NAC1 attenuates BCL6 negative autoregulation and functions as a BCL6 coactivator of FOXQ1 transcription in cancer cells

Min Gao, Alice Laschuk Herlinger, Renchin Wu, Tian Li Wang, Ie Ming Shih, Beihua Kong, Leticia Batista Azevedo Rangel, Jin Ming Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Nucleus accumbens-associated protein 1 (NAC1) has multifaceted roles in cancer pathogenesis and progression, including the development of drug resistance, promotion of cytokinesis, and maintenance of "stem cell-like" phenotypes. NAC1 is a transcriptional co-regulator belonging to the bric-a-brac tramtrack broad (BTB) family of proteins, although it lacks the characteristic DNA binding motif of the BTB family. The formation of higher-order transcription complexes likely depends on its interaction with other DNA-binding co-factors. Results: NAC1 interacts with BCL6 via its C-terminal BEN domain and forms a complex that binds the promoter region and activates transcription of the NAC1 target gene, FOXQ1. NAC1 and BCL6 were coordinately upregulated. Our analysis also identified a novel function of NAC1 in attenuating BCL6 auto-downregulation in ovarian cancer. Lastly, we found a significant overlap among NAC1-and BCL6-regulated genes in tumor cells, suggesting that NAC1 and BCL6 coordinately control transcription in cancer. Conclusions: The results of this study provide a novel mechanistic insight into the oncogenic roles of NAC1 and underline the importance of developing the NAC1/BCL6-targeted cancer therapy. Methods: Using the Cistrome database and Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analyses, we identified BCL6 as a potential NAC1-interacting molecule. Co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP), luciferase reporter assay, immunohistochemistry and microarray analysis were performed to analyze the interaction between NAC1 and BCL6 and the mechanisms by which they regulate the downstream genes including FOXQ1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9275-9291
Number of pages17
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 31 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Gao et al.


  • BCL6
  • Cancer
  • FOXQ1
  • NAC1
  • Transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


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