Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

EVI1 oncoprotein interacts with a large and complex network of proteins and integrates signals through protein phosphorylation.

PMID 23858473


Ecotropic viral integration site-1 (EVI1) is an oncogenic zinc finger transcription factor whose expression is frequently up-regulated in myeloid leukemia and epithelial cancers. To better understand the mechanisms underlying EVI1-associated disease, we sought to define the EVI1 interactome in cancer cells. By using stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC)-based quantitative proteomics, we could confidently assign 78 proteins as EVI1-interacting partners for FLAG-tagged EVI1. Subsequently, we showed that 22 of 27 tested interacting proteins could coimmunoprecipitate with endogenous EVI1 protein, which represented an 81.5% validation rate. Additionally, by comparing the stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) data with high-throughput yeast two hybrid results, we showed that five of these proteins interacted directly with EVI1. Functional classification of EVI1-interacting proteins revealed associations with cellular transcription machinery; modulators of transcription; components of WNT, TGF-β, and RAS pathways; and proteins regulating DNA repair, recombination, and mitosis. We also identified EVI1 phosphorylation sites by MS analysis and showed that Ser538 and Ser858 can be phosphorylated and dephosphorylated by two EVI1 interactome proteins, casein kinase II and protein phosphatase-1α. Finally, mutations that impair EVI1 phosphorylation at these sites reduced EVI1 DNA binding through its C-terminal zinc finger domain and induced cancer cell proliferation. Collectively, these combinatorial proteomic approaches demonstrate that EVI1 interacts with large and complex networks of proteins, which integrate signals from various different signaling pathways important for oncogenesis. Comprehensive analysis of the EVI1 interactome has thus provided an important resource for dissecting the molecular mechanisms of EVI1-associated disease.