A novel signature of ccnf-associated e3 ligases collaborate and counter each other in breast cancer

Shu Chun Chang, Chin Sheng Hung, Bo Xiang Zhang, Tsung Han Hsieh, Wayne Hsu, Jeak Ling Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Breast cancer (BRCA) malignancy causes major fatalities amongst women worldwide. SCF (Skp1-cullin-F-box proteins) E3 ubiquitin ligases are the most well-known members of the ubiq-uitination–proteasome system (UPS), which promotes cancer initiation and progression. Recently, we demonstrated that FBXL8, a novel F-box protein (SCFF-boxes) of SCF E3 ligase, accelerates BRCA advancement and metastasis. Since SCFF-boxes is a key component of E3 ligases, we hypothesized that other SCFF-boxes besides FBXL8 probably collaborate in regulating breast carcinogenesis. In this study, we retrospectively profiled the transcriptome of BRCA tissues and found a notable upregu-lation of four SCFF-box E3 ligases (FBXL8, FBXO43, FBXO15, and CCNF) in the carcinoma tissues. Similar to FBXL8, the knockdown of FBXO43 reduced cancer cell viability and proliferation, sug-gesting its pro-tumorigenic role. The overexpression of CCNF inhibited cancer cell progression, in-dicating its anti-tumorigenic role. Unexpectedly, CCNF protein was markedly downregulated in BRCA tissues, although its mRNA level was high. We showed that both E3 ligases, FBXL8 and FZR1, pulled down CCNF. Double knockdown of FBXL8 and FZR1 caused CCNF accumulation. On the other hand, CCNF itself pulled down a tumorigenic factor, RRM2, and CCNF overexpres-sion reduced RRM2. Altogether, we propose a signature network of E3 ligases that collaboratively modulates CCNF anti-cancer activity. There is potential to target BRCA through modulation of the partnership axes of (i) CCNF-FBXL8, (ii) CCNF-FZR1, and (iii) CCNF-RRM2, particularly, via CCNF overexpression and activation and FBXL8/FZR1 suppression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2873
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2 2021


  • Breast cancer
  • CCNF
  • E3 ubiquitin ligase
  • FBXL8
  • FZR1
  • Metastasis
  • RRM2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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