Insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein-1 (IMP-1) is an oncofetal protein that binds directly to and stabilizes oncogenic c-Myc and regulates, in turn, its posttranscriptional expression and translation. In contrast to normal adult tissue, IMP-1 is reexpressed and/or overexpressed in human cancers. We show that knockdown of c-Myc in human colon cancer cell lines increases the expression of mature let-7 miRNA family members and downregulates several of its mRNA targets: IMP-1, Cdc34, and K-Ras. We further show that loss of IMP-1 inhibits Cdc34, Lin-28B, and K-Ras, suppresses SW-480 cell proliferation and anchorage-independent growth, and promotes caspase- and lamin-mediated cell death. We also found that IMP-1 binds to the coding region and 3′UTR of K-Ras mRNA. RNA microarray profiling and validation by reverse transcription PCR reveals that the p53-inducible proapoptotic protein CYFIP2 is upregulated in IMP-1 knockdown SW480 cells, a novel finding. We also show that overexpression of IMP-1 increases c-Myc and K-Ras expression and LIM2405 cell proliferation. Furthermore, we show that loss of IMP-1 induces Caspase-3- and PARP-mediated apoptosis, and inhibits K-Ras expression in SW480 cells, which is rescued by CYFIP2 knockdown. Importantly, analysis of 228 patients with colon cancers reveals that IMP-1 is significantly upregulated in differentiated colon tumors (P ≤ 0.0001) and correlates with K-Ras expression (r = 0.35, P ≤ 0.0001) relative to adjacent normal mucosa. These findings indicate that IMP-1, interrelated with c-Myc, acts upstream of K-Ras to promote survival through a novel mechanism that may be important in colon cancer pathogenesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research