Acetylation of conserved DVL-1 lysines regulates its nuclear translocation and binding to gene promoters in triple-negative breast cancer

Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 7;9(1):16257. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-52723-3.


Dishevelled (DVL) proteins are central mediators of the Wnt signalling pathway and are versatile regulators of several cellular processes, yet little is known about their post-translational regulation. Acetylation is a reversible post-translational modification (PTM) which regulates the function of several non-histone proteins involved in tumorigenesis. Since we previously demonstrated that lysine deacetylase, SIRT-1, regulates DVL protein levels and its function, we reasoned that DVL could potentially be a substrate for SIRT-1 mediated deacetylation. To further examine the potential role of multiple families of lysine deacetylases in the post-translational regulation of DVL, we screened for novel acetylation sites using liquid chromatography mass-spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis. Herein, we report 12 DVL-1 lysine residues that show differential acetylation in response to changes in oxygen tension and deacetylase inhibition in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). PTMs are well documented to influence protein activity, and cellular localization. We also identify that acetylation of two key lysine residues, K69 and K285, present on the DIX and PDZ domains respectively, promote nuclear over cytoplasmic localization of DVL-1, and influences its promoter binding and regulation of genes implicated in cancer. Collectively, these findings for the first time, uncover acetylation as a novel layer of regulation of DVL-1 proteins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation / drug effects
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Aromatase / genetics
  • Aromatase / metabolism
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Dishevelled Proteins / chemistry
  • Dishevelled Proteins / genetics
  • Dishevelled Proteins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Lysine / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Protein Transport
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / pathology


  • Biomarkers
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • DVL1 protein, human
  • DVL3 protein, human
  • Dishevelled Proteins
  • Aromatase
  • CYP19A1 protein, human
  • Lysine
  • Oxygen