Overexpression of VIRMA confers vulnerability to breast cancers via the m6A-dependent regulation of unfolded protein response

Lee, Quintin and Song, Renhua and Phan, Dang Anh Vu and Pinello, Natalia and Tieng, Jessica and Su, Anni and Halstead, James M. and Wong, Alex C. H. and van Geldermalsen, Michelle and Lee, Bob S.-L. and Rong, Bowen and Cook, Kristina M. and Larance, Mark and Liu, Renjing and Lan, Fei and Tiffen, Jessamy C. and Wong, Justin J.-L. (2023) Overexpression of VIRMA confers vulnerability to breast cancers via the m6A-dependent regulation of unfolded protein response. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 80 (6). ISSN 1420-682X

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Link to published document: http://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-023-04799-4

Abstract

Virilizer-like m(6)A methyltransferase-associated protein (VIRMA) maintains the stability of the m(6)A writer complex. Although VIRMA is critical for RNA m(6)A deposition, the impact of aberrant VIRMA expression in human diseases remains unclear. We show that VIRMA is amplified and overexpressed in 15-20% of breast cancers. Of the two known VIRMA isoforms, the nuclear-enriched full-length but not the cytoplasmic-localised N-terminal VIRMA promotes m(6)A-dependent breast tumourigenesis in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, we reveal that VIRMA overexpression upregulates the m(6)A-modified long non-coding RNA, NEAT1, which contributes to breast cancer cell growth. We also show that VIRMA overexpression enriches m(6)A on transcripts that regulate the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway but does not promote their translation to activate the UPR under optimal growth conditions. Under stressful conditions that are often present in tumour microenvironments, VIRMA-overexpressing cells display enhanced UPR and increased susceptibility to death. Our study identifies oncogenic VIRMA overexpression as a vulnerability that may be exploited for cancer therapy.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2023 03:47
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2023 04:57
URI: http://eprints.victorchang.edu.au/id/eprint/1411

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