American Association for Cancer Research
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Supplementary Figure 12 from SOX9 Is Essential for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cell Survival and Metastasis

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posted on 2023-04-03, 17:48 authored by Yanxia Ma, Jonathan Shepherd, Dekuang Zhao, Lakshmi Reddy Bollu, William M. Tahaney, Jamal Hill, Yun Zhang, Abhijit Mazumdar, Powel H. Brown

SOX9 controls EMT pathway



Susan G. Komen Scientific Advisory Board Grant

Breast Cancer Research Foundation


John Charles Cain Endowment



Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) has the worst prognosis of all breast cancers, and lacks effective targeted treatment strategies. Previously, we identified 33 transcription factors highly expressed in TNBC. Here, we focused on six sex determining region Y-related HMG-box (SOX) transcription factors (SOX4, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 11) highly expressed in TNBCs. Our siRNA screening assay demonstrated that SOX9 knockdown suppressed TNBC cell growth and invasion in vitro. Thus, we hypothesized that SOX9 is an important regulator of breast cancer survival and metastasis, and demonstrated that knockout of SOX9 reduced breast tumor growth and lung metastasis in vivo. In addition, we found that loss of SOX9 induced profound apoptosis, with only a slight impairment of G1 to S progression within the cell cycle, and that SOX9 directly regulates genes controlling apoptosis. On the basis of published CHIP-seq data, we demonstrated that SOX9 binds to the promoter of apoptosis-regulating genes (tnfrsf1b, fadd, tnfrsf10a, tnfrsf10b, and ripk1), and represses their expression. SOX9 knockdown upregulates these genes, consistent with the induction of apoptosis. Analysis of available CHIP-seq data showed that SOX9 binds to the promoters of several epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT)- and metastasis-regulating genes. Using CHIP assays, we demonstrated that SOX9 directly binds the promoters of genes involved in EMT (vim, cldn1, ctnnb1, and zeb1) and that SOX9 knockdown suppresses the expression of these genes. Our studies identified the SOX9 protein as a “master regulator” of breast cancer cell survival and metastasis, and provide preclinical rationale to develop SOX9 inhibitors for the treatment of women with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer.

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