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The Journal of cell biology

BRCA1 loss activates cathepsin L-mediated degradation of 53BP1 in breast cancer cells.


PMID 23337117

Abstract

Loss of 53BP1 rescues BRCA1 deficiency and is associated with BRCA1-deficient and triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) and with resistance to genotoxic drugs. The mechanisms responsible for decreased 53BP1 transcript and protein levels in tumors remain unknown. Here, we demonstrate that BRCA1 loss activates cathepsin L (CTSL)-mediated degradation of 53BP1. Activation of this pathway rescued homologous recombination repair and allowed BRCA1-deficient cells to bypass growth arrest. Importantly, depletion or inhibition of CTSL with vitamin D or specific inhibitors stabilized 53BP1 and increased genomic instability in response to radiation and poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase inhibitors, compromising proliferation. Analysis of human breast tumors identified nuclear CTSL as a positive biomarker for TNBC, which correlated inversely with 53BP1. Importantly, nuclear levels of CTSL, vitamin D receptor, and 53BP1 emerged as a novel triple biomarker signature for stratification of patients with BRCA1-mutated tumors and TNBC, with potential predictive value for drug response. We identify here a novel pathway with prospective relevance for diagnosis and customization of breast cancer therapy.

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C6854 Cathepsin L from human liver, ≥0.5 units/mg protein, solution