RNF8 identified as a co-activator of estrogen receptor α promotes cell growth in breast cancer

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The ring finger protein 8 (RNF8), a key component of protein complex crucial for DNA-damage response, consists of a forkhead-associated (FHA) domain and a really interesting new gene (RING) domain that enables it to function as an E3 ubiquitin ligase. However, the biological functions of RNF8 in estrogen receptor α (ERα)-positive breast cancer and underlying mechanisms have not been fully defined. Here, we have explored RNF8 as an associated partner of ERα in breast cancer cells, and co-activates ERα-mediated transactivation. Accordingly, RNF8 depletion inhibits the expression of endogenous ERα target genes. Interestingly, our results have demonstrated that RNF8 increases ERα stability at least partially if not all via triggering ERα monoubiquitination. RNF8 functionally promotes breast cancer cell proliferation. RNF8 is highly expressed in clinical breast cancer samples and the expression of RNF8 positively correlates with that of ERα. Up-regulation of ERα-induced transactivation by RNF8 might contribute to the promotion of breast cancer progression by allowing enhancement of ERα target gene expression. Our study describes RNF8 as a co-activator of ERα increases ERα stability via post-transcriptional pathway, and provides a new insight into mechanisms for RNF8 to promote cell growth of ERα-positive breast cancer.




Wang, S., Luo, H., Wang, C., Sun, H., Sun, G., Sun, N., … Zhao, Y. (2017). RNF8 identified as a co-activator of estrogen receptor α promotes cell growth in breast cancer. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease, 1863(6), 1615–1628. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbadis.2017.02.011

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