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Diacylglycerol kinase ζ (DGKZ) is a diacylglycerol kinase that metabolizes diacylglycerol to yield phosphatidic acid, and its function in breast cancer progression remains unclear. In this study, via screening of a CRISPR-Cas9 knockout library containing lipid metabolic genes, DGKZ was identified as a potential prometastatic gene. We first confirmed that high DGKZ expression correlated with tumor progression and poor prognosis in patients. Next, knockout of DGKZ in triple-negative breast cancer cell lines were found to significantly inhibit metastatic behaviors in vitro and in vivo, whereas its overexpression increased the metastatic potential of cell lines. Mechanistic studies based on RNA sequencing and bioinformatic analysis indicated that DGKZ might regulate cell metastasis by promoting epithelial-mesenchymal transition via the transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling pathway. Furthermore, we found that overexpression of DGKZ activated the TGFβ/TGFβR2/Smad3 signaling pathway by inhibiting the degradation of TGFβR2 through suppression of caveolin/lipid raft-dependent endocytosis. Moreover, the caveolin/lipid raft-dependent endocytosis of TGFβR2 was regulated by the metabolite phosphatidic acid, which might alter TGFβR2 partitioning in lipid rafts and nonlipid rafts by affecting the fluidity of the plasma membrane. These findings suggested that DGKZ is a novel promoter of metastasis and that it could be a potential prognostic indicator in patients with triple-negative breast cancer. © 2022. The Author(s).


Yuanyuan Zhao, Hefen Sun, Xuan Li, Qiqi Liu, Yang Liu, Yifeng Hou, Wei Jin. DGKZ promotes TGFβ signaling pathway and metastasis in triple-negative breast cancer by suppressing lipid raft-dependent endocytosis of TGFβR2. Cell death & disease. 2022 Feb 03;13(2):105

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PMID: 35115500

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