Oncogenic STRAP functions as a novel negative regulator of E-cadherin and p21Cip1 by modulating the transcription factor Sp1
We have previously reported the identification of a novel WD-domain protein, STRAP that plays a role in maintenance of mesenchymal morphology by regulating E-cadherin and that enhances tumorigenicity partly by downregulating CDK inhibitor p21Cip1. However, the functional mechanism of regulation of E-cadherin and p21Cip1 by STRAP is unknown. Here, we have employed STRAP knock out and knockdown cell models (mouse embryonic fibroblast, human cancer cell lines) to show how STRAP downregulates E-cadherin and p21Cip1 by abrogating the binding of Sp1 to its consensus binding sites. Moreover, ChIP assays suggest that STRAP recruits HDAC1 to Sp1 binding sites in p21Cip1 promoter. Interestingly, loss of STRAP can stabilize Sp1 by repressing its ubiquitination in G1 phase, resulting in an enhanced expression of p21Cip1 by >4.5-fold and cell cycle arrest. Using Bioinformatics and Microarray analyses, we have observed that 87% mouse genes downregulated by STRAP have conserved Sp1 binding sites. In NSCLC, the expression levels of STRAP inversely correlated with that of Sp1 (60%). These results suggest a novel mechanism of regulation of E-cadherin and p21Cip1 by STRAP by modulating Sp1-dependent transcription, and higher expression of STRAP in lung cancer may contribute to downregulation of E-cadherin and p21Cip1 and to tumor progression.