RGS2 suppresses breast cancer cell growth via a MCPIP1-dependent pathway

J Cell Biochem. 2015 Feb;116(2):260-7. doi: 10.1002/jcb.24964.


Regulator of G protein signaling 2 (RGS2) is a member of a family of proteins that functions as a GTPase-activating protein (GAP) for Gα subunits. RGS2 mRNA expression is lower in breast cancerous tissues than in normal tissues. In addition, expression of RGS2 is also lower in MCF7 (cancerous breast cells) than in MCF10A (normal breast cells). Here we investigated whether RGS2 inhibits growth of breast cancer cells. RGS2 overexpression in MCF7 cells inhibited epidermal growth factor- or serum-induced proliferation. In HEK293T cells expressing RGS2, cell growth was also significantly suppressed (In addition, exogenous expression of RGS2 in HEK293T cells resulted in the significant suppression of cell growth). These results suggest that RGS2 may have a tumor suppressor function. MG-132 treatment of MCF7 cells increased endogenous or exogenous RGS2 levels, suggesting a post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism that controls RGS2 protein levels. RGS2 protein was degraded polyubiquitinated the K71 residue, but stabilized by deubiquitinase monocyte chemotactic protein-induced protein 1 (MCPIP1), and not affected by dominant negative mutant (C157A) of MCPIP1. Gene expression profiling study showed that overexpression of RGS2 decreased levels of testis specific Y encoded like protein 5 (TSPYL5), which plays a causal role in breast oncogenesis. TSPYL5 protein expression was low in MCF10A and high in MCF7 cells, showing the opposite aspect to RGS2 expression. Additionally, RGS2 or MCPIP1 overexpression in MCF7 cells decreased TSPYL5 protein level, indicating that RGS2 stabilized by MCPIP1 have diminished TSPYL5 protein levels, thereby exerting an inhibitory effect of breast cancer cell growth.

Keywords: DUB; GPCR; MCPIP1; RGS2; TSPYL5.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics*
  • Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Leupeptins / pharmacology
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / metabolism
  • Proteolysis / drug effects
  • RGS Proteins / genetics*
  • RGS Proteins / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Ribonucleases / genetics*
  • Ribonucleases / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism


  • Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors
  • Leupeptins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • RGS Proteins
  • RGS2 protein, human
  • TSPYL5 protein, human
  • Transcription Factors
  • Ubiquitin
  • Ribonucleases
  • ZC3H12A protein, human
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • benzyloxycarbonylleucyl-leucyl-leucine aldehyde