Human tumorous imaginal disc (Tid1), a DnaJ co-chaperone protein, is classified as a tumor suppressor. Previously, we demonstrated that Tid1 reduces head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) malignancy. However, the molecular details of Tid1-mediated anti-metastasis remain elusive. Methods: We used affinity chromatography and systemic mass spectrometry to identify Tid1-interacting client proteins. Immunohistochemical staining of Tid1 in HNSCC patient tissues was examined to evaluate the association between the expression profile of Tid1-interacting client proteins with pathologic features and prognosis. The roles of Tid1-interacting client proteins in metastasis were validated both in vitro and in vivo. The interacting partner and downstream target of Tid1-interacting client protein were determined. Results: Herein, we first revealed that Galectin-7 was one of the Tid1-interacting client proteins. An inverse association of protein expression profile between Tid1 and Galectin-7 was determined in HNSCC patients. Low Tid1 and high Galectin-7 expression predicted poor overall survival in HNSCC. Furthermore, Tid1 abolished the nuclear translocation of Galectin-7 and suppressed Galectin-7-induced tumorigenesis and metastasis. Keratinocyte-specific Tid1-deficient mice with 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide (4NQO) treatment exhibited increased protein levels of Galectin-7 and had a poor survival rate. Tid1 interacted with Galectin-7 through its N-linked glycosylation to promote Tid1-mediated ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of Galectin-7. Additionally, Galectin-7 played a critical role in promoting tumorigenesis and metastatic progression by enhancing the transcriptional activity of TCF3 transcription factor through elevating MMP-9 expression. Conclusions: Overall, future treatments through activating Tid1 expression or inversely repressing the oncogenic function of Galectin-7 may exhibit great potential in targeting HNSCC progression.
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