Sundqvist A, Zieba A, Vasilaki E, Herrera Hidalgo C, Söderberg O, Koinuma D, Miyazono K, Heldin CH, Landegren U, Ten Dijke P, van Dam H
Oncogene 32 (31) 3606-3615 [2013-08-01; online 2012-08-27]
Deregulation of the transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signal transduction cascade is functionally linked to cancer. In early phases, TGFβ acts as a tumor suppressor by inhibiting tumor cell proliferation, whereas in late phases, it can act as a tumor promoter by stimulating tumor cell invasion and metastasis. Smad transcriptional effectors mediate TGFβ responses, but relatively little is known about the Smad-containing complexes that are important for epithelial-mesenchymal transition and invasion. In this study, we have tested the hypothesis that specific members of the AP-1 transcription factor family determine TGFβ signaling specificity in breast cancer cell invasion. Using a 3D model of collagen-embedded spheroids of MCF10A-MII premalignant human breast cancer cells, we identified the AP-1 transcription factor components c-Jun, JunB, c-Fos and Fra1 as essential factors for TGFβ-induced invasion and found that various mesenchymal and invasion-associated TGFβ-induced genes are co-regulated by these proteins. In situ proximity ligation assays showed that TGFβ signaling not only induces complexes between Smad3 and Smad4 in the nucleus but also complexes between Smad2/3 and Fra1, whereas complexes between Smad3, c-Jun and JunB could already be detected before TGFβ stimulation. Finally, chromatin immunoprecipitations showed that c-Jun, JunB and Fra1, but not c-Fos, are required for TGFβ-induced binding of Smad2/3 to the mmp-10 and pai-1 promoters. Together these results suggest that in particular formation of Smad2/3-Fra1 complexes may reflect activation of the Smad/AP-1-dependent TGFβ-induced invasion program.