Cytokeratin 5 alters ?-catenin dynamics in breast cancer cells.
ABSTRACT: Estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancers often contain subpopulations of cells that express the intermediate filament protein cytokeratin 5 (CK5). CK5+ cells are enriched in cancer stem cell (CSC) properties, can be induced by progestins, and predict poor prognosis in ER+ breast cancer. We established through CK5 knockout and overexpression in ER+ breast cancer cell lines that CK5 is important for tumorsphere formation, prompting us to speculate that CK5 has regulatory activity in CSCs. To interrogate CK5 interacting proteins that may be functionally cooperative, we performed immunoprecipitation-mass spectrometry for CK5 in ER+ breast cancer cells. Focusing on proteins with signaling activity, we identified ?-catenin, a key transcription factor of the Wnt signaling pathway and cell adhesion molecule, as a CK5 interactor, which we confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation in several breast cancer models. We interrogated the dual functions of ?-catenin in relation to CK5. Knockout or knockdown of CK5 ablated ?-catenin transcriptional activity in response to progestins and Wnt stimuli. Conversely, CK5 induced by progestins or overexpression was sufficient to promote the loss of ?-catenin at the cell membrane and total E-cadherin loss. A breast cancer patient-derived xenograft showed similar loss of membrane ?-catenin and E-cadherin in CK5+ but not intratumoral CK5- cells and single-cell RNA sequencing found the top enriched pathways in the CK5+ cell cluster were cell junction remodeling and signaling. This report highlights that CK5 actively remodels cell morphology and that blockade of CK5-?-catenin interaction may reverse the detrimental properties of CK5+ breast cancer cells.
Project description:Progestins play a deleterious role in the onset of breast cancer, yet their influence on existing breast cancer and tumor progression is not well understood. In luminal estrogen receptor (ER)- and progesterone receptor (PR)-positive breast cancer, progestins induce a fraction of cells to express cytokeratin 5 (CK5), a marker of basal epithelial and progenitor cells in the normal breast. CK5(+) cells lose expression of ER and PR and are relatively quiescent, increasing their resistance to endocrine and chemotherapy compared to intratumoral CK5(-)ER(+)PR(+) cells. Characterization of live CK5(+) cells has been hampered by a lack of means for their direct isolation. Here, we describe optical (GFP) and bioluminescent (luciferase) reporter models to quantitate and isolate CK5(+) cells in luminal breast cancer cell lines utilizing the human KRT5 gene promoter and a viral vector approach. Using this system, we confirmed that the induction of GFP(+)/CK5(+) cells is specific to progestins, is dependent on PR, can be blocked by antiprogestins, and does not occur with other steroid hormones. Progestin-induced, fluorescence-activated cell sorting-isolated CK5(+) cells had lower ER and PR mRNA, were slower cycling, and were relatively more invasive and sphere forming than their CK5(-) counterparts in vitro. Repeated progestin treatment and selection of GFP(+) cells enriched for a persistent population of CK5(+) cells, suggesting that this transition can be semi-permanent. These data support that in PR(+) breast cancers, progestins induce a subpopulation of CK5(+)ER(-)PR(-) cells with enhanced progenitor properties and have implications for treatment resistance and recurrence in luminal breast cancer.
Project description:Breast cancers expressing hormone receptors for estrogen (ER) and progesterone (PR) represent ~70% of all cases and are treated with both ER-targeted and chemotherapies, with near 40% becoming resistant. We have previously described that in some ER(+) tumors, the resistant cells express cytokeratin 5 (CK5), a putative marker of breast stem and progenitor cells. CK5(+) cells have lost expression of ER and PR, express the tumor-initiating cell surface marker CD44, and are relatively quiescent. In addition, progestins, which increase breast cancer incidence, expand the CK5(+) subpopulation in ER(+)PR(+) breast cancer cell lines. We have developed models to induce and quantitate CK5(+)ER(-)PR(-) cells, using CK5 promoter-driven luciferase (Fluc) or green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporters stably transduced into T47D breast cancer cells (CK5Pro-GFP or CK5Pro-Luc). We validated the CK5Pro-GFP-T47D model for high-content screening in 96-well microplates and performed a pilot screen using a focused library of 280 compounds from the National Institutes of Health clinical collection. Four hits were obtained that significantly abrogated the progestin-induced CK5(+) cell population, three of which were members of the retinoid family. Hence, this approach will be useful in discovering small molecules that could potentially be developed as combination therapies, preventing the acquisition of a drug-resistant subpopulation.
Project description:Therapy resistance remains a major problem in estrogen receptor-? (ER?)-positive breast cancer. A subgroup of ER?-positive breast cancer is characterized by mosaic presence of a minor population of ER?-negative cancer cells expressing the basal cytokeratin-5 (CK5). These CK5-positive cells are therapy resistant and have increased tumor-initiating potential. Although a series of reports document induction of the CK5-positive cells by progestins, it is unknown if other 3-ketosteroids share this ability. We now report that glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids effectively expand the CK5-positive cell population. CK5-positive cells induced by 3-ketosteroids lacked ER? and progesterone receptors, expressed stem cell marker, CD44, and displayed increased clonogenicity in soft agar and broad drug-resistance in vitro and in vivo. Upregulation of CK5-positive cells by 3-ketosteroids required induction of the transcriptional repressor BCL6 based on suppression of BCL6 by two independent BCL6 small hairpin RNAs or by prolactin. Prolactin also suppressed 3-ketosteroid induction of CK5+ cells in T47D xenografts in vivo. Survival analysis with recursive partitioning in node-negative ER?-positive breast cancer using quantitative CK5 and BCL6 mRNA or protein expression data identified patients at high or low risk for tumor recurrence in two independent patient cohorts. The data provide a mechanism by which common pathophysiological or pharmacologic elevations in glucocorticoids or other 3-ketosteroids may adversely affect patients with mixed ER?+/CK5+ breast cancer. The observations further suggest a cooperative diagnostic utility of CK5 and BCL6 expression levels and justify exploring efficacy of inhibitors of BCL6 and 3-ketosteroid receptors for a subset of ER?-positive breast cancers.
Project description:The female hormone progesterone (P4) promotes the expansion of stem-like cancer cells in estrogen receptor (ER)- and progesterone receptor (PR)-positive breast tumors. The expanded tumor cells lose expression of ER and PR, express the tumor-initiating marker CD44, the progenitor marker cytokeratin 5 (CK5) and are more resistant to standard endocrine and chemotherapies. The mechanisms underlying this hormone-stimulated reprogramming have remained largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated the role of microRNAs in progestin-mediated expansion of this dedifferentiated tumor cell population. We demonstrate that P4 rapidly downregulates miR-29 family members, particularly in the CD44(+) cell population. Downregulation of miR-29 members potentiates the expansion of CK5(+) and CD44(+) cells in response to progestins, and results in increased stem-like properties in vitro and in vivo. We demonstrate that miR-29 directly targets Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4), a transcription factor required for the reprogramming of differentiated cells to pluripotent stem cells, and for the maintenance of breast cancer stem cells. These results reveal a novel mechanism, whereby progestins increase the stem cell-like population in hormone-responsive breast cancers, by decreasing miR-29 to augment PR-mediated upregulation of KLF4. Elucidating the mechanisms whereby hormones mediate the expansion of stem-like cells furthers our understanding of the progression of hormone-responsive breast cancers.
Project description:Tetraspanin CD151 is increasingly implicated as a multifaceted mediator of cancer development and progression. Here we investigated the role of CD151 in breast cancer in the context of the Wnt oncogenic activation. Our data showed that removal of one or both of CD151 alleles in the MMTV-Wnt1 model significantly decreased the tumor-free survival of mice from 34?weeks on average to 22?weeks and 18?weeks, respectively. This effect coincided with an accelerated tumor growth and an increased number of Ki-67<sup>+</sup> proliferative cells. Mechanistically, the CD151-deficient tumors were largely ER<sup>+</sup>, and exhibited hyperactivation of the Wnt pathway as reflected by a marked upregulation in ?-catenin and Cyclin D1, and their target genes. In addition, E-cadherin displayed a cytosolic distribution and transcription factor Snail was markedly upregulated. Collectively, this data implies that CD151 suppresses the Wnt1-driven tumorigenesis, at least in part, via counteracting the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-like program in luminal epithelial cells. Meanwhile, the proportion of tumor cells expressing CK5 or p63, the biomarkers of myoepithelial/basal cells, markedly decreased in the absence of CD151. This change was accompanied by a decreased invasiveness of tumors and their incompetence to form a long-term cell culture. Consistent with this basal cell-linked role, the CD151 downregulation impairs mammosphere formation in MCF-10A cells and the defect was rescued by re-expression of intact CD151 ORF, but not its integrin binding-defective mutant. Overall, our study suggests that CD151 is a key player in the Wnt oncogene-driven tumorigenesis and impacts breast cancer malignancy in a cell type-dependent manner.
Project description:Wnt-5a is a non-transforming Wnt protein that is implicated in cell polarity, adhesion, and motility. We have previously shown that low expression of Wnt-5a is a predictor of shorter disease-free survival in human breast cancer. Here, we investigated whether beta-catenin/E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion was affected by loss of Wnt-5a in breast carcinomas, thereby promoting a metastatic behavior of the tumor. We show that Wnt-5a stimulation of human breast epithelial cells leads to an increased Ca(2+)-dependent cell-cell adhesion. Furthermore, Wnt-5a/casein kinase Ialpha (CKIalpha)-specific Ser-45 phosphorylation of beta-catenin is associated with an increased complex formation of beta-catenin/E-cadherin. Mutation of Ser-45 decreases the beta-catenin/E-cadherin association. Also, the inhibitory effect of Wnt-5a on breast epithelial cell invasion is reduced upon mutation of beta-catenin-Ser-45. The Wnt-5a-CKIalpha-induced Ser-45 phosphorylation does not lead to degradation of beta-catenin. Finally we show that human breast cancers lacking Wnt-5a protein have a significantly lower level of membrane-associated beta-catenin. Down-regulation of Wnt-5a expression and subsequent reduction of membrane-associated beta-catenin in invasive breast cancer, can therefore contribute to a decreased cell-cell adhesion and increased motility resulting in a higher probability for metastatic disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The class 1 carcinogen cadmium (Cd2+) disrupts the E-cadherin/beta-catenin complex of epithelial adherens junctions (AJs) and causes renal cancer. Deregulation of E-cadherin adhesion and changes in Wnt/beta-catenin signaling are known to contribute to carcinogenesis. RESULTS: We investigated Wnt signaling after Cd2+-induced E-cadherin disruption in sub-confluent cultured kidney proximal tubule cells (PTC). Cd2+ (25 microM, 3-9 h) caused nuclear translocation of beta-catenin and triggered a Wnt response measured by TOPflash reporter assays. Cd2+ reduced the interaction of beta-catenin with AJ components (E-cadherin, alpha-catenin) and increased binding to the transcription factor TCF4 of the Wnt pathway, which was upregulated and translocated to the nucleus. While Wnt target genes (c-Myc, cyclin D1 and ABCB1) were up-regulated by Cd2+, electromobility shift assays showed increased TCF4 binding to cyclin D1 and ABCB1 promoter sequences with Cd2+. Overexpression of wild-type and mutant TCF4 confirmed Cd2+-induced Wnt signaling. Wnt signaling elicited by Cd2+ was not observed in confluent non-proliferating cells, which showed increased E-cadherin expression. Overexpression of E-cadherin reduced Wnt signaling, PTC proliferation and Cd2+ toxicity. Cd2+ also induced reactive oxygen species dependent expression of the pro-apoptotic ER stress marker and Wnt suppressor CHOP/GADD153 which, however, did not abolish Wnt response and cell viability. CONCLUSIONS: Cd2+ induces Wnt signaling in PTC. Hence, Cd2+ may facilitate carcinogenesis of PTC by promoting Wnt pathway-mediated proliferation and survival of pre-neoplastic cells.
Project description:There are two major subtypes of human breast cancers: the luminal, estrogen, and progesterone receptor-positive, cytokeratin 18-positive (ER(+)PR(+)CK18(+)) subtype, and the basal ER(-)PR(-)CK18(-)CK5(+) subtype. Tumor-initiating cells (CD44(+)) have been described for human breast cancers; whether these are common to the two subtypes is unknown. We have identified a rare population of cells that are both CD44(+) and ER(-)PR(-)CK5(+) in luminal-like ER(+)PR(+) T47D human breast tumor xenografts. The tumor-isolated CD44(+) cell fraction was highly enriched for clonogenic (in vitro culture) and tumorigenic (in vivo reimplantation) cells compared with the CD44(-) cell fraction. Rare ER(-)PR(-)CK5(+) cells were present within CD44(+)-derived colonies. Tumor-isolated cells placed in minimal media also contained rare ER(-)PR(-)CK5(+) cells at early time points (<10 cells); however, this population did not expand with increasing colony size. The number of ER(+)PR(+)CK5(-) cells, conversely, increased linearly with colony growth. Similary, tumors originating in vivo from CD44(+) cells contained a rare static ER(-)PR(-)CK5(+) population, an intermediate ER(-)PR(-)CK5(-) population, and an expanding ER(+)PR(+)CK5(-) population. Putative ER(+)PR(+)CK5(+) transitional cells could be seen only in colonies or tumors treated with a progestin. We propose that luminal ER(+)PR(+) breast tumors contain a minor ER(-)PR(-)CK5(+) population that has the capacity to generate the majority of ER(+)PR(+)CK18(+)CK5(-) cells. Luminal breast cancers are treated with endocrine therapies that target ER. The rare ER(-)PR(-)CK5(+) progenitor cells would escape such treatments and survive to repopulate the tumor.
Project description:Odd-skipped related transcription factor 1 (OSR1) serves an important role in the development of the intermediate mesoderm; however, its expression in cancer remains unknown. The present study aimed to explore the expression and role of OSR1 in breast cancer development. Immunohistochemistry was performed to detect OSR1 expression in breast cancer tissue and western blot analysis was used to evaluate the expression of OSR1 and related proteins, including ?-catenin, c-Myc and cyclin D1. OSR1 expression was increased following transfection of MCF7 cells with OSR1 overexpression vector (MCF7-OSR1) and reduced by transfecting MDA-MB-231 cells with small interfering (si)RNA targeting OSR1 (MDA-MB-231-siOSR1). Cell proliferation and Matrigel™ invasion assays were used to investigate the effects of OSR1 on the proliferation and invasion of breast cancer cells. OSR1 was downregulated in breast cancer tissue compared with that in normal breast tissue and associated with lymph node metastases and estrogen receptor (ER) expression. Furthermore, reduced expression of OSR1 was associated with poor patient prognosis. Overexpression of OSR1 inhibited the proliferation and invasion of breast cancer cells. Western blot analysis of MCF7-OSR1 cells demonstrated that compared with that in the control cells, the expression of E-cadherin was increased, whereas that of key epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) proteins, N-cadherin and Snail, was decreased. In addition, overexpression of OSR1 significantly decreased the expression level of ?-catenin and Wnt target genes, such as c-Myc and cyclin D1, compared with that in the control cells. These expression patterns were reversed in the MDA-MB-231-siOSR1 cells. The results of the present study suggested that OSR1 downregulates the activity of the Wnt signaling pathway and EMT, which inhibits the proliferative and invasive abilities of breast cancer cells.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Cytokeratin 5 (CK5) is an epithelial cell marker implicated in stem and progenitor cell activity in glandular reproductive tissues and endocrine and chemotherapy resistance in estrogen receptor (ER)(+) breast cancer. The goal of this study was to determine the prevalence of CK5 expression in ovarian cancer and the response of CK5(+) cell populations to cisplatin therapy. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Cytokeratin 5 expression was evaluated in 2 ovarian tissue microarrays, representing 137 neoplasms, and 6 ovarian cancer cell lines. Cell lines were treated with IC(50) (half-maximal inhibitory concentration) cisplatin, and the prevalence of CK5(+) cells pretreatment and posttreatment was determined. Proliferation of CK5(+) versus CK5(-) cell populations was determined using 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation. Chemotherapy-induced apoptosis in CK5(+) versus CK5(-) cells was measured using immunohistochemical staining for cleaved caspase-3. RESULTS:Cytokeratin 5 was expressed in 39.3% (42 of 107) of epithelial ovarian cancers with a range of 1% to 80% positive cells. Serous and endometrioid histologic subtypes had the highest percentage of CK5(+) specimens. Cytokeratin 5 expression correlated with ER positivity (38 of 42 CK5(+) tumors were also ER(+)). Cytokeratin 5 was expressed in 5 of 6 overall and 4 of 4 ER(+) epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines ranging from 2.4% to 52.7% positive cells. Cytokeratin 5(+) compared with CK5(-) cells were slower proliferating. The prevalence of CK5(+) cells increased after 48-hour cisplatin treatment in 4 of 5 cell lines tested. Cytokeratin 5(+) ovarian cancer cells compared with CK5(-) ovarian cancer cells were more resistant to cisplatin-induced apoptosis. CONCLUSIONS:Cytokeratin 5 is expressed in a significant proportion of epithelial ovarian cancers and represents a slower proliferating chemoresistant subpopulation that may warrant cotargeting in combination therapy.