The apoptosis-stimulating protein of p53 (ASPP) family of proteins can regulate apoptosis by interacting with the p53 family and have been identified to play an important role in cancer progression. Previously, we have demonstrated that ASPP2 downregulation can promote invasion and migration by controlling β-catenin-dependent regulation of ZEB1, however, the role of ASPP1 in colorectal cancer (CRC) remains unclear. We analyzed data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and coupled this to in vitro experiments in CRC cell lines as well as to experimental pulmonary metastasis in vivo. Tissue microarrays of CRC patients with information of clinical-pathological parameters were also used to investigate the expression and function of ASPP1 in CRC. Here, we report that loss of ASPP1 is capable of enhancing migration and invasion in CRC, both in vivo and in vitro. We demonstrate that depletion of ASPP1 could activate expression of Snail2 via the NF-κB pathway and in turn, induce EMT; and this process is further exacerbated in RAS-mutated CRC. ASPP1 could be a prognostic factor in CRC, and the use of NF-κB inhibitors may provide new strategies for therapy against metastasis in ASPP1-depleted CRC patients.
Cell death & disease
Department of Oncology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 430030, Wuhan, China.