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Breast cancer (BC), the most frequent cancer in women worldwide, is extremely heterogeneous. For effective and precise treatment and to cope with drug resistance in BC, we need to find more therapeutic molecular targets. In this study, we found that the Proteasome 26S Subunit, Non-ATPase 12 (PSMD12) was upregulated in BC samples, its expression was heterogeneous among different cell lines, and high levels of PSMD12 were related to poor prognosis of BC patients. Notably, the expression of PSMD12 increased in the nucleus. Cytological experiments revealed that PSMD12 knockdown inhibited cell growth and migration, and a genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 knockout (GeCKO) screen also confirmed that PSMD12 is a crucial gene for the growth of BC cells. Flow cytometry showed that cell apoptosis increased in the PSMD12 knockdown, and RNA-seq indicated that the apoptosis pathway was activated, and the TXNIP, GADD45A, GADD45B, RHOB, and CDKN1A pro-apoptotic genes were highly expressed, a result that was validated by RT-qPCR and Western blot. Furthermore, restoration of PSMD12 expression decreased the expression of pro-apoptotic genes. A tumor-bearing mice assay demonstrated that BC growth was arrested by reduced PSMD12 levels in vivo. Taken together, PSMD12, a subunit of 19S regulator of 26S proteasome, was identified as a potential prognostic and therapeutic molecular target for BC, which provides a new insight for developing anticancer drugs that promote apoptosis based on the targeting of the 26S proteasome complex. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Xinna Du, Xuan Shen, Li Dai, Fangjie Bi, Hu Zhang, Chunfeng Lu. PSMD12 promotes breast cancer growth via inhibiting the expression of pro-apoptotic genes. Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 2020 May 28;526(2):368-374

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PMID: 32222279

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