Title

Alterations in TGF-β signaling leads to high HMGA2 levels potentially through modulation of PJA1/SMAD3 in HCC cells

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-2020

Journal

Genes and Cancer

Volume

11

Issue

1-2

DOI

10.18632/genesandcancer.199

Keywords

Hepatocellular carcinoma; HMGA2; PJA1; TGF-β pathway

Abstract

Recently, we observed that the TGF-β pathway is altered in 39% of HCCs. The alterations are correlated with a raised HMGA2 level. Therefore, we compared genetic alterations of HMGA2 and 43 TGF-β pathway core genes in HCC patients from TCGA database. Genetic alterations of 15 genes, including INHBE, INHBC, GDF11, ACVRL and TGFB2 out of 43 core genes, highly-moderately matched that of HMGA2. Co-occurrences of mutation amplification, gains, deletions and high/low mRNA of HMGA2 with those of the core genes were highly significant in INHBE, INHBC, ACVR1B, ACVRL and GDF11. Mass spectrometry studies revealed that HMGA2 interacted with an E3 ligase, PJA1, and that this interaction is enhanced by TGF-β treatment in the nuclear of HCC cells. Co-localization of nuclear PJA1 and HMGA2 in HCC cells increased upon TGF-β treatment. Raised HMGA2 levels that occur with alterations in the TGF-β signaling pathway may reflect an altered activity of E3 ligases, such as PJA1, and potentially contribute to the tumor-promoting roles of TGF-β signaling. Here, we report that the co-occurrence of genetic alterations in HMGA2 and TGF-β pathway core genes is implicated in HCC progression, and propose that HMGA2 and PJA1 may be potential novel targets in dysfunctional TGF-β signaling in HCC.

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