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Tripartite motif-containing 3 (TRIM3) enhances ER signaling and confers tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer
Oncogenesis  (IF7.485),  Pub Date : 2021-09-10, DOI: 10.1038/s41389-021-00350-x
Runyi Ye, NiJiati AiErken, Xiaying Kuang, Huijuan Zeng, Nan Shao, Ying Lin, Pian Liu, Shenming Wang

Tamoxifen resistance remains a clinical problem in estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer. SUMOylation of ERα enhances ERα-induced transcription activity. Tripartite motif-containing (TRIM) proteins are a new class of SUMO E3 ligases, which regulate the SUMOylation of proteins. However, the precise molecular mechanism and function of TRIM3 in SUMOylation and the response to tamoxifen remain unclear. In the present study, we observed that TRIM3 was dramatically overexpressed in breast cancer, which correlated with tamoxifen resistance. Furthermore, TRIM3 overexpression significantly correlated with poor survival of patients with ER+ breast cancer treated with tamoxifen. TRIM3 overexpression conferred cell survival and tumorigenesis, whereas knocking down of TRIM3 reduced these capabilities. Moreover, TRIM3, as a ubiquitin carrier protein 9 (UBC9) binding protein, promoted SUMO modification of estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1) and activated the ER pathway. Silencing UBC9 abolished the function of TRIM3 in regulating tamoxifen resistance. These results suggest TRIM3 as a novel biomarker for breast cancer therapy, indicating that inhibiting TRIM3 combined with tamoxifen might provide a potential treatment for breast cancer.