1. Cancer Center of Daping Hospital, Army Medical University, Chongqing 400037, China.
2. Chongqing University Cancer Hospital, Chongqing, China.
3. Department of Thoracic Surgery, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University (Army Medical University), Chongqing 400037, China.
4. The Pathology of Daping Hospital Army Medical University, Chongqing 400037, China.
5. Department of General Surgery, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University (Army Medical University), Chongqing 400037, China.
* These authors contributed equally.
Background: Elucidation of the mechanism of ubiquitation has led to novel ways to treat glioblastoma (GBM). A tripartite motif (TRIM) protein mediates a reversible, stringent ubiquitation which is closely related to glioma malignancy. This study intends to screen the most vital and abnormal regulating component of the tripartite motif protein and to explore its underlying mechanisms.
Methods: TRIM21 is identified as an important oncogene that accelerates the progression of glioma cell through database in a multidimensional way and this is confirmed in human samples and cells. Tandem Mass Tags (TMT) and MS analysis are performed to discover the substrates of TRIM21.The underlying mechanisms are further investigated by CO-IP, luciferase reporter assays and gain and loss of function assays. In vivo treatment with siRNA is applied to evaluate the therapeutic significance of TRIM21.
Result: We screened a panel of TRIM proteins and identified TRIM21, a E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase and autoantigen, as well as a prognostic biomarker for GBM. Functionally, high expression of wild-type TRIM21 accelerates tumor progression in vitro and in vivo, whereas TRIM21 mutants, including one with a critical RING-finger deletion, do not. Mechanistically, TRIM21 stimulates K63-linked ubiquitination and subcellular translocation of active β-catenin from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Moreover, TRIM21 forms a complex with the β-catenin upstream regulator, TIF1γ, in the nucleus and accelerated its degradation by inducing K48-linked ubiquitination at K5 site, consequently increasing further nuclear β-catenin presence. Endogenous TRIM21 levels are found to be inversely correlated with TIF1γ but positively correlated with β-catenin in glioma tissue microarray experiments. Furthermore, direct injection of TRIM21 small interfering RNA (siRNA) into U87 cell-derived tumors (in vivo treatment with siRNA) is proved to inhibit tumor growth in nude mice.
Conclusion: This work suggests that TRIM21/TIF1γ/β-catenin axis is involved in the progression of human GBM. TRIM21 is a promising therapeutic and prognostic biomarker for glioma with hyperactive β-catenin.
Keywords: TRIM21, β-catenin, TRIMs family, TIF1γ, ubiquitination