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Deregulated 14-3-3ζ and methionine adenosyltransferase α1 interplay promotes liver cancer tumorigenesis in mice and humans.


Methionine adenosyltransferase 1A (MAT1A) is a tumor suppressor downregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma, two of the fastest rising cancers worldwide. We compared MATα1 (protein encoded by MAT1A) interactome in normal versus cancerous livers by mass spectrometry to reveal interactions with 14-3-3ζ. The MATα1/14-3-3ζ complex was critical for the expression of 14-3-3ζ. Similarly, the knockdown and small molecule inhibitor for 14-3-3ζ (BV02), and ChIP analysis demonstrated the role of 14-3-3ζ in suppressing MAT1A expression. Interaction between MATα1 and 14-3-3ζ occurs directly and is enhanced by AKT2 phosphorylation of MATα1. Blocking their interaction enabled nuclear MATα1 translocation and inhibited tumorigenesis. In contrast, overexpressing 14-3-3ζ lowered nuclear MATα1 levels and promoted tumor progression. However, tumor-promoting effects of 14-3-3ζ were eliminated when liver cancer cells expressed mutant MATα1 unable to interact with 14-3-3ζ. Taken together, the reciprocal negative regulation that MATα1 and 14-3-3ζ exert is a key mechanism in liver tumorigenesis.

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