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Protein 4.1N acts as a potential tumor suppressor linking PP1 to JNK-c-Jun pathway regulation in NSCLC


Protein 4.1N is a member of protein 4.1 family and has been recognized as a potential tumor suppressor in solid tumors. Here, we aimed to investigate the role and mechanisms of 4.1N in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We confirmed that the expression level of 4.1N was inversely correlated with the metastatic properties of NSCLC cell lines and histological grade of clinical NSCLC tissues. Specific knockdown of 4.1N promoted tumor cell proliferation, migration and adhesion in vitro, and tumor growth and metastasis in mouse xenograft models. Furthermore, we identified PP1 as a novel 4.1N-interacting molecule, and the FERM domain of 4.1N mediated the interaction between 4.1N and PP1. Further, ectopic expression of 4.1N could inactivate JNK-c-Jun signaling pathway through enhancing PP1 activity and interaction between PP1 and p-JNK. Correspondingly, expression of potential downstream metastasis targets (ezrin and MMP9) and cell cycle targets (p53, p21 and p19) of JNK-c-Jun pathway were also regulated by 4.1N. Our data suggest that down-regulation of 4.1N expression is a critical step for NSCLC development and that repression of JNK-c-Jun signaling through PP1 is one of the key anti-tumor mechanisms of 4.1N.

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