Reciprocal SOX2 regulation by SMAD1-SMAD3 is critical for anoikis resistance and metastasis in cancer.

TitleReciprocal SOX2 regulation by SMAD1-SMAD3 is critical for anoikis resistance and metastasis in cancer.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsShonibare Z, Monavarian M, O'Connell K, Altomare D, Shelton A, Mehta S, Jaskula-Sztul R, Phaeton R, Starr MD, Whitaker R, Berchuck A, Nixon AB, Arend RC, Lee NY, C Miller R, Hempel N, Mythreye K
JournalCell Rep
Date Published2022 Jul 26
KeywordsAnimals, Anoikis, Bone Morphogenetic Proteins, Histones, Mice, Neoplasms, Smad1 Protein, Smad3 Protein, SOXB1 Transcription Factors, Transforming Growth Factor beta

Growth factors in tumor environments are regulators of cell survival and metastasis. Here, we reveal the dichotomy between TGF-β superfamily growth factors BMP and TGF-β/activin and their downstream SMAD effectors. Gene expression profiling uncovers SOX2 as a key contextual signaling node regulated in an opposing manner by BMP2, -4, and -9 and TGF-β and activin A to impact anchorage-independent cell survival. We find that SOX2 is repressed by BMPs, leading to a reduction in intraperitoneal tumor burden and improved survival of tumor-bearing mice. Repression of SOX2 is driven by SMAD1-dependent histone H3K27me3 recruitment and DNA methylation at SOX2's promoter. Conversely, TGF-β, which is elevated in patient ascites, and activin A can promote SOX2 expression and anchorage-independent survival by SMAD3-dependent histone H3K4me3 recruitment. Our findings identify SOX2 as a contextual and contrastingly regulated node downstream of TGF-β members controlling anchorage-independent survival and metastasis in ovarian cancers.

Alternate JournalCell Rep
PubMed ID35905726
PubMed Central IDPMC9899501
Grant ListP20 GM109091 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
R01 CA230628 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
Faculty Member Reference: 
Nam Lee, Ph.D.