Background Ubiquitylation modification is one of the multiple post-transcriptional process to regulate cellular physiology, including cell signaling, cycle regulation, DNA repair and transcriptional regulation. Members of TRIM family proteins could be defined as E3 ubiquitin ligases as they contain a RING-finger domain, and alterations of TRIM proteins are involved into a broad range of diverse disorders including cancer. TRIM37 is a novel discovered E3 ubiquitin ligase and acts as a oncoprotein in multiple human neoplasms, however its biological role in RCC still remains elusive.
Methods RCC microarray chips and public datasets were screened to identify novel TRIMs member as TRIM37, which was dysregulated in RCC. Gain or loss of functional cancer cell models were constructed, and in vitro and in vivo assays were performed to elucidate its tumorigenic phenotypes. Interactive network analyses were utilized to define intrinsic mechanism.
Results We identified TRIM37 was upregulated in RCC tumors, and its aberrant function predicted aggressive neoplastic phenotypes, poorer survival endings. TRIM37 promoted RCC cells EMT and malignant progression via TGF-β1 signaling activation, as a consequence of directly mediated by ubiquitinating-H2A modifications.
Conclusions Our findings identified a previously unappreciated role of TRIM37 in RCC progression and prognostic prediction. Importantly, we declared a novel ubiquitination-dependent link between TRIM ubiquitin ligases and TGF-β1 signaling in regulating cancerous malignancies.