Int J Biol Sci 2022; 18(9):3888-3907. doi:10.7150/ijbs.72842 This issue

Research Paper

Hypoxia-inducible CircPFKFB4 Promotes Breast Cancer Progression by Facilitating the CRL4DDB2 E3 Ubiquitin Ligase-mediated p27 Degradation

Hang Chen1, Rui Yang1, Lei Xing2, Bin Wang1,3, Dawei Liu4, Xiaoqiang Ou1, Yumei Deng1, Rong Jiang5, Junxia Chen1✉

1. Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, Chongqing Medical University, 1 Yixueyuan Road, Chongqing 400016 P.R. China.
2. Department of Endocrine and breast surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, 1 Yixueyuan Road, Chongqing 400016, P.R. China.
3. Department of Oncology, Daping Hospital of Army Medical University, 10 Changjiang Branch Road, Chongqing 400042, P.R. China.
4. Department of anesthesiology, Yongchuan Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, 439 XuanHua Road, Chongqing 402160, P.R. China.
5. Laboratory of Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Chongqing Medical University, 1 Yixueyuan Road, Chongqing 400016, P.R. China.

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Citation:
Chen H, Yang R, Xing L, Wang B, Liu D, Ou X, Deng Y, Jiang R, Chen J. Hypoxia-inducible CircPFKFB4 Promotes Breast Cancer Progression by Facilitating the CRL4DDB2 E3 Ubiquitin Ligase-mediated p27 Degradation. Int J Biol Sci 2022; 18(9):3888-3907. doi:10.7150/ijbs.72842. Available from https://www.ijbs.com/v18p3888.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

Hypoxic microenvironment and circular RNAs (circRNAs) have shown critical implications in breast cancer (BC) progression. However, the specific functions and underlying mechanisms of circRNAs in BC under hypoxia remain largely unknown. We first screened for differentially expressed circRNAs in normoxic and hypoxic MCF-7 cells using circRNA microarray. A novel hypoxia-induced circRNA, circPFKFB4, was identified. Clinical investigation showed that circPFKFB4 was highly expressed in BC tissues and cell lines, and its overexpression was positively correlated with the advanced clinical stage and poor prognosis of BC patients. Functionally, circPFKFB4 promoted the proliferation of BC cells both in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, HIF1α bound to hypoxia response elements in the promoter region of the PFKFB4 gene to facilitate the biogenesis of circPFKFB4 under hypoxia. Hypoxia-induced circPFKFB4 directly bound to both DDB1 and DDB2 and promoted the CRL4DDB2 E3 ubiquitin ligase assembly, resulting in p27 ubiquitination and BC progression under hypoxia. Our findings revealed a novel interaction between circPFKFB4 and the CRL4DDB2 E3 ubiquitin ligase, suggesting that circPFKFB4 might serve as a promising biomarker and therapeutic target for BC.

Keywords: Hypoxia, Breast cancer, circPFKFB4, CRL4DDB2 E3 ubiquitin ligase, p27