TRIM47 activates NF-κB signaling via PKC-e/PKD3 stabilization and contributes to endocrine therapy resistance in breast cancer

Kotaro Azuma, Kazuhiro Ikeda, Takashi Suzuki, Kenjiro Aogi, Kuniko Horie-Inoue, Satoshi Inoue

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Increasing attention has been paid to roles of tripartite motif- containing (TRIM) family proteins in cancer biology, often functioning as E3 ubiquitin ligases. In the present study, we focus on a contribution of TRIM47 to breast cancer biology, particularly to endocrine therapy resistance, which is a major clinical problem in breast cancer treatment. We performed immunohistochemical analysis of TRIM47 protein expression in 116 clinical samples of breast cancer patients with postoperative endocrine therapy using tamoxifen. Our clinicopathological study showed that higher immunoreactivity scores of TRIM47 were significantly associated with higher relapse rate of breast cancer patients (P = 0.012). As functional analyses, we manipulated TRIM47 expression in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cells MCF-7 and its 4-hydroxytamoxifen (OHT)-resistant derivative OHTR, which was established in a long-term culture with OHT. TRIM47 promoted both MCF-7 and OHTR cell proliferation. MCF-7 cells acquired tamoxifen resistance by overexpressing exogenous TRIM47. We found that TRIM47 enhances nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) signaling, which further up-regulates TRIM47. We showed that protein kinase C epsilon (PKC-e) and protein kinase D3 (PKD3), known as NF-κB-activating protein kinases, are directly associated with TRIM47 and stabilized in the presence of TRIM47. As an underlying mechanism, we showed TRIM47-dependent lysine 27-linked polyubiquitination of PKC-e. These results indicate that TRIM47 facilitates breast cancer proliferation and endocrine therapy resistance by forming a ternary complex with PKC-e and PKD3. TRIM47 and its associated kinases can be a potential diagnostic and therapeutic target for breast cancer refractory to endocrine therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2100784118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug 31


  • Breast cancer
  • Nuclear factor kappa-B signaling
  • Protein kinase C epsilon
  • Protein kinase D3
  • Tripartite motif containing 47


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