The prolactin receptor transactivation domain is associated with steroid hormone receptor expression and malignant progression of breast cancer.
ABSTRACT: The polypeptide hormone prolactin (PRL) stimulates breast epithelial cell growth, differentiation, and motility through its cognate receptor, PRLr. PRLr is expressed in most breast cancers; however, its exact role remains elusive. Our laboratory previously described a novel mode of PRLr signaling in which Stat5a-mediated transcription is regulated through ligand-induced phosphorylation of the PRLr transactivation domain (TAD). Herein, we used a PRLr transactivation-deficient mutant (PRLrYDmut) to identify novel TAD-specific target genes. Microarray analysis identified 120 PRL-induced genes up-regulated by wild type but not PRLrYDmut. Compared with control, PRLr expression significantly induced expression of approximately 4700 PRL-induced genes, whereas PRLrYDmut ablated induction of all but 19 of these genes. Ingenuity pathway analysis found that the PRLr TAD most profoundly affected networks involving cancer and proliferation. In support of this, PRLrYDmut expression reduced anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent growth. In addition, pathway analysis identified a link between the PRLr TAD and the estrogen and progesterone receptors (ER?/PR). Although neither ER? nor PR was identified as a PRL target gene, a TAD mutation significantly impaired ER?/PR expression and estrogen responsiveness. TMA analysis revealed a marked increase in nuclear, but not cytoplasmic, PRLr TAD phosphorylation as a function of neoplastic progression. We propose that PRLr TAD phosphorylation contributes to breast cancer pathogenesis, in part through regulation of ER? and PR, and has potential utility as a biomarker in this disease.
Project description:Signaling by polypeptide hormone prolactin (PRL) is mediated by its cognate receptor (PRLr). PRLr is commonly stabilized in human breast cancer due to decreased phosphorylation of residue Ser349, which when phosphorylated recruits the betaTrcp E3 ubiquitin ligase and facilitates PRLr degradation. Here, we show that an impaired PRLr turnover results in an augmented PRL signaling and PRL-induced transcription. Human mammary epithelial cells harboring degradation-resistant PRLr display accelerated proliferation and increased invasive growth. Conversely, a decrease in PRLr levels achieved by either pharmacologic or genetic means in human breast cancer cells dramatically reduced transformation and tumorigenic properties of these cells. Consequences of alteration of PRLr turnover for homeostasis of mammary cells and development of breast cancers, as well as the utility of therapies that target PRLr function in these malignancies, are discussed.
Project description:There is currently no known genetic disease linked to prolactin (Prl) or its receptor (PrlR) in humans. Given the essential role of this hormonal system in breast physiology, we reasoned that genetic anomalies of Prl/PrlR genes may be related to the occurrence of breast diseases with high proliferative potential. Multiple fibroadenomas (MFA) are benign breast tumors which appear most frequently in young women, including at puberty, when Prl has well-recognized proliferative actions on the breast. In a prospective study involving 74 MFA patients and 170 control subjects, we identified four patients harboring a heterozygous single nucleotide polymorphism in exon 6 of the PrlR gene, encoding Ile(146)-->Leu substitution in its extracellular domain. This sole substitution was sufficient to confer constitutive activity to the receptor variant (PrlR(I146L)), as assessed in three reconstituted cell models (Ba/F3, HEK293 and MCF-7 cells) by Prl-independent (i) PrlR tyrosine phosphorylation, (ii) activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) signaling, (iii) transcriptional activity toward a Prl-responsive reporter gene, and (iv) cell proliferation and protection from cell death. Constitutive activity of PrlR(I146L) in the breast sample from a patient was supported by increased STAT5 signaling. This is a unique description of a functional mutation of the PrlR associated with a human disease. Hallmarks of constitutive activity were all reversed by a specific PrlR antagonist, which opens potential therapeutic approaches for MFA, or any other disease that could be associated with this mutation in future.
Project description:Mitogenic and prosurvival effects underlie the tumorigenic roles of prolactin (PRL) in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. PRL signaling is mediated through its receptor (PRLr). A proteomics screen identified the pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2), a glycolytic enzyme known to play an important role in tumorigenesis, as a protein that constitutively interacts with PRLr. Treatment of cells with PRL inhibited pyruvate kinase activity and increased the lactate content in human cells in a manner that was dependent on the abundance of PRLr, activation of Janus kinase 2, and tyrosine phosphorylation of the intracellular domain of PRLr. Knockdown of PKM2 attenuated PRL-stimulated cell proliferation. The extent of this proliferation was rescued by the knock-in of the wild-type PKM2 but not of its mutant insensitive to PRL-mediated inhibition. We discuss a hypothesis that the inhibition of PKM2 by PRL contributes to the PRL-stimulated cell proliferation.
Project description:Prolactin (Prl) and progesterone (P) cooperate synergistically during mammary gland development and tumorigenesis. We hypothesized that one mechanism for these effects may be through mutual induction of receptors (R). EpH4 mouse mammary epithelial cells stably transfected with PR-A express elevated levels of PrlR mRNA and protein compared to control EpH4 cells that lack the PR. Likewise, T47D human breast cancer cells treated with P overexpress the PrlR and activate PrlR promoter III. PrlR promoter III does not contain a classical P response element but contains several binding sites for transcription proteins, including C/EBP, Sp1 and AP1, which may also interact with the PR. Using promoter deletion and site directed mutagenesis analyses as well as gel shift assays, cooperative activation of the C/EBP and adjacent Sp1A, but not the Sp1B or AP1, sites by P is shown to confer P responsiveness leading to increased PrlR transcription.
Project description:Breast cancers that express estrogen receptor alpha (ER?+) constitute the majority of breast tumors. Estrogen is a major driver of their growth, and targeting ER-mediated signals is a largely successful primary therapeutic strategy. Nonetheless, ER?+ tumors also result in the most breast cancer mortalities. Other factors, including altered characteristics of the extracellular matrix such as density and orientation and consequences for estrogen crosstalk with other hormones such as prolactin (PRL), may contribute to these poor outcomes. Here we employed defined three dimensional low density/compliant and high density/stiff collagen-I matrices to investigate the effects on 17?-estradiol (E2) activity and PRL/E2 interactions in two well-characterized ER?+/PRLR+ luminal breast cancer cell lines in vitro. We demonstrate that matrix density modulated E2-induced transcripts, but did not alter the growth response. However, matrix density was a potent determinant of the behavioral outcomes of PRL/E2 crosstalk. High density/stiff matrices enhanced PRL/E2-induced growth mediated by increased activation of Src family kinases and insensitivity to the estrogen antagonist, 4-hydroxytamoxifen. It also permitted these hormones in combination to drive invasion and modify the alignment of collagen fibers. In contrast, low density/compliant matrices allowed modest if any cooperation between E2 and PRL to growth and did not permit hormone-induced invasion or collagen reorientation. Our studies demonstrate the power of matrix density to determine the outcomes of hormone actions and suggest that stiff matrices are potent collaborators of estrogen and PRL in progression of ER?+ breast cancer. Our evidence for bidirectional interactions between these hormones and the extracellular matrix provides novel insights into the regulation of the microenvironment of ER?+ breast cancer and suggests new therapeutic approaches.
Project description:Overexpression and phosphorylation of dynein light chain 1 (DLC1) have been shown to promote the growth of breast cancer cells. However, the role of DLC1 in the action of the oestrogen receptor (ER) remains unknown. Here, we found that oestrogen induces the transcription and expression of DLC1. DLC1 facilitated oestrogen-induced ER transactivation and anchorage-independent growth of breast cancer cells. We show that DLC1 interacts with ER, and such interaction is required for the transactivation-promoting activity of DLC1. Further, DLC1 expression led to enhanced recruitment of the DLC1-ER complex to the ER-target gene chromatin. Conversely, DLC1 downregulation compromised the ER-transactivation activity and also its nuclear accumulation, suggesting a potential chaperone-like activity of DLC1 in the nuclear translocation of ER. Together, these data define an unexpected upregulation of DLC1 by oestrogen and a previously unrecognized DLC1-ER interaction in supporting and amplifying ER-initiated cellular responses in breast cancer cells.
Project description:Progesterone receptors (PRs) are key modifiers of estrogen receptor (ER) target genes and drivers of luminal breast cancer progression. Total PR expression, rather than isoform-specific PR expression, is measured in breast tumors as an indicator of functional ER. We identified phenotypic differences between PR-A and PR-B in luminal breast cancer models with a focus on tumorsphere biology. Our findings indicated that PR-A is a dominant driver of cancer stem cell (CSC) expansion in T47D models, and PR-B is a potent driver of anchorage-independent proliferation. PR-A+ tumorspheres were enriched for aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity, CD44+/CD24-, and CD49f+/CD24- cell populations relative to PR-B+ tumorspheres. Progestin promoted heightened expression of known CSC-associated target genes in PR-A+ but not PR-B+ cells cultured as tumorspheres. We report robust phosphorylation of PR-A relative to PR-B Ser294 and found that this residue is required for PR-A-induced expression of CSC-associated genes and CSC behavior. Cells expressing PR-A S294A exhibited impaired CSC phenotypes but heightened anchorage-independent cell proliferation. The PR target gene and coactivator, FOXO1, promoted PR phosphorylation and tumorsphere formation. The FOXO1 inhibitor (AS1842856) alone or combined with onapristone (PR antagonist), blunted phosphorylated PR, and tumorsphere formation in PR-A+ and PR-B+ T47D, MCF7, and BT474 models. Our data revealed unique isoform-specific functions of phosphorylated PRs as modulators of distinct and opposing pathways relevant to mechanisms of late recurrence. A clear understanding of PR isoforms, phosphorylation events, and the role of cofactors could lead to novel biomarkers of advanced tumor behavior and reveal new approaches to pharmacologically target CSCs in luminal breast cancer.
Project description:Despite the growing body of evidence supporting prolactin (PRL) actions in human breast cancer, little is known regarding PRL regulation of its own receptor in these cells. Ligand-initiated endocytosis is a key process in the regulation of receptor availability and signaling cascades that may lead to oncogenic actions. Although exposure to exogenous PRL accelerates degradation of the long isoform of the PRL receptor (lPRLR), neither the signals initiated by PRL that lead to lPRLR internalization and subsequent down-regulation, nor the relationship to downstream pathways are understood in breast cancer cells. In this study, we showed that PRL-induced down-regulation of the lPRLR was reduced by inhibition of src family kinases (SFKs), but not Janus kinase 2, in MCF-7 cells. Inhibition of SFKs also resulted in accumulation of a PRL-induced PRLR fragment containing the extracellular domain, which appeared to be generated from newly synthesized PRLR. lPRLR was constitutively associated with SFKs in lipid rafts. PRL-induced SFK activation led to recruitment of the guanosine triphosphatase, dynamin-2, to an internalization complex, resulting in endocytosis. Inhibition of endocytosis by small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of dynamin-2 blocked PRL-induced down-regulation of lPRLR, confirming that internalization is essential for this process. Endocytosis also was required for optimal phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and Akt, but not for Janus kinase 2 or signal transducer and activator of transcription 5, indicating that internalization selectively modulates signaling cascades. Together, these data indicate that SFKs are key mediators of ligand-initiated lPRLR internalization, down-regulation, and signal transduction in breast cancer cells, and underscore the importance of target cell context in receptor trafficking and signal transduction.
Project description:Metastasis to the bone is a deleterious aspect of breast cancer and is a preferred site that results in bone loss. Hormones such as prolactin (PRL) have not yet been studied for their role in modulating the secondary tumor bone microenvironment.We used quantitative immunohistochemistry with 134 samples of human primary breast cancer and 17 matched primary breast cancers and bone metastases. A Cox proportional hazards regression model was fitted to evaluate the associations between high prolactin receptor (PRLR) expression and time to bone metastasis, adjusting for estrogen receptor status, lymph node status, and chemotherapy status. We assessed osteoclast differentiation, osteoclast size, and measured pit formation in dentine slices. Statistical tests were two-sided.High PRLR expression in the primary breast tumor was associated with a shorter time to metastasis that includes bone (PRLRAQUA Max-per 100 unit hazard ratio = 1.04, 95% confidence interval = 1.00 to 1.07, P = .03). We observed the PRLR in rare samples of bone metastases and matched primary breast cancer. PRL treatment of breast cancer cells induced osteoclast differentiation and bone lysis via secreted factors and was abrogated by a PRLR antagonist (delta1-9-G129R-hPRL). We demonstrated that sonic hedgehog is a PRL-regulated cytokine in breast cancer cells and part of the mechanism that induces osteoclast differentiation.Our evidence indicates that PRL-PRLR can escalate the impact of breast cancer on bone metastasis and that the presence of the PRLR in the tumor microenvironment of breast cancer bone metastasis has the potential to modulate the microenvironment to induce lytic osteoclast formation.
Project description:Interaction of prolactin (PRL) with its receptor (PRLR) leads to activation of Jak and Src family tyrosine kinases. The PRL/growth hormone/cytokine receptor family conserves a proline-rich sequence in the cytoplasmic juxtamembrane region (Box 1) required for association and subsequent activation of Jaks. In the present work, we studied the mechanisms underlying c-Src kinase activation by PRL and the role that Jak2 plays in this process. PRL addition to chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEF) expressing the rat PRLR long form resulted in activation of c-Src and Jak2 and in tyrosine phosphorylation of the receptor. Receptor phosphorylation was due to associated Jak2, since in cells expressing either a Box 1 mutated PRLR (PRLR(4P-A)), which is unable to interact with Jak2, or a kinase-domain-deleted Jak2 (Jak2Deltak), PRL did not stimulate receptor phosphorylation. Interestingly, addition of PRL to cells expressing PRLR(4P-A) resulted in an activation of c-Src equivalent to that observed with the wild-type receptor. These findings indicate that PRL-mediated stimulation of c-Src was independent of Jak2 activation and of receptor phosphorylation. Our results suggest that PRL-activated Src could send signals to downstream cellular targets independently of Jak2.