Bladder cancer is a common and deadly malignancy but its treatment has advanced little due to poor understanding of the factors and pathways that promote disease. ATDC/TRIM29 is a highly expressed gene in several lethal tumor types, including bladder tumors, but its role as a pathogenic driver has not been established. Here we show that overexpression of ATDC in vivo is sufficient to drive both noninvasive and invasive bladder carcinoma development in transgenic mice. ATDC-driven bladder tumors were indistinguishable from human bladder cancers, which displayed similar gene expression signatures. Clinically, ATDC was highly expressed in bladder tumors in a manner associated with invasive growth behaviors. Mechanistically, ATDC exerted its oncogenic effects by suppressing miR- 29 and subsequent upregulation of DNMT3A, leading to DNA methylation and silencing of the tumor suppressor PTEN. Taken together, our findings established a role for ATDC as a robust pathogenic driver of bladder cancer development, identified downstream effector pathways, and implicated ATDC as a candidate biomarker and therapeutic target.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research