STRAP Promotes Stemness of Human Colorectal Cancer via Epigenetic Regulation of the NOTCH Pathway.

Academic Article

Abstract

  • NOTCH signaling exerts essential roles in normal and malignant intestinal physiology and the homeostasis of cancer stem-like cells (CSC), but the basis for this latter role remains obscure. The signaling scaffold protein STRAP is upregulated in several cancers, where it promotes tumorigenicity and metastasis. Here we report a novel oncogenic function for STRAP in maintaining CSC subpopulations in a heterogeneous mixture by antagonizing formation of the chromatin modifier PRC2 and by epigenetically activating NOTCH signals in human colorectal cancer. Silencing STRAP sensitized colorectal cancer cells to chemotherapeutic drugs in vitro and in vivo STRAP depletion also contributed to a reduced stem-like phenotype of colorectal cancer cells, as indicated by reduced expression of the CSC signature and NOTCH signaling regulators in vitro and by diminished tumorigenesis in vivo Genes encoding some upstream activators of NOTCH were highly enriched for H3K27me3, which forms repressive chromatin domains upon STRAP silencing. Mechanistically, STRAP competitively disrupted association of the PRC2 subunits EZH2 and SUZ12, thereby inhibiting PRC2 assembly. Restoring the NOTCH pathway by lentiviral expression of NICD1 or HES1 in STRAP-depleted tumor cells reversed the CSC phenotype. In 90 colorectal cancer clinical specimens, a significant positive correlation was documented between the expression of STRAP and HES1. Overall, our findings illuminated a novel STRAP-NOTCH1-HES1 molecular axis as a CSC regulator in colorectal cancer, with potential implications to improve treatment of this disease. Cancer Res; 77(20); 5464-78. ©2017 AACR.
  • Published In

  • Cancer Research  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Animals, Apoptosis, Cell Line, Tumor, Colorectal Neoplasms, Epigenesis, Genetic, Fluorouracil, HCT116 Cells, HEK293 Cells, HT29 Cells, Heterografts, Humans, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Mice, Nude, Neoplasm Proteins, Neoplastic Stem Cells, Organoplatinum Compounds, Oxaliplatin, Receptor, Notch1, Signal Transduction, Transcription Factor HES-1
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 22343668
  • Author List

  • Jin L; Vu T; Yuan G; Datta PK
  • Start Page

  • 5464
  • End Page

  • 5478
  • Volume

  • 77
  • Issue

  • 20