Pro-invasive effect of proto-oncogene PBF is modulated by an interaction with cortactin

Rachel J. Watkins, Waraporn Imruetaicharoenchoke, Martin L Read, Neil Sharma, Vikki L Poole, Erica Gentillin, Sukhchain Bansal, Emy Bosseboeuf, Rachel Fletcher, Hannah R Nieto, Ujjal Mallick, Allan Hackshaw, Hisham Mehanna, Kristien Boelaert, Vicki E Smith, Christopher J McCabe

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CONTEXT: Metastatic disease is responsible for the majority of endocrine cancer deaths. New therapeutic targets are urgently needed to improve patient survival rates.

OBJECTIVE: The proto-oncogene PTTG1-Binding Factor (PBF/PTTG1IP) is overexpressed in multiple endocrine cancers and circumstantially associated with tumour aggressiveness. This study aimed to understand the role of PBF in tumour cell invasion and identify possible routes to inhibit its action. Design, Setting, Patients, and Interventions: Thyroid, breast and colorectal cells were transfected with PBF and cultured for in vitro analysis. PBF and cortactin (CTTN) expression was determined in differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) and RNA-seq data (TCGA).

PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURE: Pro-invasive effects of PBF were evaluated by 2D Boyden chamber, 3D organotypic and proximity ligation assays.

RESULTS: Our study identified that PBF and CTTN physically interact and co-localise, and that this occurs at the cell periphery, particularly at the leading edge of migrating cancer cells. Critically, PBF induces potent cellular invasion and migration in thyroid and breast cancer cells, which is entirely abrogated in the absence of CTTN. Importantly, we found that CTTN is over-expressed in DTC, particularly in patients with regional lymph node metastasis, which significantly correlates with elevated PBF expression. Mutation of PBF (Y174A) or pharmacological intervention modulates the PBF: CTTN interaction and attenuates the invasive properties of cancer cells.

CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate a unique role for PBF in regulating CTTN function to promote endocrine cell invasion and migration, as well as identifying a new targetable interaction to block tumour cell movement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4551-4563
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number12
Early online date7 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


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