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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Transcriptional upregulation of SPARC, in response to c-Jun overexpression, contributes to increased motility and invasion of MCF7 breast cancer cells.

Overexpression of the c-Jun proto-oncogene in MCF7 breast cancer cells results in a variety of phenotype changes related to malignant progression including increased motility and invasion. Concurrent with these phenotypic effects are changes in the expression of multiple gene targets. We previously demonstrated that expression of the SPARC/osteonectin gene, while undetectable in the MCF7 cell line, is highly induced in response to stable c-Jun overexpression (c-Jun/MCF7). Because the SPARC gene product is associated with tumor cell invasion in a variety of different cancers, we have examined its role in mediating the phenotypic changes induced by c-Jun in MCF7 cells. We found that antisense mediated suppression of SPARC dramatically inhibits both motility and invasion in this c-Jun/MCF7 model. In contrast, stable overexpression of SPARC in the parental MCF7 cell line is not sufficient to stimulate cell motility or invasion. Examination of the promoter region of the human SPARC gene reveals three non-canonical AP-1 sites. We demonstrate that one of these sites binds c-Jun/Fra1 heterodimers in vitro, but that this and the other AP-1 like sites are dispensable with respect to c-Jun stimulated SPARC promoter activation. Deletion analysis identified a region between -120 and -70 as a c-Jun responsive element sufficient to induce maximal promoter activation. This region does not contain any AP-1 sites but does mediate binding by SP1 'like' complexes. Furthermore, this region is necessary for SP1/SP3 responsiveness in Drosophila SL2 cells. These results demonstrate that SPARC plays an important role in stimulating motility and the invasive behavior of c-Jun/MCF7 cells and that SPARC promoter activation by c-Jun appears to occur through an indirect mechanism.[1]


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