Melanie Kappelmann-Fenzl, S. Kuphal, R. Krupar, D. Schadendorf, V. Umansky, L. Vardimon, C. Hellerbrand, A. Bosserhoff
Complex Formation with Monomeric α-Tubulin and Importin 13 Fosters c-Jun Protein Stability and Is Required for c-Jun's Nuclear Translocation and Activity
Cancers, vol. 11, no. 11, pp. 1-12
Microtubules are highly dynamic structures, which consist of α- and β-tubulin heterodimers. They are essential for a number of cellular processes, including intracellular trafficking and mitosis. Tubulin-binding chemotherapeutics are used to treat different types of tumors, including malignant melanoma. The transcription factor c-Jun is a central driver of melanoma development and progression. Here, we identify the microtubule network as a main regulator of c-Jun activity. Monomeric α-tubulin fosters c-Jun protein stability by protein-protein interaction. In addition, this complex formation is necessary for c-Jun's nuclear localization sequence binding to importin 13, and consequent nuclear import and activity of c-Jun. A reduction in monomeric α-tubulin levels by treatment with the chemotherapeutic paclitaxel resulted in a decline in the nuclear accumulation of c-Jun in melanoma cells in an experimental murine model and in patients' tissues. These findings add important knowledge to the mechanism of the action of microtubule-targeting drugs and indicate the newly discovered regulation of c-Jun by the microtubule cytoskeleton as a novel therapeutic target for melanoma and potentially also other types of cancer.
P. Schummer, S. Kuphal, L. Vardimon, A. Bosserhoff, Melanie Kappelmann-Fenzl
Specific c-Jun target genes in malignant melanoma
Cancer Biology & Therapy, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 486-497
A fundamental event in the development and progression of malignant melanoma is the de-regulation of cancer-relevant transcription factors. We recently showed that c-Jun is a main regulator of melanoma progression and, thus, is the most important member of the AP-1 transcription factor family in this disease. Surprisingly, no cancer-related specific c-Jun target genes in melanoma were described in the literature, so far. Therefore, we focused on pre-existing ChIP-Seq data (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) of 3 different non-melanoma cell lines to screen direct c-Jun target genes. Here, a specific c-Jun antibody to immunoprecipitate the associated promoter DNA was used. Consequently, we identified 44 direct c-Jun targets and a detailed analysis of 6 selected genes confirmed their deregulation in malignant melanoma. The identified genes were differentially regulated comparing 4 melanoma cell lines and normal human melanocytes and we confirmed their c-Jun dependency. Direct interaction between c-Jun and the promoter/enhancer regions of the identified genes was confirmed by us via ChIP experiments. Interestingly, we revealed that the direct regulation of target gene expression via c-Jun can be independent of the existence of the classical AP-1 (5´-TGA(C/G)TCA-3´) consensus sequence allowing for the subsequent down- or up-regulation of the expression of these cancer-relevant genes. In summary, the results of this study indicate that c-Jun plays a crucial role in the development and progression of malignant melanoma via direct regulation of cancer-relevant target genes and that inhibition of direct c-Jun targets through inhibition of c-Jun is a potential novel therapeutic option for treatment of malignant melanoma.
Melanie Kappelmann-Fenzl, S. Kuphal, G. Meister, L. Vardimon, A. Bosserhoff
MicroRNA miR-125b controls melanoma progression by direct regulation of c-Jun protein expression
Oncogene, vol. 32, no. 24, pp. 2984-2991
A fundamental event in the development and progression of malignant melanoma is the deregulation of cancer-relevant transcription factors. We recently showed that c-Jun is a main regulator of tumor progression in melanoma and thus the most important member of the AP-1 transcription factor family for this disease. Interestingly, we revealed that c-Jun expression was regulated on the post-transcriptional level and therefore speculated that miRNAs could be involved in c-Jun regulation. We determined seed sequences for miR-125b and miR-527 in the coding region of c-Jun mRNA that hints at the direct involvement of miRNA-dependent regulation on the protein level. We found that the expression of miR-125b was significantly reduced in malignant melanoma cell lines and tissue samples compared with melanocytes, whereas miR-527 remained unchanged. In further functional experiments, treatment of melanoma cells with pre-miR-125b resulted in strong suppression of cellular proliferation and migration, supporting the role of miR-125b in melanoma. In addition, transfection of pre-miR-125b led to strong downregulation of c-Jun protein but not mRNA expression in melanoma cells. Luciferase assays using reporter plasmids containing the miR-125b seed sequence in the luciferase coding region confirmed the direct interaction with miR-125b. Furthermore, immunoprecipitation of Ago-2 revealed that c-Jun mRNA accumulated in the RNA-induced silencing complex after pre-miR-125b transfection in melanoma cells. In summary, we identified an important role for miR-125b in malignant melanoma. Moreover, we demonstrated post-transcriptional regulation of c-Jun by this miRNA and showed that c-Jun is a main mediator of the effects of miR-125b on melanoma cells.
B. Spangler, Melanie Kappelmann-Fenzl, B. Schittek, S. Meierjohann, L. Vardimon, A. Bosserhoff, S. Kuphal
ETS‐1/RhoC signaling regulates the transcription factor c‐Jun in melanoma
International Journal of Cancer, vol. 130, no. 12, pp. 2801-2811
Recently, we discovered that the loss of E‐cadherin induces c‐Jun protein expression, which is a member of the AP‐1 transcription factor family and a key player in the processes of cell proliferation and tumor development and also found in elevated levels in melanomas. Notably, the mRNA level of c‐Jun was not affected, suggesting that c‐Jun is regulated at post‐transcriptional level. Here, we present data that suggest that the dynamic cytoskeletal network, linked to E‐cadherin, is involved in the regulation of the c‐Jun protein and transcriptional activity. In a signaling cascade, the loss of E‐cadherin activates the transcriptional regulator ETS‐1 and consequently leads to the induction of RhoC expression that stabilizes c‐Jun in melanoma. The link between RhoC and c‐Jun seems to be indirect via the cytoskeleton. We conclude that the loss of E‐cadherin mediated cell‐adhesion induces c‐Jun protein expression in a multistep process, offering several possibilities for therapeutic intervention.