DNAJB6 chaperones PP2A mediated dephosphorylation of GSK3β to downregulate β-catenin transcription target, osteopontin

Academic Article


  • Elevated levels of the oncoprotein, osteopontin (OPN), are associated with poor outcome of several types of cancers including melanoma. We have previously reported an important involvement of DNAJB6, a member of heat-shock protein 40 (HSP40) family, in negatively impacting tumor growth. The current study was prompted by our observations reported here which revealed a reciprocal relationship between DNAJB6 and OPN in melanoma specimens. The J domain is the most conserved domain of HSP40 family of proteins. Hence, we assessed the functional role of the J domain in activities of DNAJB6. We report that the J domain of DNAJB6 is involved in mediating OPN suppression. Deletion of the J domain renders DNAJB6 incapable of impeding malignancy and suppressing OPN. Our mechanistic investigations reveal that DNAJB6 binds HSPA8 (heat-shock cognate protein, HSC70) and causes dephosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) at Ser 9 by recruiting protein phosphatase, PP2A. This dephosphorylation activates GSK3β, leading to degradation of β-catenin and subsequent loss of TCF/LEF (T cell factor1/lymphoid enhancer factor1) activity. Deletion of the J domain abrogates assembly of this multiprotein complex and renders GSK3β inactive, thus, stabilizing β-catenin, a transcription co-activator for OPN expression. Our in-vitro and in-vivo functional analyses show that silencing OPN expression in the background of deletion of the J domain renders the resultant tumor cells less malignant despite the presence of stabilized β-catenin. Thus, we have uncovered a new mechanism for regulation of GSK3β activity leading to inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. ©2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
  • Published In

  • Oncogene  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Mitra A; Menezes ME; Pannell LK; Mulekar MS; Honkanen RE; Shevde LA; Samant RS
  • Start Page

  • 4472
  • End Page

  • 4483
  • Volume

  • 31
  • Issue

  • 41