Phosphorylation of proliferating cell nuclear antigen promotes cancer progression by activating the ATM/Akt/GSK3β/Snail signaling pathway

Bo Peng, Janice Ortega, Liya Gu, Zhijie Chang, Guo Min Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and its posttranslational modifications regulate DNA metabolic reactions, including DNA replication and repair, at replication forks. PCNA phosphorylation at Tyr-211 (PCNA-Y211p) inhibits DNA mismatch repair and induces misincorporation during DNA synthesis. Here, we describe an unexpected role of PCNA-Y211p in cancer promotion and development. Cells expressing phosphorylation-mimicking PCNA, PCNA-Y211D, show elevated hallmarks specific to the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), including the up-regulation of the EMT-promoting factor Snail and the down-regulation of EMT-inhibitory factors E-cadherin and GSK3β. The PCNA-Y211D-expressing cells also exhibited active cell migration and underwent G2/M arrest. Interestingly, all of these EMT-associated activities required the activation of ATM and Akt kinases, as inactivating these protein kinases by gene knockdown or inhibitors blocked EMT-associated signaling and cell migration. We concluded that PCNA phosphorylation promotes cancer progression via the ATM/Akt/GSK3β/Snail signaling pathway. In conclusion, this study identifies a novel PCNA function and reveals the molecular basis of phosphorylated PCNA-mediated cancer development and progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7037-7045
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume294
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 26 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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