Glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) is highly inactivated in epithelial cancers and is known to inhibit tumor migration and invasion. The zinc-finger-containing transcriptional repressor, Slug, represses E-cadherin transcription and enhances epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). In this study, we find that the GSK3β-pSer9 level is associated with the expression of Slug in non-small cell lung cancer. GSK3β-mediated phosphorylation of Slug facilitates Slug protein turnover. Proteomic analysis reveals that the carboxyl terminus of Hsc70-interacting protein (CHIP) interacts with wild-type Slug (wtSlug). Knockdown of CHIP stabilizes the wtSlug protein and reduces Slug ubiquitylation and degradation. In contrast, nonphosphorylatable Slug-4SA is not degraded by CHIP. The accumulation of nondegradable Slug may further lead to the repression of E-cadherin expression and promote cancer cell migration, invasion and metastasis. Our findings provide evidence of a de novo GSK3β-CHIP-Slug pathway that may be involved in the progression of metastasis in lung cancer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research