UNLABELLED: Kinesins are a superfamily of motor proteins and often deregulated in different cancers. However, the mechanism of their deregulation has been poorly understood. Through examining kinesin gene family expression in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer cells, we found that estrogen stimulation of cancer cell proliferation involves a concerted regulation of specific kinesins. Estrogen strongly induces expression of 19 kinesin genes such as Kif4A/4B, Kif5A/5B, Kif10, Kif11, Kif15, Kif18A/18B, Kif20A/20B, Kif21, Kif23, Kif24, Kif25, and KifC1, whereas suppresses the expression of seven others, including Kif1A, Kif1C, Kif7, and KifC3. Interestingly, the bromodomain protein ANCCA/ATAD2, previously shown to be an estrogen-induced chromatin regulator, plays a crucial role in the up- and downregulation of kinesins by estrogen. Its overexpression drives estrogen-independent upregulation of specific kinesins. Mechanistically, ANCCA (AAA nuclear coregulator cancer associated) mediates E2-dependent recruitment of E2F and MLL1 histone methyltransferase at kinesin gene promoters for gene activation-associated H3K4me3 methylation. Importantly, elevated levels of Kif4A, Kif15, Kif20A, and Kif23 correlate with that of ANCCA in the tumors and with poor relapse-free survival of patients with ER-positive breast cancer. Their knockdown strongly impeded proliferation and induced apoptosis of both tamoxifen-sensitive and resistant cancer cells. Together, the study reveals ANCCA as a key mediator of kinesin family deregulation in breast cancer and the crucial role of multiple kinesins in growth and survival of the tumor cells.
IMPLICATIONS: These findings support the development of novel inhibitors of cancer-associated kinesins and their regulator ANCCA for effective treatment of cancers including tamoxifen-resistant breast cancers.
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