Steroid receptor coactivator-1 upregulates integrin α₅ expression to promote breast cancer cell adhesion and migration

Cancer Res. 2011 Mar 1;71(5):1742-51. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-3453. Epub 2011 Feb 22.


Metastatic breast cancer remains a lethal disease with poorly understood molecular mechanisms. Steroid receptor coactivator-1 (SRC-1 or NCOA1) is overexpressed in a subset of breast cancers with poor prognosis. It potentiates gene expression by serving as a coactivator for nuclear receptors and other transcription factors. We previously reported that SRC-1 promotes breast cancer metastasis without affecting primary mammary tumor formation. Herein, we found that SRC-1 deficiency in mouse and human breast cancer cells substantially reduced cell adhesion and migration capabilities on fibronectin and significantly extended the time of focal adhesion disassembly and reassembly. In agreement with this phenotype, SRC-1 expression positively correlated with integrin α(5) (ITGA5) expression in estrogen receptor-negative breast tumors whereas SRC-1 deficiency decreased ITGA5 expression. Furthermore, ITGA5 reduction in SRC-1-deficient/insufficient breast cancer cells or knockdown of ITGA5 in SRC-1-expressing breast cancer cells was associated with a disturbed integrin-mediated signaling. Critical downstream changes included reduced phosphorylation and/or dampened activation of focal adhesion kinase, paxillin, Rac1, and Erk1/2 during cell adhesion. Finally, we found that SRC-1 enhanced ITGA5 promoter activity through an AP-1 (activator protein)-binding site proximal to the transcriptional initiation site; both SRC-1 and c-Jun were recruited to this promoter region in breast cancer cells. These results show that SRC-1 can promote breast cancer metastasis by directly enhancing ITGA5 expression and thus promoting ITGA5-mediated cell adhesion and migration. Therefore, targeting ITGA5 in SRC-1-positive breast cancers may result in inhibition of SRC-1-promoted breast cancer metastasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Adhesion / genetics
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement* / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / physiology*
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Humans
  • Integrin alpha5 / biosynthesis*
  • Integrin alpha5 / genetics
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / genetics*
  • Nuclear Receptor Coactivator 1 / biosynthesis*
  • Nuclear Receptor Coactivator 1 / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Up-Regulation


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Integrin alpha5
  • NCOA1 protein, human
  • Ncoa1 protein, mouse
  • Nuclear Receptor Coactivator 1