Phosphorylation of CREB-Specific Coactivator CRTC2 at Ser238 Promotes Proliferation, Migration, and Invasion of Colorectal Cancer Cells

Colorectal Cancer

Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2020 Jan-Dec;19:1533033820962111. doi: 10.1177/1533033820962111.


cAMP response element binding protein (CREB)-regulated transcription coactivator 2 (CRTC2), a member of the novel CRTC family of transcriptional coactivators that activates basic leucine zipper transcription factors, including CREB, is overexpressed in many carcinomas, including colon cancer. Phosphorylation of CRTC2 protein at different residues is important for its subcellular localization and activity. However, the functions of some of the serine phosphorylation sites have not been

elucidated. This study aimed to investigate the effects of phosphorylation of Ser127, Ser238, and Ser245 sites of CRTC2 in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. Recombinant lentiviral particles with a CRTC2-targeting small hairpin RNA (shRNA) sequence were transfected into CRC cells to obtained shCRTC2 cell lines. Site-directed mutagenesis of Ser127, Ser238, and Ser245 cells were constructed by transfecting CRTC2 cDNA containing S127A, S238A, and S245A mutations into shCRTC2. Cell proliferation was measured by cell counting kit-8. Cell migration and invasion were examined by transwell assay. mRNA expression was assayed by qRT-PCR, and protein expression was determined by Western blot. Our results indicate that CRTC2 is overexpressed in CRC cells. Knockdown of CRTC2 inhibits the proliferation, migration, and invasion of CRC cells. When the phosphorylation of CRTC2 Ser238 decreases due to the lack of ERK2, the phosphorylation of Ser171 site increases. The proliferation, migration and invasion of CRC cells were inhibited, the nuclear aggregation of CRTC2 in the nucleus was reduced, and the interaction between CRTC2 and CREB was weaken. It is shown that the phosphorylation of CRTC2 Ser238 is important for CREB transcriptional activity. These findings may help in the identification of potentially new targets for CRC therapy.