AIB1D4 is an N-terminally truncated isoform of the oncogene amplified in breast cancer 1 (AIB1) with increased expression in high-grade human ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). However, the role of AIB1D4 in DCIS malignant progression has not been defined. Here we CRISPR-engineered RNA splice junctions to produce normal and early-stage DCIS breast epithelial cells that expressed only AIB1D4. These cells showed enhanced motility and invasion in 3D cell culture. In zebrafish, AIB1D4-expressing cells enabled invasion of parental cells when present in a mixed population. In mouse xenografts, a subpopulation of AIB1D4 cells mixed with parental cells enhanced tumor growth, recurrence, and lung metastasis. AIB1D4 chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing revealed enhanced binding to regions including peroxisome proliferatoractivated receptor (PPAR) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) genomic recognition sites. H3K27ac and H3K4me1 genomic engagement patterns revealed selective activation of breast cancer-specific enhancer sites by AIB1D4. AIB1D4 cells displayed upregulated inflammatory response genes and downregulated PPAR signaling gene expression patterns. In the presence of AIB1D4 enabler cells, parental cells increased NF-kB and WNT signaling. Cellular crosstalk was inhibited by the PPARg agonist efatutazone but was enhanced by treatment with the GR agonist dexamethasone. In conclusion, expression of the AIB1D4-selective cistrome in a small subpopulation of cells triggers an “enabler” phenotype hallmarked by an invasive transcriptional program and collective malignant progression in a heterogeneous tumor population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research