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Zeng, Wodzenski, Gao, Shiraishi, Terada, Li, Vander Griend, Luo, Kong, Getzenberg, Kulkarni (2013) Stress-Response Protein RBM3 Attenuates the Stem-like Properties of Prostate Cancer Cells by Interfering with CD44 Variant Splicing Cancer research 73(13) 4123-33


Stress-response pathways play an important role in cancer. The cold-inducible RNA-binding protein RBM3 is upregulated in several types of cancer, including prostate cancer, but its pathogenic contributions are undetermined. RBM3 is expressed at low basal levels in human fetal prostate or in CD133(+) prostate epithelial cells (PrEC), compared with the adult prostate or CD133-PrEC, and RBM3 is downregulated in cells cultured in soft agar or exposed to stress. Notably, RBM3 overexpression in prostate cancer cells attenuated their stem cell-like properties in vitro as well as their tumorigenic potential in vivo. Interestingly, either overexpressing RBM3 or culturing cells at 32°C suppressed RNA splicing of the CD44 variant v8-v10 and increased expression of the standard CD44 (CD44s) isoform. Conversely, silencing RBM3 or culturing cells in soft agar (under conditions that enrich for stem cell-like cells) increased the ratio of CD44v8-v10 to CD44s mRNA. Mechanistic investigations showed that elevating CD44v8-v10 interfered with MMP9-mediated cleavage of CD44s and suppressed expression of cyclin D1, whereas siRNA-mediated silencing of CD44v8-v10 impaired the ability of prostate cancer cells to form colonies in soft agar. Together, these findings suggested that RBM3 contributed to stem cell-like character in prostate cancer by inhibiting CD44v8-v10 splicing. Our work uncovers a hitherto unappreciated role of RBM3 in linking stress-regulated RNA splicing to tumorigenesis, with potential prognostic and therapeutic implications in prostate cancer. Cancer Res; 73(13); 4123-33. ©2013 AACR.


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