UBTD1 is a mechano-regulator controlling cancer aggressiveness.
ABSTRACT: Ubiquitin domain-containing protein 1 (UBTD1) is highly evolutionary conserved and has been described to interact with E2 enzymes of the ubiquitin-proteasome system. However, its biological role and the functional significance of this interaction remain largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that depletion of UBTD1 drastically affects the mechanical properties of epithelial cancer cells via RhoA activation and strongly promotes their aggressiveness. On a stiff matrix, UBTD1 expression is regulated by cell-cell contacts, and the protein is associated with ?-catenin at cell junctions. Yes-associated protein (YAP) is a major cell mechano-transducer, and we show that UBTD1 is associated with components of the YAP degradation complex. Interestingly, UBTD1 promotes the interaction of YAP with its E3 ubiquitin ligase ?-TrCP Consequently, in cancer cells, UBTD1 depletion decreases YAP ubiquitylation and triggers robust ROCK2-dependent YAP activation and downstream signaling. Data from lung and prostate cancer patients further corroborate the in cellulo results, confirming that low levels of UBTD1 are associated with poor patient survival, suggesting that biological functions of UBTD1 could be beneficial in limiting cancer progression.
Project description:Ubiquitin domain-containing protein 1 (UBTD1) is highly evolutionary conserved and has been described to interact with E2 enzymes of the ubiquitin proteasome system. However, its biological role and the functional significance of this interaction remain largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that depletion of UBTD1 drastically affects the mechanical properties of epithelial cancer cells via RhoA activation, and strongly promotes their aggressiveness. On a stiff matrix, UBTD1 expression is regulated by cell-cell contacts, and the protein is associated with ?-catenin at cell junctions. Yes associated protein (YAP), is a major cell mechano-transducer, and we show that UBTD1 is associated with components of the YAP degradation complex. Interestingly, UBTD1 promotes the interaction of YAP with its E3 ubiquitin ligase ?-TrCP. Consequently, in cancer cells, UBTD1 depletion decreases YAP ubiquitylation and triggers robust ROCK2 dependent YAP activation and downstream signaling. Data from lung and prostate cancer patients further corroborate the in cellulo results, confirming that low levels of UBTD1 are associated with poor patient survival, suggesting that biological functions of UBTD1 could be beneficial in limiting cancer progression.
Project description:Increased Actin-like 6A (ACTL6A) expression has been implicated in the development of diverse cancers and recently associated with the Hippo signaling pathway, which is known to regulate biological properties, including proliferation, tissue regeneration, stem cell biology, as well as tumorigenesis. Here we first show that ACTL6A is upregulated in human gliomas and its expression is associated with glioma patient survival. ACTL6A promotes malignant behaviors of glioma cells in vitro and in orthotopic xenograft model. In co-immunoprecipitation assays, we discover that ACTL6A physically associated with YAP/TAZ and furthermore disrupts the interaction between YAP and ?-TrCP E3 ubiquitin ligase, which promotes YAP protein degradation. Moreover, effects of ACTL6A on glioma cells proliferation, migration, and invasion could be mediated by YAP/TAZ. These data indicate that ACTL6A may contribute to cancer progression by stabilizing YAP/TAZ and therefore provide a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of human gliomas.
Project description:Extracellular matrix (ECM) stiffness influences gene expression, leading to modulation of various cellular functions. While ROCK2 regulates actomyosin activity as well as cell migration and proliferation, expression of ROCK2 is increased in response to stiffening ECM. However, the mechanism underlying rigidity-dependent ROCK2 expression remains elusive. Here, we show that YAP, a mechanically regulated transcription coactivator, upregulates ROCK2 expression in an ECM rigidity-dependent manner. YAP interacted with the ROCK2 promoter region in an actomyosin activity-dependent manner. Knockdown of YAP decreased ROCK2 expression while activity of the ROCK2 promoter was upregulated by expressing constitutively active YAP. Furthermore, we found that ROCK2 expression promotes transcriptional activation by YAP. Our results reveal a novel positive feedback loop between YAP and ROCK2, which is modulated by ECM stiffness.
Project description:Dysregulation of Wnt signaling is closely associated with human liver tumorigenesis. However, liver cancer-specific Wnt transcriptional programs and downstream effectors remain poorly understood. Here, we identify tribbles homolog 2 (TRIB2) as a direct target of Wnt/TCF in liver cancer and demonstrate that transcription of Wnt target genes, including TRIB2, is coordinated by the TCF and FoxA transcription factors in liver cancer cells. We show that Wnt-TRIB2 activation is critical for cancer cell survival and transformation. Mechanistically, TRIB2 promotes protein stabilization of the YAP transcription coactivator through interaction with the ?TrCP ubiquitin ligase. Furthermore, we find that TRIB2 relieves the liver tumor suppressor protein C/EBP?-mediated inhibition of YAP/TEAD transcriptional activation in liver cancer cells. Altogether, our study uncovers a regulatory mechanism underlying liver cancer-specific Wnt transcriptional output, and suggests that TRIB2 functions as a signaling nexus to integrate the Wnt/?-catenin, Hippo/YAP, and C/EBP? pathways in cancer cells.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The treatment of metastatic osteosarcoma (OS) remains a challenge for oncologists, and novel therapeutic strategies are urgently needed. An understanding of the pathways that regulate OS dissemination is required for the design of novel treatment approaches. We recently identified Rho-associated coiled-coil containing protein kinase 2 (ROCK2) as a crucial driver of OS cell migration. In this study, we explored the impact of ROCK2 disruption on the metastatic capabilities of OS cells and analyzed its functional relationship with Yes-associated protein-1 (YAP), the main transcriptional mediator of mechanotransduction signaling. METHODS:The effects of ROCK2 depletion on metastasis were studied in NOD Scid gamma (NSG) mice injected with U-2OS cells in which ROCK2 expression had been stably silenced. Functional studies were performed in vitro in human U-2OS cells and in three novel cell lines derived from patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) by using standard methods to evaluate malignancy parameters and signaling transduction. The nuclear immunostaining of YAP and the evaluation of its downstream targets Cysteine Rich Angiogenic Inducer 6, Connective Tissue Growth Factor and Cyclin D1 by quantitative PCR were performed to analyze YAP activity. The effect of the expression and activity of ROCK2 and YAP on tumor progression was analyzed in 175 OS primary tumors. RESULTS:The silencing of ROCK2 markedly reduced tumor growth and completely abolished the metastatic ability of U-2OS cells. The depletion of ROCK2, either by pharmacological inhibition or silencing, induced a dose- and time-dependent reduction in the nuclear expression and transcriptional activity of YAP. The nuclear expression of YAP was observed in 80/175 (46%) tumor samples and was significantly correlated with worse patient prognosis and a higher likelihood of metastasis and death. The use of verteporfin, a molecule that specifically inhibits the TEAD-YAP association, remarkably impaired the growth and migration of OS cells in vitro. Moreover to inhibiting YAP activity, our findings indicate that verteporfin also affects the ROCK2 protein and its functions. CONCLUSIONS:We describe the functional connection between ROCK2 and YAP in the regulation of OS cell migration and metastasis formation. These data provide support for the use of verteporfin as a possible therapeutic option to prevent OS cell dissemination.
Project description:Aberrant WNT signaling drives colorectal cancer (CRC). Here, we identify TIAM1 as a critical antagonist of CRC progression through inhibiting TAZ and YAP, effectors of WNT signaling. We demonstrate that TIAM1 shuttles between the cytoplasm and nucleus antagonizing TAZ/YAP by distinct mechanisms in the two compartments. In the cytoplasm, TIAM1 localizes to the destruction complex and promotes TAZ degradation by enhancing its interaction with ?TrCP. Nuclear TIAM1 suppresses TAZ/YAP interaction with TEADs, inhibiting expression of TAZ/YAP target genes implicated in epithelial-mesenchymal transition, cell migration, and invasion, and consequently suppresses CRC cell migration and invasion. Importantly, high nuclear TIAM1 in clinical specimens associates with increased CRC patient survival. Together, our findings suggest that in CRC TIAM1 suppresses tumor progression by regulating YAP/TAZ activity.
Project description:Exosomes from human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hucMSC-Ex) have been suggested as novel nanomaterials for regenerative medicine. Here we explored the roles of hucMSC-Ex through regulating Yes-associated protein (YAP) in renal injury repair by using rat unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) models. Our study identified mechanical stress induced YAP nucleus expression and stimulated collagen deposition and interstitial fibrosis in the kidney. Then, infusion with hucMSC-Ex promoted YAP nuclear cytoplasmic shuttling and ameliorated renal fibrosis in UUO model. Interestingly, hucMSC-Ex delivered casein kinase 1? (CK1?) and E3 ubiquitin ligase ?-TRCP to boost YAP ubiquitination and degradation. Knockdown of CK1? and ?-TRCP in hucMSC decreased the repairing effects of hucMSC-Ex on renal fibrosis. Our results suggest that hucMSC-Ex attenuates renal fibrosis through CK1?/?-TRCP inhibited YAP activity, unveiling a new mechanism for the therapeutic effects of hucMSC-Ex on tissue injury and offering a potential approach for renal fibrosis treatment.
Project description:Ubiquitin-specific proteases (USPs) are a subclass of cysteine proteases that catalyze the removal of ubiquitin (either monomeric or chains) from substrates, thus counteracting the activity of E3 ubiquitin ligases. Although the importance of USPs in a multitude of processes, from hereditary cancer to neurodegeneration, is well established, our knowledge on their mode of regulation, substrate specificity and biological function is quite limited. In this study we identify USP47 as a novel interactor of the E3 ubiquitin ligase, Skp1/Cul1/F-box protein beta-transducin repeat-containing protein (SCF(beta-Trcp)). We found that both beta-Trcp1 and beta-Trcp2 bind specifically to USP47, and point mutations in the beta-Trcp WD-repeat region completely abolished USP47 binding, indicating an E3-substrate-type interaction. However, unlike canonical beta-Trcp substrates, USP47 protein levels were neither affected by silencing of beta-Trcp nor modulated in a variety of processes, such as cell-cycle progression, DNA damage checkpoint responses or tumor necrosis factor (TNF) pathway activation. Notably, genetic or siRNA-mediated depletion of USP47 induced accumulation of Cdc25A, decreased cell survival and augmented the cytotoxic effects of anticancer drugs. In conclusion, we showed that USP47, a novel beta-Trcp interactor, regulates cell growth and survival, potentially providing a novel target for anticancer therapies.
Project description:Eukaryotic cells respond to DNA damage and stalled replication forks by activating protein kinase-mediated signaling pathways that promote cell cycle arrest and DNA repair. A central target of the cell cycle arrest program is the Cdc25A protein phosphatase. Cdc25A is required for S-phase entry and dephosphorylates tyrosine-15 phosphorylated Cdk1 (Cdc2) and Cdk2, positive regulators of cell division. Cdc25A is unstable during S-phase and is degraded through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, but its turnover is enhanced in response to DNA damage. Although basal and DNA-damage-induced turnover depends on the ATM-Chk2 and ATR-Chk1 pathways, how these kinases engage the ubiquitin ligase machinery is unknown. Here, we demonstrate a requirement for SCFbeta-TRCP in Cdc25A turnover during an unperturbed cell cycle and in response to DNA damage. Depletion of beta-TRCP stabilizes Cdc25A, leading to hyperactive Cdk2 activity. SCFbeta-TRCP promotes Chk1-dependent Cdc25A ubiquitination in vitro, and this involves serine 76, a known Chk1 phosphorylation site. However, recognition of Cdc25A by beta-TRCP occurs via a noncanonical phosphodegron in Cdc25A containing phosphoserine 79 and phosphoserine 82, sites that are not targeted by Chk1. These data indicate that Cdc25A turnover is more complex than previously appreciated and suggest roles for an additional kinase(s) in Chk1-dependent Cdc25A turnover.
Project description:The incidence of human papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is increasing and an aggressive subtype of this disease is resistant to treatment with vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) inhibitor. VEGFR2 promotes angiogenesis by triggering endothelial cell proliferation and migration. However, the molecular mechanisms governing VEGFR2 stability in vivo remain unknown. Additionally, whether VEGFR2 influences PTC cell migration is not clear. We show that the ubiquitin E3 ligase SCF(?-TRCP) promotes ubiquitination and destruction of VEGFR2 in a casein kinase I (CKI)-dependent manner. ?-TRCP knockdown or CKI inhibition causes accumulation of VEGFR2, resulting in increased activity of signaling pathways downstream of VEGFR2. ?-TRCP-depleted endothelial cells exhibit enhanced migration and angiogenesis in vitro. Furthermore, ?-TRCP knockdown increased angiogenesis and vessel branching in zebrafish. Importantly, we found an inverse correlation between ?-TRCP protein levels and angiogenesis in PTC. We also show that ?-TRCP inhibits cell migration and decreases sensitivity to the VEGFR2 inhibitor sorafenib in poorly differentiated PTC cells. These results provide a new biomarker that may aid a rational use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors to treat refractory PTC.