GATA3 transcription factor abrogates Smad4 transcription factor-mediated fascin overexpression, invadopodium formation, and breast cancer cell invasion

Jianwei Sun, Huifang He, Smitha Pillai, Yin Xiong, Sridevi Challa, Liyan Xu, Srikumar Chellappan, Shengyu Yang
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2013 December 27, 288 (52): 36971-82
Transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) is a potent and context-dependent regulator of tumor progression. TGFβ promotes the lung metastasis of basal-like (but not the luminal-like) breast cancer. Here, we demonstrated that fascin, a pro-metastasis actin bundling protein, was a direct target of the canonical TGFβ-Smad4 signaling pathway in basal-like breast cancer cells. TGFβ and Smad4 induced fascin overexpression by directly binding to a Smad binding element on the fascin promoter. We identified GATA3, a transcription factor crucial for mammary gland morphogenesis and luminal differentiation, as a negative regulator of TGFβ- and Smad4-induced fascin overexpression. When ectopically expressed in basal-like breast cancer cells, GATA-3 abrogated TGFβ- and Smad4-mediated overexpression of fascin and other TGFβ response genes, invadopodium formation, cell migration, and invasion, suggesting suppression of the canonical TGFβ-Smad signaling axis. Mechanistically, GATA3 abrogated the canonical TGFβ-Smad signaling by abolishing interactions between Smad4 and its DNA binding elements, potentially through physical interactions between the N-terminal of GATA3 and Smad3/4 proteins. Our findings provide mechanistic insight into how TGFβ-mediated cell motility and invasiveness are differentially regulated in breast cancer.

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