Priority Research Papers:

ZNF131 suppresses centrosome fragmentation in glioblastoma stem-like cells through regulation of HAUS5

Yu Ding _, Jacob A. Herman, Chad M. Toledo, Jackie M. Lang, Philip Corrin, Emily J. Girard, Ryan Basom, Jeffrey J. Delrow, James M. Olson and Patrick J. Paddison

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:48545-48562. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.18153

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Yu Ding1,6, Jacob A. Herman1,2, Chad M. Toledo1,3,7, Jackie M. Lang2,3, Philip Corrin1, Emily J. Girard4, Ryan Basom5, Jeffrey J. Delrow5, James M. Olson4 and Patrick J. Paddison1,3

1 Human Biology Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA

2 Basic Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA

3 Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

4 Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA

5 Genomics and Bioinformatics Shared Resources, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA

6 Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, Shanghai, China

7 Nurix Inc., San Francisco, CA, USA

Correspondence to:

Patrick J. Paddison, email:

Keywords: glioblastoma, ZNF131, HAUS5, Augmin/HAUS complex, cancer therapeutics

Received: February 17, 2017 Accepted: May 05, 2017 Published: May 24, 2017


Zinc finger domain genes comprise ~3% of the human genome, yet many of their functions remain unknown. Here we investigated roles for the vertebrate-specific BTB domain zinc finger gene ZNF131 in the context of human brain tumors. We report that ZNF131 is broadly required for Glioblastoma stem-like cell (GSC) viability, but dispensable for neural progenitor cell (NPC) viability. Examination of gene expression changes after ZNF131 knockdown (kd) revealed that ZNF131 activity notably promotes expression of Joubert Syndrome ciliopathy genes, including KIF7, NPHP1, and TMEM237, as well as HAUS5, a component of Augmin/HAUS complex that facilitates microtubule nucleation along the mitotic spindle. Of these genes only kd of HAUS5 displayed GSC-specific viability loss. Critically, HAUS5 ectopic expression was sufficient to suppress viability defects of ZNF131 kd cells. Moreover, ZNF131 and HAUS5 kd phenocopied each other in GSCs, each causing: mitotic arrest, centrosome fragmentation, loss of Augmin/HAUS complex on the mitotic spindle, and loss of GSC self-renewal and tumor formation capacity. In control NPCs, we observed centrosome fragmentation and lethality only when HAUS5 kd was combined with kd of HAUS2 or HAUS4, demonstrating that the complex is essential in NPCs, but that GSCs have heightened requirement. Our results suggest that GSCs differentially rely on ZNF131-dependent expression of HAUS5 as well as the Augmin/HAUS complex activity to maintain the integrity of centrosome function and viability.

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