BCKDK regulates breast cancer cell adhesion and tumor metastasis by inhibiting TRIM21 ubiquitinate talin1

Cell Death Dis. 2023 Jul 17;14(7):445. doi: 10.1038/s41419-023-05944-4.


Breast cancer is the most common malignant cancer in women worldwide. Cancer metastasis is the major cause of cancer-related deaths. BCKDK is associated with various diseases, including proliferation, migration, and invasion in multiple types of human cancers. However, the relevance of BCKDK to the development and progression of breast cancers and its function is unclear. This study found that BCKDK was overexpressed in breast cancer, associated with poor prognosis, and implicated in tumor metastasis. The downregulation of BCKDK expression inhibited the migration of human breast cancer cells in vitro and diminished lung metastasis in vivo. BCKDK perturbed the cadherin-catenin complex at the adherens junctions (AJs) and assembled focal adhesions (FAs) onto the extracellular matrix, thereby promoting the directed migration of breast cancer cells. We observed that BCKDK acted as a conserved regulator of the ubiquitination of cytoskeletal protein talin1 and the activation of the FAK/MAPK pathway. Further studies revealed that BCKDK inhibited the binding of talin1 to E3 ubiquitin ligase-TRIM21, leading to the decreased ubiquitination/degradation of talin1. In conclusion, identifying BCKDK as a biomarker for breast cancer metastasis facilitated further research on diagnostic biomarkers. Elucidating the mechanism by which BCKDK exerted its biological effect could provide a new theoretical basis for developing new markers for breast cancer metastasis and contribute to developing new therapies for the clinical treatment of breast cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement
  • Female
  • Focal Adhesions / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms* / secondary
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology
  • Talin


  • (3-methyl-2-oxobutanoate dehydrogenase (lipoamide)) kinase
  • SS-A antigen
  • TLN1 protein, human
  • Talin