TITLE

CRABP1 is associated with a poor prognosis in breast cancer: adding to the complexity of breast cancer cell response to retinoic acid

AUTHOR(S)
Rong-Zong Liu; Garcia, Elizabeth; Glubrecht, Darryl D.; Ho Yin Poon; Mackey, John R.; Godbout, Roseline
PUB. DATE
July 2015
SOURCE
Molecular Cancer;2015, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: Clinical trials designed to test the efficacy of retinoic acid (RA) as an adjuvant for the treatment of solid cancers have been disappointing, primarily due to RA resistance. Estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer cells are more resistant to RA than ER-positive cells. The expression and subcellular distribution of two RA-binding proteins, FABP5 and CRABP2, has already been shown to play critical roles in breast cancer cell response to RA. CRABP1, a third member of the RA-binding protein family, has not previously been investigated as a possible mediator of RA action in breast cancer. Methods: CRABP1 and CRABP2 expression in primary breast tumor tissues was analyzed using gene expression and tissue microarrays. CRABP1 levels were manipulated using siRNAs and by transient overexpression. RA-induced subcellular translocation of CRABPs was examined by immunofluorescence microscopy and immunoblotting. RA-induced transactivation of RAR was analyzed using a RA response element (RARE)-driven luciferase reporter system. Effects of CRABP1 expression and RA treatment on downstream gene expression were investigated by semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis. Results: Compared to normal mammary tissues, CRABP1 expression is significantly down-regulated in ER+ breast tumors, but maintained in triple-negative breast cancers. Elevated CRABP1 levels are associated with poor patient prognosis, high Ki67 immunoreactivity and high tumor grade in breast cancer. The prognostic significance of CRABP1 is attributed to its cytoplasmic localization. We demonstrate that CRABP1 expression attenuates RA-induced cell growth arrest and inhibits RA signalling in breast cancer cells by sequestering RA in the cytoplasm. We also show that CRABP1 affects the expression of genes involved in RA biosynthesis, trafficking and metabolism. Conclusions: CRABP1 is an adverse factor for clinical outcome in triple-negative breast cancer and a potent inhibitor of RA signalling in breast cancer cells. Our data indicate that CRABP1, in conjunction with previously identified CRABP2 and FABP5, plays a key role in breast cancer cell response to RA. We propose that these three RA-binding proteins can serve as biomarkers for predicting triple-negative breast cancer response to RA, with elevated levels of either cytoplasmic CRABP1 or FABP5 associated with RA resistance, and elevated levels of nuclear CRABP2 associated with sensitivity to RA.
ACCESSION #
108641992

 

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