J Biol Chem. 2020 Jul 31:jbc.RA120.014976. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA120.014976. Online ahead of print.
Transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling plays an important role in regulating tumor malignancy, including in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The major biological responses of TGFβ signaling are determined by the effector proteins SMAD2 and SMAD3. However, the regulators of TGFβ-SMADs signaling are not completely revealed yet. Here, we showed that the scaffolding protein PDZ and LIM domain protein 5 (PDLIM5, ENH) critically promotes TGFβ signaling by maintaining SMAD3 stability in
NSCLC. Firstly, PDLIM5 was highly expressed in NSCLC compared with that in adjacent normal tissues, and high PDLIM5 expression was associated with poor outcome. Knockdown of PDLIM5 in NSCLC cells decreased migration and invasion in vitro, and lung metastasis in vivo. In addition, TGFβ signaling and TGFβ-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) was repressed by PDLIM5 knockdown. Mechanistically, PDLIM5 knockdown resulted in a reduction of SMAD3 protein levels. Overexpression of SMAD3 reversed the TGFβ-signaling-repressing and anti-migration effects induced by PDLIM5 knockdown. Notably, PDLIM5 interacted with SMAD3 but not SMAD2, and competitively suppressed the interaction between SMAD3 and its E3 ubiquitin ligase STUB1. Therefore, PDLIM5 protected SMAD3 from STUB1-mediated proteasome degradation. STUB1 knockdown restored SMAD3 protein levels, cell migration and invasion in PDLIM5-knockdown cells. Collectively, our findings indicate that PDLIM5 is a novel regulator of basal SMAD3 stability, with implications for controlling TGFβ signaling and NSCLC progression.