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Sep 2018 Cancer research

Erbin Suppresses KSR1-Mediated RAS/RAF Signaling and Tumorigenesis in Colorectal Cancer.


Stevens PD, Wen YA, Xiong X, Zaytseva YY, Li AT, Wang C, Stevens AT, Farmer TN, Gan T, Weiss HL, Inagaki M, Marchetto S, Borg JP, Gao T


Erbin belongs to the LAP (leucine-rich repeat and PDZ domain) family of scaffolding proteins that plays important roles in orchestrating cell signaling. Here, we show that Erbin functions as a tumor suppressor in colorectal cancer. Analysis of Erbin expression in colorectal cancer patient specimens revealed that Erbin was downregulated at both mRNA and protein levels in tumor tissues. Knockdown of Erbin disrupted epithelial cell polarity and increased cell proliferation in 3D culture. In addition, silencing Erbin resulted in increased amplitude and duration of signaling through Akt and RAS/RAF pathways. Erbin loss induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition, which coincided with a significant increase in cell migration and invasion. Erbin interacted with kinase suppressor of Ras 1 (KSR1) and displaced it from the RAF/MEK/ERK complex to prevent signal propagation. Furthermore, genetic deletion of Erbin in Apc knockout mice promoted tumorigenesis and significantly reduced survival. Tumor organoids derived from Erbin/Apc double knockout mice displayed increased tumor initiation potential and activation of Wnt signaling. Results from gene set enrichment analysis revealed that Erbin expression associated positively with the E-cadherin adherens junction pathway and negatively with Wnt signaling in human colorectal cancer. Taken together, our study identifies Erbin as a negative regulator of tumor initiation and progression by suppressing Akt and RAS/RAF signaling These findings establish the scaffold protein Erbin as a negative regulator of EMT and tumorigenesis in colorectal cancer through direct suppression of Akt and RAS/RAF signaling. .

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