Research Papers:

SUMOylated MAFB promotes colorectal cancer tumorigenesis

Lin-Sen Yang, Xiao-Jian Zhang, Yin-Yin Xie, Xiao-Jian Sun, Ren Zhao _ and Qiu-Hua Huang

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:83488-83501. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13129

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Lin-Sen Yang1,*, Xiao-Jian Zhang2,*, Yin-Yin Xie1, Xiao-Jian Sun1, Ren Zhao2, Qiu-Hua Huang1

1State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Rui Jin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China

2Department of General Surgery, Rui Jin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Ren Zhao, email: [email protected]

Qiu-Hua Huang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: MAFB, SUMOylation, cell cycle, CDK6, colorectal cancer

Received: July 28, 2016     Accepted: October 19, 2016     Published: November 05, 2016


The transcription factor, v-maf avian musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma oncogene homolog B (MAFB), promotes tumorigenesis in some cancers. In this study, we found that MAFB levels were increased in clinical colorectal cancer (CRC) samples, and higher expression correlated with more advanced TNM stage. We identified MAFB amplifications in a majority of tumor types in an assessment of The Cancer Genome Atlas database. Altered MAFB levels due to gene amplification, deletion, mutation, or transcription upregulation occurred in 9% of CRC cases within the database. shRNA knockdown experiments demonstrated that MAFB deficiency blocked CRC cell proliferation by arresting the cell cycle at G0/G1 phase in vitro. We found that MAFB could be SUMOylated by SUMO1 at lysine 32, and this modification was critical for cell cycle regulation by MAFB in CRC cells. SUMOylated MAFB directly regulated cyclin-dependent kinase 6 transcription by binding to its promoter. MAFB knockdown CRC cell xenograft tumors in mice grew more slowly than controls, and wild-type MAFB-overexpressing tumors grew more quickly than tumors overexpressing MAFB mutated at lysine 32. These data suggest that SUMOylated MAFB promotes CRC tumorigenesis through cell cycle regulation. MAFB and its SUMOylation process may serve as novel therapeutic targets for CRC treatment.

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