine therapy. Further research is required to explore its potential role as a therapeutic target.