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Oncogene. 2015 Jan 15;34(3):323-33. doi: 10.1038/onc.2013.553. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

Estrogen-dependent sushi domain containing 3 regulates cytoskeleton organization and migration in breast cancer cells.

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Division of Reproductive Biology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.
Department of Pathology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.
Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.


Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are the standard endocrine therapy for postmenopausal breast cancer; however, currently used biomarkers, such as, estrogen receptor-alpha/progesterone receptor (ERα/PR), predict only slightly more than half of the potential responders to AI treatment. To identify novel markers of AI responsiveness, a genome-wide microarray analysis was performed using primary breast tumor samples from 50 postmenopausal women who later developed metastatic breast cancer. Sushi domain containing 3 (SUSD3) is a significantly differentially expressed gene, with 3.38-fold higher mRNA levels in AI-responsive breast tumors vs non-responders (P<0.001). SUSD3 was highly expressed in ERα-positive breast tumors and treatment with estradiol increased SUSD3 expression in ERα-positive breast cancer cells. Treatment with an antiestrogen or ERα knockdown abolished basal and estradiol-dependent SUSD3 expression. Recruitment of ERα upstream of the transcription start site of SUSD3 was demonstrated by chromatin immunoprecipitation-PCR. Flow cytometric analysis of SUSD3-knockdown cells revealed blunted estradiol effects on progression into S and M phases. SUSD3 was localized to the plasma membrane of breast cancer cells. SUSD3 knockdown decreased the appearance of actin-rich protrusions, stress fibers and large basal focal adhesions, while increasing the presence of cortical actin concomitant with a decrease in Rho and focal adhesion kinase activity. SUSD3-deficient cells demonstrated diminished cell spreading, cell-cell adhesion and motility. In conclusion, SUSD3 is a novel promoter of estrogen-dependent cell proliferation and regulator of cell-cell and cell-substrate interactions and migration in breast cancer. It may serve as a novel predictor of response to endocrine therapy and potential therapeutic target.

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