Authors

Bethany Smith, Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development and Department of Biological Sciences, Clark Atlanta University
Liza J. Burton, Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development and Department of Biological Sciences, Clark Atlanta University
Veronica Henderson, Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development and Department of Biological Sciences, Clark Atlanta University
Diandra D. Randle, Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development and Department of Biological Sciences, Clark Atlanta University
Derrick J. Morton, Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development and Department of Biological Sciences, Clark Atlanta University,
Basil A. Smith, Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development and Department of Biological Sciences, Clark Atlanta University
Latonia Taliaferro-Smith, The Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology and Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University School of Medicine
Peri Nagappan, Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development and Department of Biological Sciences, Clark Atlanta University
Clayton Yates, Department of Biology, Tuskegee University
Majd Zayzafoon, The Department of Pathology, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Leland W. K. Chung, The Uro-Oncology Research Program, Department of Medicine, Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Valerie A. Odero-Marah, Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development and Department of Biological Sciences, Clark Atlanta University

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-2014

Department

Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development, Department of Biological Sciences

Abstract

Snail transcription factor is up-regulated in several cancers and associated with increased tumor migration and invasion via induction of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). MAPK (ERK1/2) signaling regulates cellular processes including cell motility, adhesion, and invasion. We investigated the regulation of ERK1/2 by Snail in breast cancer cells. ERK1/2 activity (p-ERK) was higher in breast cancer patient tissue as compared to normal tissue. Snail and p-ERK were increased in several breast cancer cell lines as compared to normal mammary epithelial cells. Snail knockdown in MDA-MB-231 and T47-D breast cancer cells decreased or re-localized p-ERK from the nuclear compartment to the cytoplasm. Snail overexpression in MCF-7 breast cancer cells induced EMT, increased cell migration, decreased cell adhesion and also increased tumorigenicity. Snail induced nuclear translocation of p-ERK, and the activation of its subcellular downstream effector, Elk-1. Inhibiting MAPK activity with UO126 or knockdown of ERK2 isoform with siRNA in MCF-7 Snail cells reverted EMT induced by Snail as shown by decreased Snail and vimentin expression, decreased cell migration and increased cell adhesion. Overall, our data suggest that ERK2 isoform activation by Snail in aggressive breast cancer cells leads to EMT associated with increased cell migration and decreased cell adhesion. This regulation is enhanced by positive feedback regulation of Snail by ERK2. Therefore, therapeutic targeting of ERK2 isoform may be beneficial for breast cancer.

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0104987

Source

PLoS ONE

Included in

Oncology Commons

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