Identification of the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein k/j (hnrnp k/j) as a repressor of the inhibitor kappa b alpha (iκbα) gene in aggressive breast cancer cells

Abstract : Introduction: Advanced breast cancers do not respond well to therapies and represent a relevant focus for studying molecular mechanisms involved in the tumour progression and drug resistance. The transcription factor NF-κB is often activated constitutively in aggressive breast cancer cells and plays a significant role by inducing many target genes involved in tumour progression and drug resistance. Mechanisms controlling constitutive NF-kB activation are not all clearly understood. Among them, repression of the gene encoding the NF-κB inhibitor, IκBα is not well known. This protein controls NF-κB activation by sequestering it in the cytoplasmic compartment. The present study reports the identification of the hnRNP K/J protein, which is initially known for its role in mRNA splicing and translation, as a repressor of the IκBα gene expression. Material and methods: Identification of hnRNP K/J protein on the IκBα promoter was carried out by DNA pull-down coupled with a mass spectrometry analysis, and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) using a specific polyclonal antibodies. The hnRNP K/J protein was overexpressed in breast cancer cell lines by transient transfection, and consequence on the IκBα expression and the proximal IκBα promoter activity was evaluated by RT-qPCR and gene reporter assay, respectively. The hnRNP K/J protein localization was visualised in cells by Western blotting using nuclear and cytoplasmic extracts. Results and discussions: The IκBα gene is expressed higher in nonaggressive compared to aggressive breast cancer cells. We used previous data showing the importance of the proximal promoter at position −495 from the transcription site for DNA pull-down with nuclear protein extract from MCF-7 cells. Mass spectrometry analysis led to identify hnRNP K/J protein, whose the binding to this region of the proximal IκBα promoter was confirmed by ChIP. The IκBα expression at mRNA level and proximal IκBα promoter activity was strongly decreased in hnRNP K/J-overexpressing breast cancer cells, in contrast to the respective parental cells, suggesting the role of hnRNP K/J protein as a gene repressor. Conclusion: The identification of hnRNP K/J as a repressor of IκBα gene expression depicts a new molecular mechanism, which may contribute to the high constitutive NF-kB activation in aggressive breast cancer cells and suggests to take it into account in the development of new therapies targeting NF-kB pathway in advanced breast cancers.
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Submitted on : Sunday, December 30, 2018 - 1:59:06 PM
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Guillaume Drouot, Vanessa Besancenot, Audrey Taverniers, Stéphanie Grandemange, Philippe Becuwe, et al.. Identification of the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein k/j (hnrnp k/j) as a repressor of the inhibitor kappa b alpha (iκbα) gene in aggressive breast cancer cells. 25th Biennial Congress of the European Association for Cancer Research, EACR25, Jun 2018, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ⟨10.1136/esmoopen-2018-EACR25.703⟩. ⟨hal-01967002⟩

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