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Title: Prolyl-isomerase Pin1 controls normal and cancer stem cells of the breast by counteracting the Fbxw7-oncosuppressive barrier on the Notch signalling pathway
Authors: Zannini, Alessandro
Keywords: breast cancerprolyl-isomerase Pin1cancer stem cellsNotch
Issue Date: 28-Apr-2014
Publisher: Università degli studi di Trieste
Abstract: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are proposed to be responsible for breast cancer heterogeneity, chemotherapeutic treatment failure, metastatic spread and disease recurrence. The precise identification of the molecular bases that govern the induction and maintenance of CSCs and their aggressive phenotypes is of utmost importance, since it may provide the rational to develop effective therapeutic strategies. In particular there is a considerable effort in finding common pathways, mutations or histological features that might be targeted for therapy, overcoming breast cancer heterogeneity. Here we now demonstrate that CSC self-renewal, chemoresistance, tumour growth and metastases formation capabilities’ are under direct control of Pin1’s enzymatic activity on the Notch signalling pathway. In particular Pin1 protects the nuclear activated forms of Notch1 and Notch4 (N1/4-ICD) from their E3-ubiquitin-ligase Fbxw7α, thereby boosting their protein levels and transcriptional activity. Fbxw7α acts as a potent inhibitor of CSCs maintenance by promoting protein degradation of N1- and N4-ICD, and, as a consequence, this ubiquitin-ligase strongly decreased tumour growth and metastases dissemination in vivo. Interestingly, concomitant over-expression of Pin1 almost completely recovered all these aggressive breast cancer traits. In tissues from breast cancer patients, we observed Notch signalling over-activation despite presence of the negative regulator Fbxw7α, which relied on high Pin1 protein levels. Notably, activation of the Notch-Pin1 axis correlated with poor prognosis in these patients. As a consequence of our findings, suppression of Pin1 holds promise in reverting aggressive phenotypes in breast cancer though shrinkage of CSCs number and a concomitant gain in chemosensitivity, carrying important implications for breast cancers therapy.
Description: 2012/2013
NBN: urn:nbn:it:units-12542
Appears in Collections:Scienze biologiche

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