Senescence and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) have opposing roles in tumor progression, in that, one is a barrier against tumorigenesis, whereas the other is required for invasive malignancies. Here, we report that the DNA damage response (DDR) protein hRAD9 contributes to induction of senescence and inhibition of EMT. Our data show that hRAD9 is frequently downregulated in breast and lung cancers. Loss of hRAD9 expression is associated with tumor stage in breast and lung cancers, as well as with acquisition of an invasive phenotype. Ectopic hRAD9 expression in highly invasive cancer cell lines, H1299 and MDA-MB 231, with low endogenous hRAD9 induced senescence by upregulation of nuclear p21, independent of the p53 status. Ectopic expression of hRAD9 also significantly attenuated cellular migration and invasion in vitro and tumor growth in a xenograft mouse model in vivo. In contrast, silencing hRAD9 in lower invasive cancer cell lines, A549 and MCF7, with high endogenous hRAD9 dramatically increased their migration and invasion abilities, and simultaneously activated EMT. Knockdown of hRAD9 increased, whereas ectopic expression of hRAD9 decreased, the expression of Slug. Moreover, hRAD9 directly bound to the promoter region of slug gene and repressed its transcriptional activity. Taken together, these results suggest that hRAD9 is a potential tumor suppressor in breast and lung cancers and that it is likely to function by upregulating p21 and inhibiting Slug to regulate tumorigenesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research