A self-sustaining endocytic-based loop promotes breast cancer plasticity leading to aggressiveness and pro-metastatic behavior.
Schiano Lomoriello, Irene
Malabarba, Maria Grazia
Pilcher, Brian K.
Nature Communications; 6/15/2020, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p1-20, 20p
The subversion of endocytic routes leads to malignant transformation and has been implicated in human cancers. However, there is scarce evidence for genetic alterations of endocytic proteins as causative in high incidence human cancers. Here, we report that Epsin 3 (EPN3) is an oncogene with prognostic and therapeutic relevance in breast cancer. Mechanistically, EPN3 drives breast tumorigenesis by increasing E-cadherin endocytosis, followed by the activation of a β-catenin/TCF4-dependent partial epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), followed by the establishment of a TGFβ-dependent autocrine loop that sustains EMT. EPN3-induced partial EMT is instrumental for the transition from in situ to invasive breast carcinoma, and, accordingly, high EPN3 levels are detected at the invasive front of human breast cancers and independently predict metastatic rather than loco-regional recurrence. Thus, we uncover an endocytic-based mechanism able to generate TGFβ-dependent regulatory loops conferring cellular plasticity and invasive behavior. It is unclear if genetic alterations in endocytic proteins play a causal role in high incidence human cancers. Here, the authors report the oncogenic role of Epsin3 (EPN3) in breast cancer, and show EPN3 to drive tumorigenesis through induction of a partial epithelial mesenchymal transition state and a TGFβ-dependent regulatory loop that promotes cellular plasticity and invasive behaviour. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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