Repression of CD24 surface protein expression by oncogenic Ras is relieved by inhibition of Raf but not MEK or PI3K

Christian, Sherri L. and Pallegar, Nikitha K. and Ayre, D. Craig (2015) Repression of CD24 surface protein expression by oncogenic Ras is relieved by inhibition of Raf but not MEK or PI3K. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 3 (47). ISSN 2296-634X

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CD24 is a dynamically regulated cell surface protein. High expression of CD24 leads to progression of lung, prostrate, colon, and pancreatic cancers, among others. In contrast, low expression of CD24 leads to cell proliferation and metastasis of breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs). Activating mutations in Ras are found in 30% of all human cancers. Oncogenic Ras constitutively stimulates the Raf, PI3K, and Ral GDS signaling pathways, leading to cellular transformation. Previous studies have shown that expression of oncogenic Ras in breast cancer cells generates CD24− cells from CD24+ cells. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the generation of CD24− cells were not determined. Here, we demonstrate that oncogenic Ras (RasV12) expression suppresses CD24 mRNA, protein, and promoter levels when expressed in NIH/3T3 cells. Furthermore, activation of only the Raf pathway was sufficient to downregulate CD24 mRNA and protein expression to levels similar to those seen in with RasV12 expression. In contrast, activation of the PI3K pathway downregulated mRNA expression with a partial effect on protein expression whereas activation of the RalGDS pathway only partially affected protein expression. Surprisingly, inhibition of MEK with U0126 only partially restored CD24 mRNA expression but not surface protein expression. In contrast, inhibition of Raf with sorafenib did not restore CD24 mRNA expression but significantly increased the proportion of RasV12 cells expressing CD24. Therefore, the Raf pathway is the major repressor of CD24 mRNA and protein expression, with PI3K also able to substantially inhibit CD24 expression. Moreover, these data indicate that the levels of CD24 mRNA and surface protein are independently regulated. Although inhibition of Raf by sorafenib only partially restored CD24 expression, sorafenib should still be considered as a potential therapeutic strategy to alter CD24 expression in CD24− cells, such as BCSCs.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 11859
Additional Information: Memorial University Open Access Author's Fund
Keywords: oncogenic Ras, CD24, PI3K, Raf, gene expression, protein expression
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biochemistry
Date: 5 August 2015
Date Type: Publication
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