Actin-like protein 6A/MYC/CDK2 axis confers high proliferative activity in triple-negative breast cancer.

Affiliation

Jian Y(#)(1), Huang X(#)(1), Fang L(#)(2), Wang M(1), Liu Q(1), Xu H(1)(3), Kong L(1), Chen X(1), Ouyang Y(1), Wang X(4), Wei W(5), Song L(6).
Author information:
(1)Department of Experimental Research, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, 510060, China.
(2)Central Laboratory, The Eighth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, No.3025 Shennan Load, Shenzhen, Guangdong, 518033, P.R. China.
(3)Department of Breast Surgery, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in Southern China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China.
(4)Department of Breast Surgery, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in Southern China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China. [Email]
(5)Department of Breast Surgery, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in Southern China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China. [Email]
(6)Department of Experimental Research, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, 510060, China. [Email]
(#)Contributed equally

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive subtype of breast cancer with high proliferative activity. TNBC tumors exhibit elevated MYC expression and altered expression of MYC regulatory genes, which are associated with tumor progression and poor prognosis; however, the underlying mechanisms by which MYC retains its high expression and mediates TNBC tumorigenesis require further exploration. METHODS: ACTL6A regulation of MYC and its target gene, CDK2, was defined using Co-IP, mass spectrometry and ChIP assays. To study the role of ACTL6A in TNBC, we performed soft-agar, colony formation, flow cytometry and tumor formation in nude mice. CDK2 inhibitor and paclitaxel were used in testing combination therapy in vitro and in vivo. RESULTS: ACTL6A bound MYC to suppress glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β)-induced phosphorylation on MYC T58, which inhibited ubiquitination of MYC and stabilized it. Moreover, ACTL6A promoted the recruitment of MYC and histone acetyltransferase KAT5 on CDK2 promoters, leading to hyperactivation of CDK2 transcription. ACTL6A overexpression promoted, while silencing ACTL6A suppressed cell proliferation and tumor growth in TNBC cells in vitro and in vivo, which was dependent on MYC signaling. Furthermore, co-therapy with paclitaxel and CDK2 inhibitor showed synergistic effects in tumor suppression. Notably, ACTL6A/MYC/CDK2 axis was specifically up-regulated in TNBC and high expression of ACTL6A was correlated to shorter survival in patients with TNBC. CONCLUSIONS: These findings reveal a novel mechanism by which ACTL6A prolongs the retention of MYC in TNBC and suggest that pharmacological targeting ACTL6A/MYC/CDK2 axis might have therapeutic potential in patients with TNBC.