DPYSL3 modulates mitosis, migration, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in claudin-low breast cancer

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Dec 18;115(51):E11978-E11987. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1810598115. Epub 2018 Nov 29.


A Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC) proteogenomic analysis prioritized dihydropyrimidinase-like-3 (DPYSL3) as a multilevel (RNA/protein/phosphoprotein) expression outlier specific to the claudin-low (CLOW) subset of triple-negative breast cancers. A PubMed informatics tool indicated a paucity of data in the context of breast cancer, which further prioritized DPYSL3 for study. DPYSL3 knockdown in DPYSL3-positive ([Formula: see text]) CLOW cell lines demonstrated reduced proliferation, yet enhanced motility and increased expression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers, suggesting that DPYSL3 is a multifunctional signaling modulator. Slower proliferation in DPYSL3-negative ([Formula: see text]) CLOW cells was associated with accumulation of multinucleated cells, indicating a mitotic defect that was associated with a collapse of the vimentin microfilament network and increased vimentin phosphorylation. DPYSL3 also suppressed the expression of EMT regulators SNAIL and TWIST and opposed p21 activated kinase 2 (PAK2)-dependent migration. However, these EMT regulators in turn induce DPYSL3 expression, suggesting that DPYSL3 participates in negative feedback on EMT. In conclusion, DPYSL3 expression identifies CLOW tumors that will be sensitive to approaches that promote vimentin phosphorylation during mitosis and inhibitors of PAK signaling during migration and EMT.

Keywords: CRMP4; DPYSL3; EMT; claudin-low breast cancer; multinucleation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Claudins / metabolism*
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / genetics
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / physiology*
  • Feedback, Physiological
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Heterografts
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Mitosis / physiology*
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proteogenomics
  • Proteomics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Snail Family Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Twist-Related Protein 1 / metabolism
  • Vimentin / metabolism
  • Zinc Finger E-box Binding Homeobox 2 / metabolism
  • Zinc Finger E-box-Binding Homeobox 1 / metabolism
  • p21-Activated Kinases / metabolism


  • Claudins
  • DPYSL3 protein, human
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • SNAI1 protein, human
  • SNAI2 protein, human
  • Snail Family Transcription Factors
  • TWIST1 protein, human
  • TWIST2 protein, human
  • Twist-Related Protein 1
  • VIM protein, human
  • Vimentin
  • ZEB1 protein, human
  • ZEB2 protein, human
  • Zinc Finger E-box Binding Homeobox 2
  • Zinc Finger E-box-Binding Homeobox 1
  • PAK2 protein, human
  • p21-Activated Kinases