The novel lupus antigen related protein acheron enhances the development of human breast cancer

Authors

  • Rong Shao,

    Corresponding author
    1. Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute, 3601 Main Street, Springfield, MA
    2. Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, Morrill Science Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
    3. Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
    • Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute, 3601 Main Street, Springfield, MA 01199
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    • Tel.: 413-794-9568, Fax: 0413-794-0857

  • Steve J. Scully Jr.,

    1. Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute, 3601 Main Street, Springfield, MA
    2. Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, Morrill Science Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
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  • Wei Yan,

    1. Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute, 3601 Main Street, Springfield, MA
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  • Brooke Bentley,

    1. Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute, 3601 Main Street, Springfield, MA
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  • James Mueller,

    1. Department of Pathology, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA
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  • Christine Brown,

    1. Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
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  • Carol Bigelow,

    1. Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
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  • Lawrence M. Schwartz

    Corresponding author
    1. Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute, 3601 Main Street, Springfield, MA
    2. Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, Morrill Science Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
    3. Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
    • Department of Biology, Morrill Science Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003
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    • Tel.: 413-545-2435, Fax: 413-545-3243


Abstract

Acheron (Achn) is a new member of the Lupus antigen family of RNA binding proteins. Previous studies have shown that Achn controls developmental decisions in neurons and muscle. In the human mammary gland, Achn expression is restricted to ductal myoepithelial cells. Microarray analysis and immunohistochemistry have shown that Achn expression is elevated in some basal-like ductal carcinomas. To study the possible role of Achn in breast cancer, we engineered human MDA-MB-231 cells to stably express enhanced green fluorescent protein-tagged wild-type Achn (AchnWT), as well as Achn lacking either its nuclear localization signal (AchnNLS) or its nuclear export signal (AchnNES). In in vitro assays, AchnWT and AchnNES, but not AchnNLS, enhanced cell proliferation, lamellipodia formation, and invasive activity and drove expression of the elevated expression of the metastasis-associated proteins MMP-9 and VEGF. To determine if Achn could alter the behavior of human breast cancer cells in vivo, Achn-engineered MDA-MB-231 cells were injected into athymic SCID/Beige mice. AchnWT and AchnNES-expressing tumors displayed enhanced angiogenesis and an approximately 5-fold increase in tumor size relative to either control cells or those expressing AchnNLS. These data suggest that Achn enhances human breast tumor growth and vascularization and that this activity is dependent on nuclear localization.

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