Loss of 4E-BP1 function induces EMT and promotes cancer cell migration and invasion via cap-dependent translational activation of snail

Weijia Cai, Qing Ye, Qing Bai She

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

The cap-dependent translation is frequently deregulated in a variety of cancers associated with tumor progression. However, the molecular basis of the translation activation for metastatic progression of cancer remains largely elusive. Here, we demonstrate that activation of cap-dependent translation by silencing the translational repressor 4E-BP1 causes cancer epithelial cells to undergo epithelialmesenchymal transition (EMT), which is associated with selective upregulation of the EMT inducer Snail followed by repression of E-cadherin expression and promotion of cell migratory and invasive capabilities as well as metastasis. Conversely, inhibition of cap-dependent translation by a dominant active mutant 4E-BP1 effectively downregulates Snail expression and suppresses cell migration and invasion. Furthermore, dephosphorylation of 4E-BP1 by mTORC1 inhibition or directly targeting the translation initiation also profoundly attenuates Snail expression and cell motility, whereas knockdown of 4E-BP1 or overexpression of Snail significantly rescues the inhibitory effects. Importantly, 4E-BP1-regulated Snail expression is not associated with its changes in the level of transcription or protein stability. Together, these findings indicate a novel role of 4E-BP1 in the regulation of EMT and cell motility through translational control of Snail expression and activity, and suggest that targeting cap-dependent translation may provide a promising approach for blocking Snail-mediated metastatic potential of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6015-6027
Number of pages13
JournalOncotarget
Volume5
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • 4E-BP1
  • EMT
  • Invasion
  • Migration
  • Snail
  • mTORC1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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