American Association for Cancer Research
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Supplementary Table from TRAF4 Inhibits Bladder Cancer Progression by Promoting BMP/SMAD Signaling

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posted on 2023-04-03, 20:02 authored by Prasanna Vasudevan Iyengar, Dieuwke Louise Marvin, Dilraj Lama, Tuan Zea Tan, Sudha Suriyamurthy, Feng Xie, Maarten van Dinther, Hailiang Mei, Chandra Shekhar Verma, Long Zhang, Laila Ritsma, Peter ten Dijke
Supplementary Table from TRAF4 Inhibits Bladder Cancer Progression by Promoting BMP/SMAD Signaling


H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

Cancer Genomics Centre (CGC)

KWF Kankerbestrijding (DCS)

Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC)

Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)



Patients with bladder cancer often have a poor prognosis due to the highly invasive and metastatic characteristics of bladder cancer cells. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been causally linked to bladder cancer invasion. The E3 ubiquitin ligase, tumor necrosis factor receptor–associated factor 4 (TRAF4) has been implicated as a tumor promoter in a wide range of cancers. In contrast, here we show that low TRAF4 expression is associated with poor overall survival in patients with bladder cancer. We show that the TRAF4 gene is epigenetically silenced and that ERK mediates TRAF4 phosphorylation, resulting in lower TRAF4 protein levels in bladder cancer cells. In addition, we demonstrate that TRAF4 is inversely correlated with an EMT gene signature/protein marker expression. Functionally, by manipulating TRAF4 expression, we show that TRAF4 regulates EMT genes and epithelial and invasive properties in bladder cancer cells. Transcriptomic analysis of dysregulated TRAF4 expression in bladder cancer cell lines revealed that high TRAF4 expression enhances the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)/SMAD and inhibits the NF-κB signaling pathway. Mechanistically, we show that TRAF4 targets the E3 ubiquitin ligase SMURF1, a negative regulator of BMP/SMAD signaling, for proteasomal degradation in bladder cancer cells. This was corroborated in patient samples where TRAF4 positively correlates with phospho-SMAD1/5, and negatively correlates with phospho-NFκb-p65. Lastly, we show that genetic and pharmacologic inhibition of SMURF1 inhibits the migration of aggressive mesenchymal bladder cancer cells. Our findings identify E3 ubiquitin ligase TRAF4 as a potential therapeutic target or biomarker for bladder cancer progression.

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