The steroid receptor coactivator-1 regulates Twist expression and promotes breast cancer metastasis

Li Qin, Zhaoliang Liu, Hongwu Chen, Jianming Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


In breast cancer, steroid receptor coactivator-1 (SRC-1) expression positively correlates with HER2 expression and poor prognosis.In mouse mammary tumor virus-polyoma middle T (PyMT) breast cancer mouse model, SRC-1 strongly promotes mammary tumor metastasis.However, the molecular targets and mechanisms that mediate the role of SRC-1 in metastasis are unknown.In this study, SRC-1 wild-type (WT) and knockout (KO) cell lines were developed from the mammary tumors of WT/PyMT and KO/PyMT mice.WT cells exhibited strong migration and invasion capabilities, reduced E-cadherin and β-catenin epithelial markers, gained N-cadherin and vimentin mesenchymal markers, and formed undifferentiated invasive structures in three-dimensional culture.In contrast, KO cells showed slow migration and invasion, retained E-cadherin, had less N-cadherin and vimentin, and developed partially differentiated three-dimensional structures.Importantly, WT cells expressed Twist, a master regulator of metastasis, at significantly higher levels versus KO cells.SRC-1 knockdown in WT cells reduced Twist expression, whereas SRC-1 restoration in KO cells also rescued Twist expression.Furthermore, SRC-1 was found to coactivate Twist transcription through physical interaction with the transcription factor PEA3 at the proximal Twist promoter.Accordingly, Twist knockdown in WT cells increased E-cadherin and reduced cell invasion and metastasis, and Twist expression in KO cells decreased E-cadherin and increased cell invasion. SRC-1 knockdown in human breast cancer cells also decreased Twist, cell migration, and invasion.Therefore, SRC-1 promotes breast cancer invasiveness and metastasis by coactivating PEA3-mediated Twist expression.Intervention of SRC-1 function may provide new strategies to inhibit breast cancer metastasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3819-3827
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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