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Microtubules are required for diverse cellular processes, and abnormal regulation of microtubule dynamics is closely associated with severe diseases including malignant tumors. In this study, we report that α-tubulin N-acetyltransferase (αTAT1), a regulator of α-tubulin acetylation, is required for colon cancer proliferation and invasion via regulation of Wnt1 and its downstream genes expression. Public transcriptome analysis showed that expression of ATAT1 is specifically upregulated in colon cancer tissue. A knockout (KO) of ATAT1 in the HCT116 colon cancer cell line, using the CRISPR/Cas9 system showed profound inhibition of proliferative and invasive activities of these cancer cells. Overexpression of αTAT1 or the acetyl-mimic K40Q α-tubulin mutant in αTAT1 KO cells restored the invasiveness, indicating that microtubule acetylation induced by αTAT1 is critical for HCT116 cell invasion. Analysis of colon cancer-related gene expression in αTAT1 KO cells revealed that the loss of αTAT1 decreased the expression of WNT1. Mechanistically, abrogation of tubulin acetylation by αTAT1 knockout inhibited localization of β-catenin to the plasma membrane and nucleus, thereby resulting in the downregulation of Wnt1 and of its downstream genes including CCND1, MMP-2, and MMP-9. These results suggest that αTAT1-mediated Wnt1 expression via microtubule acetylation is important for colon cancer progression. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Somi Oh, Eunae You, Panseon Ko, Jangho Jeong, Seula Keum, Sangmyung Rhee. Genetic disruption of tubulin acetyltransferase, αTAT1, inhibits proliferation and invasion of colon cancer cells through decreases in Wnt1/β-catenin signaling. Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 2017 Jan 01;482(1):8-14

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PMID: 27836544

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