Background: We have previously identified kinase suppressor of ras-1 (KSR1) as a potential regulatory gene in breast cancer. KSR1, originally described as a novel protein kinase, has a role in activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases. Emerging evidence has shown that KSR1 may have dual functions as an active kinase as well as a scaffold facilitating multiprotein complex assembly. Although efforts have been made to study the role of KSR1 in certain tumour types, its involvement in breast cancer remains unknown.
Methods: A quantitative mass spectrometry analysis using stable isotope labelling of amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) was implemented to identify KSR1-regulated phosphoproteins in breast cancer. In vitro luciferase assays, co-immunoprecipitation as well as western blotting experiments were performed to further study the function of KSR1 in breast cancer.
Results: Of significance, proteomic analysis reveals that KSR1 overexpression decreases deleted in breast cancer-1 (DBC1) phosphorylation. Furthermore, we show that KSR1 decreases the transcriptional activity of p53 by reducing the phosphorylation of DBC1, which leads to a reduced interaction of DBC1 with sirtuin-1 (SIRT1); this in turn enables SIRT1 to deacetylate p53.
Conclusion: Our findings integrate KSR1 into a network involving DBC1 and SIRT1, which results in the regulation of p53 acetylation and its transcriptional activity.