National Science Foundation
American Lung Association Fellowship
Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Stanford Cancer Institute
ARTICLE ABSTRACTThe Nkx2-1 transcription factor promotes differentiation of lung epithelial lineages and suppresses malignant progression of lung adenocarcinoma. However, targets of Nkx2-1 that limit tumor growth and progression remain incompletely understood. Here, direct Nkx2-1 targets are identified whose expression correlates with Nkx2-1 activity in human lung adenocarcinoma. Selenium-binding protein 1 (Selenbp1), an Nkx2-1 effector that limits phenotypes associated with lung cancer growth and metastasis, was investigated further. Loss- and gain-of-function approaches demonstrate that Nkx2-1 is required and sufficient for Selenbp1 expression in lung adenocarcinoma cells. Interestingly, Selenbp1 knockdown also reduced Nkx2-1 expression and Selenbp1 stabilized Nkx2-1 protein levels in a heterologous system, suggesting that these genes function in a positive feedback loop. Selenbp1 inhibits clonal growth and migration and suppresses growth of metastases in an in vivo transplant model. Genetic inactivation of Selenbp1, using CRISPR/Cas9, also enhanced primary tumor growth in autochthonous lung adenocarcinoma mouse models. Collectively, these data demonstrate that Selenbp1 is a direct target of Nkx2-1, which inhibits lung adenocarcinoma growth in vivo.Implications: Selenbp1 is an important suppressor of lung tumor growth that functions in a positive feedback loop with Nkx2-1, and whose loss is associated with worse patient outcome. Mol Cancer Res; 16(11); 1737–49. ©2018 AACR.