DCUN1D1 facilitates tumor metastasis by activating FAK signaling and up-regulates PD-L1 in non-small-cell lung cancer.

Affiliation

State Key Laboratory of Oncogenes and Related Genes, Shanghai Cancer Institute, Renji Hospital Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

E3 ubiquitin ligases, which are key enzymes in the ubiquitin proteasome system, catalyze the ubiquitination of proteins to target them for proteasomal degradation. Emerging evidence suggests that E3 ubiquitin ligases play important roles in the development and progression of lung cancer. In our study, we characterized the gene expression landscape of lung cancer using data obtained from TCGA to explore the changes in E3 ubiquitin ligase containing the regulators of E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. Overall, most gene expression changes occurred in NSCLC tissues compared with adjacent normal ones. In total, 48 E3 ubiquitin ligases containing the regulators were up-regulated in NSCLC tissues compared with their levels in normal tissues. We analyzed the expression of up-regulated E3 ubiquitin ligases containing the regulators in two publicly available transcriptome data sets (GSE13213 and GSE30219). We found that four E3 ubiquitin ligases (UHRF1, BRCA1, TRAIP and HLTF) and one regulator of ubiquitin E3 activity DCUN1D1 that were dramatically up-regulated in cancer were significantly associated with tumor metastasis and patient's poor prognosis both in two transcriptome data sets. Next, clinical analysis indicated that the expression levels of DCUN1D1 correlated with clinical stage and lymph node metastasis in NSCLC patients as determined by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR. Furthermore, functional assays showed that DCUN1D1 promoted NSCLC cell invasion and migration as determined by transwell assay in vitro. Mechanistically, we found that the C-terminal Cullin binding domain leads to oncogenic activity and the UBA domain acts as a negative regulator of DCUN1D1 function in NSCLC. Moreover, DCUN1D1 activated the FAK oncogenic signaling pathway and up-regulated PD-L1. Taken together, our results demonstrate that DCUN1D1 is a metastasis regulator and suggest a new therapeutic option for NSCLC metastasis.

Keywords

DCUN1D1,E3 ubiquitin ligase,FAK,Metastasis,NSCLC,PD-L1,