α-Catulin promotes cancer stemness by antagonizing WWP1-mediated KLF5 degradation in lung cancer

Chia Hao Tung, Meng Fan Huang, Chen Hsien Liang, Yi Ying Wu, Jia En Wu, Cheng Lung Hsu, Yuh Ling Chen, Tse Ming Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The cytoskeletal linker protein α-Catulin has been shown to be important for tumor progression in various cancers. However, its role in the regulation of cancer stemness remains unclear. Methods: Phenotypic effects of α-Catulin on the cancer stem cell (CSC)-like properties and metastasis were examined by in vitro sphere formation assay, migration assay, invasion assay, and in vivo xenografted animal models. Yeast two-hybrid assay, co-immunoprecipitation assay, and cycloheximide chase assay were performed to confirm the effect of α-Catulin on the WWP1-mediated degradation of KLF5. CPTAC and TCGA database were analyzed to determine the clinical association of α-Catulin, KLF5, and stemness-associated signatures in lung adenocarcinoma. Results: We report that α-Catulin increases cancer stem-like properties in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The expression of α-Catulin is elevated in tumor spheres compared to sphere-derived adherent cells and promotes the acquisition of cancer stemness characteristics in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, the interaction of α-Catulin and the C-terminal region of Kruppel-like transcription factor KLF5 results in the inhibition of WWP1-mediated degradation of KLF5. Accordingly, increased protein expression of KLF5 is observed in clinical specimens of lung adenocarcinoma with high expression of α-Catulin compared to specimens with low α-Catulin-expression. Knockdown of KLF5 abrogates α-Catulin-driven cancer stemness. α-Catulin is known to interact with integrin-linked kinase (ILK). Notably, an ILK inhibitor disrupts the α-Catulin-KLF5 interaction, promotes the degradation of KLF5, and decreases α-Catulin-driven cancer stemness. Importantly, we identify a CTNNAL1/ILK/KLF5 three-gene signature for predicting poor overall survival in patients with lung adenocarcinoma. Conclusions: These findings reveal a molecular basis of α-Catulin-enhanced KLF5 signaling and highlight a role for α-Catulin in promoting cancer stemness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1173-1186
Number of pages14
JournalTheranostics
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)

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