Int J Biol Sci 2020; 16(6):1071-1085. doi:10.7150/ijbs.41230

Research Paper

The CARM1-p300-c-Myc-Max (CPCM) transcriptional complex regulates the expression of CUL4A/4B and affects the stability of CRL4 E3 ligases in colorectal cancer

Wenzhu Lu1, Chunmei Yang2, Hongbo He1, Hong Liu1✉

1. Department of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan, China
2. Department of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine, Chengdu Shangjinnanfu Hospital/West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan, China

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Citation:
Lu W, Yang C, He H, Liu H. The CARM1-p300-c-Myc-Max (CPCM) transcriptional complex regulates the expression of CUL4A/4B and affects the stability of CRL4 E3 ligases in colorectal cancer. Int J Biol Sci 2020; 16(6):1071-1085. doi:10.7150/ijbs.41230. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v16p1071.htm

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Abstract

The transcription factor c-Myc and two cullin family members CUL4A/4B function as oncogenes in colorectal cancer. Our recent publication reveals that c-Myc specifically activates the expression of CUL4A/4B through binding to their promoters. However, the underlying mechanism of how c-Myc actions in this process is still unknown. Using mass spectrometry and immunoprecipitation assays, we identified c-Myc formed a transcriptional complex with its partner Max (Myc-associated factor X), a histone acetyltransferase p300 and a coactivator associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1) in the present study. Knockdown or overexpression of the components of CARM1-p300-c-Myc-Max (CPCM) complex resulted in a decrease or increase of CUL4A/4B levels, respectively. Individual knockdown or inhibition of CPCM components decreased cell proliferation, colony formation, and cell invasion. Biochemically, knockdown or inhibition of CPCM components decreased their occupancies on the promoters of CUL4A/4B and resulted in their downregulation. Importantly, inhibition of CPCM components also caused a decrease of CRL4 E3 ligase activities and eventually led to an accumulation of ST7 (suppression of tumorigenicity 7), the specific substrate of CRL4 E3 ligases in colorectal cancer. Moreover, the in vivo tumor formation results indicated that knockdown or inhibition of CPCM components significantly decreased the tumor volumes. Together, our results suggest that the CPCM complex mediates explicitly the expression of CUL4A/4B, and thus affects the stability of CRL4 E3 ligases and the ubiquitination of ST7. These results provide more options by targeting the CPCM components to inhibit tumor growth in the therapy of colorectal cancer.

Keywords: CARM1, p300, CUL4A, CUL4B, CRL4 E3 ligase, colorectal cancer