ASPM activates Hedgehog and Wnt signaling to promote small cell lung cancer stemness and progression

Li-Hsin Cheng, Chung-Chi Hsu, Hung-Wen Tsai, Wen-Ying Liao, Pei-Ming Yang, Tai-Yan Liao, Hsiao-Yen Hsieh, Tze-Sian Chan, Kelvin K. Tsai

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11 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)


Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is among the most aggressive and lethal human malignancies. Most patients with SCLC who initially respond to chemotherapy develop disease relapse. Therefore, there is a pressing need to identify novel driver mechanisms of SCLC progression to unlock treatment strategies to improve patient prognosis. SCLC cells comprise subsets of cells possessing progenitor or stem cell properties, while the underlying regulatory pathways remain elusive. Here, we identified the isoform 1 of the neurogenesis-associated protein ASPM (ASPM-I1) as a prominently upregulated stemness-associated gene during the self-renewal of SCLC cells. The expression of ASPM-I1 was found to be upregulated in SCLC cells and tissues, correlated with poor patient prognosis, and indispensable for SCLC stemness and tumorigenesis. A reporter array screening identified multiple developmental signaling pathways, including Hedgehog (Hh) and Wnt pathways, whose activity in SCLC cells depended upon ASPM-I1 expression. Mechanistically, ASPM-I1 stabilized the Hh transcriptional factor GLI1 at the protein level through a unique exon-18-encoded region by competing with the E3 ligases β-TrCP and CUL3. In parallel, ASPM-I1 sustains the transcription of the Hh pathway transmembrane regulator SMO through the WntDVL3β-catenin signaling axis. Functional studies verified that the ASPM-I1-regulated Hh and Wnt activities significantly contributed to SCLC aggressiveness in vivo. Consistently, the expression of ASPM-I1 positively correlated with GLI1 and stemness markers in SCLC tissues. This study illuminates an ASPM-I1-mediated regulatory module that drives tumor stemness and progression in SCLC, providing an exploitable diagnostic and therapeutic target.
期刊Cancer Research
出版狀態已發佈 - 1月 1 2023