The Journal of biological chemistry

Progesterone receptor A stability is mediated by glycogen synthase kinase-3β in the Brca1-deficient mammary gland.

PMID 23880761


Germ line mutations of the BRCA1 gene increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, but the basis of this tissue-specific tumor predisposition is not fully understood. Previously, we reported that the progesterone receptors are stabilized in Brca1-deficient mammary epithelial cells, and treating with anti-progesterone delays mammary tumorigenesis in Brca1/p53 conditional knock-out mice, suggesting that the progesterone has a critical role in breast carcinogenesis. To further explore how the stability of progesterone receptor is modulated, here, we have found that glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3β phosphorylation of progesterone receptor-A (PR-A) facilitates its ubiquitination. GSK-3β-mediated phosphorylation of serine 390 in PR-A regulates its subsequent ubiquitination and protein stability. Expression of PR-A(S390A) mutant in the human breast epithelial cells, MCF-10A, results in enhanced proliferation and formation of aberrant acini structure in the three-dimensional culture. Consistently, reduction of phosphorylation of serine 390 of PR-A and GSK-3β activity is observed in the Brca1-deficient mammary gland. Taken together, these results provide important aspects of tissue specificity of BRCA1-mediated suppression of breast carcinogenesis.