J Cancer 2020; 11(23):6992-7000. doi:10.7150/jca.50477 This issue

Research Paper

The deubiquitinating enzyme USP1 modulates ERα and modulates breast cancer progression

Zhiguo Niu1,2*, Xin Li2*, Suyin Feng3*, Qingsong Huang2, Ting Zhuang2, Cheng Yan4, Hui Qian1, Yinlu Ding5✉, Jian Zhu5,2✉, Wenrong Xu1✉

1. Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Medical Science and Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, 212000, China.
2. Henan Key Laboratory of Immunology and Targeted Drugs, School of Laboratory Medicine, Xinxiang Medical University, 453000, China.
3. Department of Neurosurgery, Affiliated Hospital of Jiangnan University, 200 Huihe Road, Wuxi, 214000, Jiangsu, China.
4. School of Medicine, Xinxiang University, Xinxiang, 453003 Henan P.R. China.
5. Department of general surgery, the Second Hospital, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan, China, 250033.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.

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Niu Z, Li X, Feng S, Huang Q, Zhuang T, Yan C, Qian H, Ding Y, Zhu J, Xu W. The deubiquitinating enzyme USP1 modulates ERα and modulates breast cancer progression. J Cancer 2020; 11(23):6992-7000. doi:10.7150/jca.50477. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v11p6992.htm

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Breast cancer is one of the most common malignancies worldwide, while the luminal types (ERα positive) accounts for two third of all breast cancer cases. Although ERα positive breast cancer could be effective controlled by endocrine therapy, most of the patients will develop endocrine resistance, which becomes a headache clinical issue for breast cancer field. Endocrine resistance could be caused by multiple pathway disorders, the dys-regulation of ERα signaling might be a critical factor, which makes it urgent and important to reveal the potential molecular mechanism of ERα signaling. In our current study, we identified a new deubiquitination enzyme USP1 through screening the whole DUB (Deubiquitinases) siRNA library. The expression of USP1 is elevated in human breast cancer compared with normal mammary tissues. Importantly, USP1 expression levels are specially correlated with poor survival in ERα positive patients. USP1 depletion inhibited breast cancer cell progression and ERα signaling activity. Immuno-precipitation assays indicate that USP1 associates with ERα and promotes its stability possibly via inhibiting ERα K48-linked poly-ubiquitination. In conclusion, our data implicate a non-genomic mechanism by USP1 via stabilizing ERα protein controls ERα target gene expression linked to breast cancer progression.

Keywords: USP1, ERα, Breast cancer, Deubiquitin, Stabilize