Off-campus University of Miami users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your University of Miami CaneID and Password.

Non-University of Miami users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Publication Date

2009-12-21

Availability

UM campus only

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Medicine)

Date of Defense

2009-11-12

First Committee Member

Karoline Briegel - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Terace Fletcher - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Kerry Burnstein - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

Zafar Nawaz - Mentor

Fifth Committee Member

Francesco DeMayo - Outside Committee Member

Abstract

Steroid receptor coactivators modulate the final outcome of hormone induced gene transcription by steroid receptors. E6-associated protein (E6-AP), an E3 ubiquitin ligase, acts as a coactivator of steroid receptors, including estrogen receptor (ER). In this study, we elucidated the contribution of E6-AP to ER-dependent gene transcription in breast cancer cells. siRNA-mediated knockdown of E6-AP abrogates transcription of classic ER target genes, GREB1 and pS2, suggesting that E6-AP is essential for normal transactivation function of ER. In order to understand the global influence of E6-AP in ER-dependent gene transcription, we used gene expression microarrays under E6-AP knockdown conditions to identify ER target genes which are regulated by E6-AP. Our microarray analysis revealed 455 genes which are differentially regulated by E6-AP. Pathway analysis revealed that E6-AP regulated genes were involved in cell cycle. Cell cycle profiling at various time points of estrogen treatment reveals that under E6-AP knockdown conditions, breast cancer cells progress slowly through S phase and eventually fail to proliferate. Knockdown of E6-AP has no effect on ovarian and uterine cells, suggesting that E6-AP has cell specific roles. Our analysis suggests that knockdown of E6-AP reduces the levels of early (C-Myc and Cyclin-D1), mid (E2F1, E2F2 and E2F7) and late (BUB1, BUBR1, MAD2, NDC80, NUF2 and CASC5) estrogen-dependent cell cycle genes. Overall our data indicate that E6-AP is a major regulator of cell cycle in breast cancer cells. E6-AP also acts as a coactivator for androgen receptor (AR) and we studied the role of E6-AP in prostate gland development. We report the generation of transgenic mice which specifically over expresses E6-AP in the prostate gland. Prostate glands in these mice are larger when compared with its wild-type litter mates, corroborating our observations that knockout of E6-AP in mice leads to impaired prostate gland development. E6-AP transgenic mice also develop prostatic intra epithelial neoplasia after 18 months of age. In addition to these observations, we also show that over expression of E6-AP in the prostate gland leads to increased Akt signaling. In order to understand the mechanism by which E6-AP regulates prostate gland growth, we generated LNCaP cells that stably overexpress E6-AP protein. Data from these cell lines show that the levels of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, total Akt, phosphorylated Akt (active Akt) and its down-stream target protein, GSKβ are elevated, suggesting that E6-AP regulates the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway. We further show that E6-AP modulates PI3K-Akt signaling by regulating the protein levels of RhoA, a small GTPase, which is a negative regulator of the Akt signaling pathway. In addition, we show that stable overexpression of E6-AP in prostate cancer cells results in increased proliferation. Overall our data suggests that E6-AP regulates the PI3K-Akt pathway in prostate cells which results in increased prostate cell growth, proliferation and tumorigenesis.

Keywords

Breast Cancer; MCF-7; Akt; Cell Cycle; Androgen Receptor; E6-AP; Estrogen Receptor

Share

COinS