To elucidate mechanisms leading to p130(Cas) up-regulation in mammary carcinomas and during acquired tamoxifen resistance, the regulation of p130(Cas)/BCAR1 was studied.
Because multiple putative binding motifs for the inducible transcription factor EGR1 were identified in the 5' region of BCAR1, the p130(Cas)/BCAR1 regulation by EGR1 and its coregulator NAB2 was investigated.
Overexpression or short interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated down-regulation of EGR1 or NAB2, and chromatin immunoprecipitations indicated that EGR1 and NAB2 act in concert to positively regulate p130(Cas)/BCAR1 expression in breast cancer cells. p130(Cas) depletion using siRNA showed that, in tamoxifen-sensitive MCF-7 cells, p130(Cas) regulates EGR1 and NAB2 expression, whereas in the derivative tamoxifen-resistant TAM-R cells, only NAB2 levels were influenced. BCAR1 messenger RNA and p130(Cas) protein were upregulated by phorbol esters following the kinetics of late response genes in MCF-7 but not in TAM-R cells. Thus, in MCF-7 cells, we identified a positive feedback loop where p130(Cas) positively regulates EGR1 and NAB2, which in turn induce p130(Cas) expression. Importantly, compared with MCF-7, enhanced NAB2 expression and increased EGR1 binding to the BCAR1 5' region observed in TAM-R may lead to the constitutively increased p130(Cas)/BCAR1 levels in TAM-R cells.
The uncovered differences in this EGR1/NAB2/p130(Cas) network in MCF-7 versus TAM-R cells may also contribute to p130(Cas) up-regulation during acquired tamoxifen resistance.