Cancer Lett. 2020 Sep 4:S0304-3835(20)30456-0. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2020.08.042. Online ahead of print.
IQ motif containing GTPase-activating protein 3 (IQGAP3) has been implicated in diverse cellular processes, including neuronal morphogenesis, cell proliferation and motility, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. However, its role in cancer radioresistance is completely unknown. Here, we report that IQGAP3 is overproduced in lung cancer patients and correlates with poor clinical outcomes. Functionally, we demonstrate that depletion of IQGAP3 impairs oncogenesis and overcomes radioresistance in
lung cancer in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, we uncover that IQGAP3 interacts with Rad17 and controls its expression to activate the ATM/Chk2 and ATR/Chk1 signaling pathways by recruiting the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex in response to DNA damage. Moreover, Rad17 is identified as the major downstream effector that mediates the functions of IQGAP3 in lung cancer. Clinically, IQGAP3 overexpression positively correlates with Rad17 upregulation in human lung cancer tissues. Collectively, these data support key role for IQGAP3 in promoting lung cancer radioresistance by interacting with Rad17 and suggest that targeting IQGAP3 may be an attractive strategy for lung cancer radiotherapy.