The initiation and progression of breast cancer (BRCA) is associated with inflammation and immune-overactivation, which is critically modulated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase. However, the underlying mechanisms and key factors involved in BRCA formation and disease advancement remains under-explored. By retrospective studies of BRCA patient tissues; and gene knockdown and gain/loss-of-function studies, we uncovered a novel E3 ligase, FBXL8, in BRCA. A signature expression profile of F-box factors that specifically target and degrade proteins involved in cell death/survival, was identified. FBXL8 emerged as a prominent member of the F-box factors. Ex vivo analysis of 1349 matched BRCA tissues indicated that FBXL8 promotes cell survival and tumorigenesis, and its level escalates with BRCA progression. Knockdown of FBXL8 caused: (i) intrinsic apoptosis, (ii) inhibition of cell migration and invasion, (iii) accumulation of two tumor-suppressors, CCND2 and IRF5, and (iv) downregulation of cancer-promoting cytokines/chemokines; all of which curtailed the tumor microenvironment and displayed potential to suppress cancer progression. Co-IP study suggests that two tumor-suppressors, CCND2 and IRF5 are part of the immune-complex of FBXL8. The protein levels of CCND2 and IRF5 inversely correlated with FBXL8 expression, implying that FBXL8 E3 ligase was associated with the degradation of CCND2 and IRF5. Altogether, we propose the exploitation of the ubiquitin signaling axis of FBXL8-CCND2-IRF5 for anti-cancer strategies and potential therapeutics.
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