Project description:ERK activates ERG-mediated prostate cancer specific gene expression program by phopshorylation induced dissociation of PRC2 complex Overall design: ChIP-Seq of transcription factor ERG and its co-repressor EZH2 RNA-seq of polyA selected RNA from RWPE1 cells expressing either empty vector, ERG-WT, ERG-S96A and ERG-S96E
Project description:Expression of caveolin-1 in the human mammary adenocarcinoma cell line MCF-7 causes ligand-independent concentration of oestrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) in the nucleus, and potentiates ligand-independent and ligand-dependent transcription from an oestrogen response element-driven reporter gene. Furthermore, caveolin-1 co-immunoprecipitates with ERalpha [Schlegel, Wang, Katzenellenbogen, Pestell and Lisanti (1999) J. Biol. Chem. 274, 33551-33556]. In the present study we show that caveolin-1 binds directly to ERalpha. This interaction is mediated by residues 82-101 of caveolin-1 (i.e. the caveolin scaffolding domain) and residues 1-282 of ERalpha. The caveolin-binding domain of ERalpha includes the ligand-independent transactivation domain, activation function (AF)-1, but lacks the hormone-binding domain and the ligand-gated transactivation domain, AF-2. In co-transfection studies, caveolin-1 potentiates the transcriptional activation of ERalpha(1-282), a truncation mutant that has intact AF-1 and DNA-binding domains. Since AF-1 activity is regulated largely by phosphorylation we determined that co-expression with caveolin-1 increased the basal phosphorylation of ERalpha(1-282), but blocked the epidermal growth factor-dependent increase in phosphorylation. Indeed, caveolin-1 interacted with and potentiated the transactivation of an ERalpha mutant that cannot be phosphorylated by extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 [ERalpha(Ser(118)-->Ala)]. Thus caveolin-1 is a novel ERalpha regulator that drives ERK1/2-independent phosphorylation and activation of AF-1.
Project description:Aberrant ERG (v-ets avian erythroblastosis virus E26 oncogene homolog) expression drives leukemic transformation in mice and high expression is associated with poor patient outcomes in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and T-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). Protein phosphorylation regulates the activity of many ETS factors but little is known about ERG in leukemic cells. To characterize ERG phosphorylation in leukemic cells, we applied liquid chromatography coupled tandem mass spectrometry and identified five phosphorylated serines on endogenous ERG in T-ALL and AML cells. S283 was distinct as it was abundantly phosphorylated in leukemic cells but not in healthy hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). Overexpression of a phosphoactive mutant (S283D) increased expansion and clonogenicity of primary HSPCs over and above wild-type ERG. Using a custom antibody, we screened a panel of primary leukemic xenografts and showed that ERG S283 phosphorylation was mediated by mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MAPK/ERK) signaling and in turn regulated expression of components of this pathway. S283 phosphorylation facilitates ERG enrichment and transactivation at the ERG +85 HSPC enhancer that is active in AML and T-ALL with poor prognosis. Taken together, we have identified a specific post-translational modification in leukemic cells that promotes progenitor proliferation and is a potential target to modulate ERG-driven transcriptional programs in leukemia.
Project description:Despite the crucial role of RAF kinases in cell signaling and disease, we still lack a complete understanding of their regulation. Heterodimerization of RAF kinases as well as dephosphorylation of a conserved "S259" inhibitory site are important steps for RAF activation but the precise mechanisms and dynamics remain unclear. A ternary complex comprised of SHOC2, MRAS, and PP1 (SHOC2 complex) functions as a RAF S259 holophosphatase and gain-of-function mutations in SHOC2, MRAS, and PP1 that promote complex formation are found in Noonan syndrome. Here we show that SHOC2 complex-mediated S259 RAF dephosphorylation is critically required for growth factor-induced RAF heterodimerization as well as for MEK dissociation from BRAF. We also uncover SHOC2-independent mechanisms of RAF and ERK pathway activation that rely on N-region phosphorylation of CRAF. In DLD-1 cells stimulated with EGF, SHOC2 function is essential for a rapid transient phase of ERK activation, but is not required for a slow, sustained phase that is instead driven by palmitoylated H/N-RAS proteins and CRAF. Whereas redundant SHOC2-dependent and -independent mechanisms of RAF and ERK activation make SHOC2 dispensable for proliferation in 2D, KRAS mutant cells preferentially rely on SHOC2 for ERK signaling under anchorage-independent conditions. Our study highlights a context-dependent contribution of SHOC2 to ERK pathway dynamics that is preferentially engaged by KRAS oncogenic signaling and provides a biochemical framework for selective ERK pathway inhibition by targeting the SHOC2 holophosphatase.
Project description:The signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) regulates differentiation, survival, proliferation and transformation of hematopoietic cells. Upon cytokine stimulation, STAT5 tyrosine phosphorylation (pYSTAT5) is transient, while in diverse neoplastic cells persistent overexpression and enhanced pYSTAT5 are frequently found. Post-translational modifications might contribute to enhanced STAT5 activation in the context of transformation, but the strength and duration of pYSTAT5 are incompletely understood. We found that O-GlcNAcylation and tyrosine phosphorylation act together to trigger pYSTAT5 levels and oncogenic transcription in neoplastic cells. The expression of a mutated hyperactive gain-of-function (GOF) STAT5 without O-GlcNAcylation resulted in decreased tyrosine phosphorylation, oligomerization and transactivation potential and complete loss of oncogenic transformation capacity. The lack of O-GlcNAcylation diminished phospho-ERK and phospho-AKT levels. Our data show that O-GlcNAcylation of STAT5 is an important process that contributes to oncogenic transcription through enhanced STAT5 tyrosine phosphorylation and oligomerization driving myeloid transformation. O-GlcNAcylation of STAT5 could be required for nutrient sensing and metabolism of cancer cells.
Project description:Epigenetic regulators represent a promising new class of therapeutic targets for cancer. Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), a subunit of Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), silences gene expression via its histone methyltransferase activity. We found that the oncogenic function of EZH2 in cells of castration-resistant prostate cancer is independent of its role as a transcriptional repressor. Instead, it involves the ability of EZH2 to act as a coactivator for critical transcription factors including the androgen receptor. This functional switch is dependent on phosphorylation of EZH2 and requires an intact methyltransferase domain. Hence, targeting the non-PRC2 function of EZH2 may have therapeutic efficacy for treating metastatic, hormone-refractory prostate cancer.
Project description:The retinal determination gene network comprises a collection of transcription factors that respond to multiple signaling inputs to direct Drosophila eye development. Previous genetic studies have shown that nemo (nmo), a gene encoding a proline-directed serine/threonine kinase, can promote retinal specification through interactions with the retinal determination gene network, although the molecular point of cross-talk was not defined. Here, we report that the Nemo kinase positively and directly regulates Eyes absent (Eya). Genetic assays show that Nmo catalytic activity enhances Eya-mediated ectopic eye formation and potentiates induction of the Eya-Sine oculis (So) transcriptional targets dachshund and lozenge. Biochemical analyses demonstrate that Nmo forms a complex with and phosphorylates Eya at two consensus mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation sites. These same sites appear crucial for Nmo-mediated activation of Eya function in vivo. Thus, we propose that Nmo phosphorylation of Eya potentiates its transactivation function to enhance transcription of Eya-So target genes during eye specification and development.
Project description:Overexpression of EZH2 in estrogen receptor negative (ER-) breast cancer promotes metastasis. EZH2 has been mainly studied as the catalytic component of the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) that mediates gene repression by trimethylating histone H3 at lysine 27 (H3K27me3). However, how EZH2 drives metastasis despite the low H3K27me3 levels observed in ER- breast cancer is unknown. Here we show that in human invasive carcinomas and distant metastases, cytoplasmic EZH2 phosphorylated at T367 is significantly associated with ER- disease and low H3K27me3 levels. p38-mediated EZH2 phosphorylation at T367 promotes EZH2 cytoplasmic localization and potentiates EZH2 binding to vinculin and other cytoskeletal regulators of cell migration and invasion. Ectopic expression of a phospho-deficient T367A-EZH2 mutant is sufficient to inhibit EZH2 cytoplasmic expression, disrupt binding to cytoskeletal regulators, and reduce EZH2-mediated adhesion, migration, invasion, and development of spontaneous metastasis. These results point to a PRC2-independent non-canonical mechanism of EZH2 pro-metastatic function.
Project description:T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an immature hematopoietic malignancy driven mainly by oncogenic activation of NOTCH1 signaling. In this study we report the presence of loss-of-function mutations and deletions of the EZH2 and SUZ12 genes, which encode crucial components of the Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), in 25% of T-ALLs. To further study the role of PRC2 in T-ALL, we used NOTCH1-dependent mouse models of the disease, as well as human T-ALL samples, and combined locus-specific and global analysis of NOTCH1-driven epigenetic changes. These studies demonstrated that activation of NOTCH1 specifically induces loss of the repressive mark Lys27 trimethylation of histone 3 (H3K27me3) by antagonizing the activity of PRC2. These studies suggest a tumor suppressor role for PRC2 in human leukemia and suggest a hitherto unrecognized dynamic interplay between oncogenic NOTCH1 and PRC2 function for the regulation of gene expression and cell transformation.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Stimulation of astrocytes by the alpha(2)-adrenoceptor agonist dexmedetomidine, a neuroprotective drug, transactivates epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptors. The present study investigates signal pathways leading to release of an EGF receptor ligand and those activated during EGF receptor stimulation, and the response of neurons to dexmedetomidine and to astrocyte-conditioned medium. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Phosphorylation of ERK(1/2) was determined by western blotting and immunocytochemistry, and phosphorylation of EGF receptors by immunoprecipitation and western blotting. mRNA expression of fos family was measured by RT-PCR. KEY RESULTS: Pertussis toxin (0.2 microg ml(-1)) an inhibitor of betagamma subunit dissociation from Galpha(i) protein, and GF 109203X (500 nM), a protein kinase C inhibitor, abolished ERK(1/2) phosphorylation. PP1 (10 microM), inhibiting Src kinase and GM 6001 (10 microM), an inhibitor of Zn-dependent metalloproteinase, abolished ERK(1/2) phosphorylation by dexmedetomidine (50 nM), but not that by EGF (10 ng ml(-1)), showing Src kinase and metalloproteinase activation during the first stage only; AG 1478 (1 microM), an inhibitor of the EGF receptor tyrosine kinase, abolished ERK(1/2) phosphorylation. Dexmedetomidine-induced EGF receptor phosphorylation was prevented by AG 1478, GM 6001, PP1 and GF 109203X and its induction of cfos and fosB by AG 1478 and by U0126 (10 microM), an inhibitor of ERK phosphorylation, indicating downstream effects of ERK(1/2) phosphorylation. EGF and conditioned medium from dexmedetomidine-treated astrocytes, but not dexmedetomidine itself, induced ERK phosphorylation in primary cultures of cerebellar neurons. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Dexmedetomidine-induced transactivation pathways were delineated. Its paracrine effect on neurons may account for its neuroprotective effects.