Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(10):2417-2429. doi:10.7150/ijbs.54442

Research Paper

USP24-GSDMB complex promotes bladder cancer proliferation via activation of the STAT3 pathway

Haiqing He1,2#, Lu Yi1,2#, Bin Zhang3, Bin Yan1,2, Ming Xiao1,2, Jiannan Ren1,2, Dong Zi1,2, Liang Zhu1,2, Zhaohui Zhong1,2, Xiaokun Zhao1,2, Xin Jin1,2✉, Wei Xiong1,2✉

1. Department of Urology, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, 410011, China.
2. Uro-Oncology Institute of Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, 410011, China.
3. Cancer center, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430022, China.
#These authors contributed equally to this work.

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Citation:
He H, Yi L, Zhang B, Yan B, Xiao M, Ren J, Zi D, Zhu L, Zhong Z, Zhao X, Jin X, Xiong W. USP24-GSDMB complex promotes bladder cancer proliferation via activation of the STAT3 pathway. Int J Biol Sci 2021; 17(10):2417-2429. doi:10.7150/ijbs.54442. Available from https://www.ijbs.com/v17p2417.htm

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Abstract

Background: Bladder cancer is the fourth and tenth most common malignancy in men and women worldwide, respectively. One of the main reasons for the unsatisfactory therapeutic control of bladder cancer is that the molecular biological mechanism of bladder cancer is complex. Gasdermin B (GSDMB) is one member of the gasdermin family and participates in the regulation of cell pyroptosis. The role of GSDMB in bladder cancer has not been studied to date.

Methods: TCGA database was used to exam the clinical relevance of GSDMB. Functional assays such as MTT assay, Celigo fluorescent cell-counting assay, Annexin V-APC assay and xenografts were used to evaluate the biological role of GSDMB in bladder cancer. Mass spectrometry and immunoprecipitation were used to detect the protein interaction between GSDMB and STAT3, or GSDMB and USP24. Western blot and immunohistochemistry were used to study the relationship between USP24, GSDMB and STAT3.

Results: In this study, bioinformatics analysis indicated that the mRNA expression level of GSDMB in bladder cancer tissues was higher than that in adjacent normal tissues. Then, we showed that GSDMB promoted bladder cancer progression. Furthermore, we demonstrated that GSDMB interacted with STAT3 to increase the phosphorylation of STAT3 and modulate the glucose metabolism and promote tumor growth in bladder cancer cells. Besides, we also showed that USP24 stabilized GSDMB to activate STAT3 signaling, which was blocked by the USP24 inhibitor.

Conclusions: We suggested that aberrantly up-regulated GSDMB was responsible for enhancing the growth and invasion ability of bladder cancer cells. Then, we showed that GSDMB could bind to STAT3 and activate STAT3 signaling in bladder cancer. Furthermore, we also demonstrated that USP24 interacted with GSDMB and prevented GSDMB from degradation in bladder cancer cells. Therefore, the USP24/GSDMB/STAT3 axis may be a new targetable signaling pathway for bladder cancer treatment.

Keywords: GSDMB, STAT3, USP24, bladder cancer