TAB3 O-GlcNAcylation promotes metastasis of triple negative breast cancer

Oncotarget. 2016 Apr 19;7(16):22807-18. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.8182.


O-GlcNAcylation is a post-translational modification that regulates a broad range of nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins and is emerging as a key regulator of various biological processes. Although previous studies have shown that increased levels of global O-GlcNAcylation and O-GlcNActransferase are linked to the incidence of metastasis in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients, the molecular basis behind this is not fully understood. In this study, we have determined that the TAK1 binding protein 3 (TAB3) was O-GlcNAcylated at Ser408 by OGT in the TNBC, which was required for its Thr404 phosphorylation, TAK1 activation and downstream nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activation in TNBC. O-GlcNAcylation of TAB3 was induced by p38 MAPK and it in turn enhances the TAK1 mediated p38MAPK activation, which forms the positive feedback loop in TAB3mediated NF-κB activation. In TNBC, TAB3O-GlcNAcylationmediated cell migration and invasion by activating its downstream NF-κB. The expression of TAB3 O-GlcNAcylation increased in TNBC patients, and it was significantly correlated with poor prognoses of the patients. Our study provides insights into the mechanism of TAB3 regulating activity and suggests its important implications in TNBC metastasis.

Keywords: O-glcNAcylation; TAB3; metastasis; triple negative breast cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Acylation
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Heterografts
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • TAB3 protein, human
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases
  • O-GlcNAc transferase