Septin 9 isoforms promote tumorigenesis in mammary epithelial cells by increasing migration and ECM degradation through metalloproteinase secretion at focal adhesions
© 2019, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited. The cytoskeletal interacting protein Septin 9 (SEPT9), a member of the septin gene family, has been proposed to have oncogenic functions. It is a known hot spot of retroviral tagging insertion and a fusion partner of both de novo and therapy-induced mixed lineage leukemia (MLL). Of all septins, SEPT9 holds the strongest link to cancer, especially breast cancer. Murine models of breast cancer frequently exhibit SEPT9 amplification in the form of double minute chromosomes, and about 20% of human breast cancer display genomic amplification and protein over expression at the SEPT9 locus. Yet, a clear mechanism by which SEPT9 elicits tumor-promoting functions is lacking. To obtain unbiased insights on molecular signatures of SEPT9 upregulation in breast tumors, we overexpressed several of its isoforms in breast cancer cell lines. Global transcriptomic profiling supports a role of SEPT9 in invasion. Functional studies reveal that SEPT9 upregulation is sufficient to increase degradation of the extracellular matrix, while SEPT9 downregulation inhibits this process. The degradation pattern is peripheral and associated with focal adhesions (FAs), where it is coupled with increased expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). SEPT9 overexpression induces MMP upregulation in human tumors and in culture models and promotes MMP3 secretion to the media at FAs. Downregulation of SEPT9 or chemical inhibition of septin filament assembly impairs recruitment of MMP3 to FAs. Our results indicate that SEPT9 promotes upregulation and both trafficking and secretion of MMPs near FAs, thus enhancing migration and invasion of breast cancer cells.
5839 - 5859
School of Medicine
Obstetrics and Gynecology