Tripartite motif (TRIM) proteins have been shown to play important roles in cancer development and progression by modulating cell proliferation or resistance from cell death during non-homeostatic stress conditions found in tumor micro-environments. In this study, we set out to investigate the importance for cellular fitness of the virtually uncharacterized family member TRIM52. The human TRIM52 gene has arisen recently in evolution, making it unlikely that TRIM52 is required for basic cellular functions in normal cells. However, a recent genome-wide ablation screening study has suggested that TRIM52 may be essential for optimal proliferation or survival in certain genetic cancer backgrounds. Identifying genes which fit this concept of genetic context-dependent fitness in cancer cells is of interest as they are promising targets for tumor-specific therapy. We report here that TRIM52 ablation significantly diminished the proliferation of specific glioblastoma cell lines in cell culture and mouse xenografts by compromising their cell cycle progression in a p53-dependent manner. Together, our findings point to a non-redundant TRIM52 function that is required for optimal proliferation.
Keywords: glioblastoma; glucose metabolism; p53; proliferation; tripartite motif protein (TRIM).