Suresh S, Durakoglugil D, Zhou X et al.
Department of Molecular Biology, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, United States of America.
PLoS genetics. Mar 2017.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common solid tumor in the world and the third leading cause of cancer-associated deaths. A Sleeping Beauty-mediated transposon mutagenesis screen previously identified mutations that cooperate with MYC to accelerate liver tumorigenesis. This revealed a tumor suppressor role for Steroid Receptor Coactivator 2/Nuclear Receptor Coactivator 2 (Src-2/Ncoa2) in liver cancer. In contrast, SRC-2 promotes survival and metastasis in prostate cancer cells, suggesting a tissue-specific and context-dependent role for SRC-2 in tumorigenesis. To determine if genetic loss of SRC-2 is sufficient to accelerate MYC-mediated liver tumorigenesis, we bred Src-2-/- mice with a MYC-induced liver tumor model and observed a significant increase in liver tumor burden. RNA sequencing of liver tumors and in vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed a set of direct target genes that are bound by SRC-2 and exhibit downregulated expression in Src-2-/- liver tumors. We demonstrate that activation of SHP (Small Heterodimer Partner), DKK4 (Dickkopf-4), and CADM4 (Cell Adhesion Molecule 4) by SRC-2 suppresses tumorigenesis in vitro and in vivo. These studies suggest that SRC-2 may exhibit oncogenic or tumor suppressor activity depending on the target genes and nuclear receptors that are expressed in distinct tissues and illuminate the mechanisms of tumor suppression by SRC-2 in liver.