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PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e27490. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027490. Epub 2011 Nov 15.

Galectin-3 mediates cross-talk between K-Ras and Let-7c tumor suppressor microRNA.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology, The George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Galectin-3 (Gal-3) and active (GTP-bound) K-Ras contribute to the malignant phenotype of many human tumors by increasing the rate of cell proliferation, survival, and migration. These Gal-3-mediated effects result from a selective binding to K-Ras.GTP, causing increased nanoclustering in the cell membrane and leading to robust Ras signaling. Regulation of the interactions between Gal-3 and active K-Ras is not fully understood.

METHODS AND FINDINGS:

To gain a better understanding of what regulates the critical interactions between these two proteins, we examined the role of Gal-3 in the regulation of K-Ras by using Gal-3-knockout mouse embryonic-fibroblasts (Gal-3-/- MEFs) and/or Gal-3/Gal-1 double-knockout MEFs. We found that knockout of Gal-3 induced strong downregulation (∼60%) of K-Ras and K-Ras.GTP. The downregulation was somewhat more marked in the double-knockout MEFs, in which we also detected robust inhibition(∼50%) of ERK and Akt activation. These additional effects are probably attributable to inhibition of the weak interactions of K-Ras.GTP with Gal-1. Re-expression of Gal-3 reversed the phenotype of the Gal-3-/- MEFs and dramatically reduced the disappearance of K-Ras in the presence of cycloheximide to the levels seen in wild-type MEFs. Furthermore, phosphorylation of Gal-3 by casein kinase-1 (CK-1) induced translocation of Gal-3 from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and the plasma membrane, leading to K-Ras stabilization accompanied by downregulation of the tumor suppressor miRNA let-7c, known to negatively control K-Ras transcription.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results suggest a novel cross-talk between Gal-3-mediated downregulation of let 7c microRNA (which in turn negatively regulates K-Ras transcription) and elucidates the association among Gal-3 let-7c and K-Ras transcription/translation, cellular compartmentalization and activity.

PMID:
22102901
PMCID:
PMC3216962
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0027490
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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