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J Cell Physiol. 2013 Aug;228(8):1784-92. doi: 10.1002/jcp.24339.

Oncogenic cooperation between PI3K/Akt signaling and transcription factor Runx2 promotes the invasive properties of metastatic breast cancer cells.

Author information

  • 1Department of Cell Biology and Cancer Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

The serine/threonine kinase Akt/PKB promotes cancer cell growth and invasion through several downstream targets. Identification of novel substrates may provide new avenues for therapeutic intervention. Our study shows that Akt phosphorylates the cancer-related transcription factor Runx2 resulting in stimulated DNA binding of the purified recombinant protein in vitro. Pharmacological inhibition of the PI3K/Akt pathway in breast cancer cells reduces DNA-binding activity of Runx2 with concomitant reduction in the expression of metastasis-related Runx2 target genes. Akt phosphorylates Runx2 at three critical residues within the runt DNA-binding domain to enhance its in vivo genomic interactions with a target gene promoter, MMP13. Mutation of these three phosphorylation sites reduces Runx2 DNA-binding activity. However, Akt signaling does not appear to interefere with CBFβ-Runx2 interactions. Consequently, expression of multiple metastasis-related genes is decreased and Runx2-mediated cell invasion is supressed. Thus, our work identifies Runx2 as a novel and important downstream mediator of the PI3K/Akt pathway that is linked to metastatic properties of breast cancer cells.

Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PMID:
23389849
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3685436
[Available on 2014/8/1]
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