Active FOXO1 Is a Key Determinant of Isoform-Specific Progesterone Receptor Transactivation and Senescence Programming.

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Molecular cancer research : MCR, ISSN: 1557-3125, Vol: 14, Issue: 2, Page: 141-62

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Diep, Caroline H; Knutson, Todd P; Lange, Carol A
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; Medicine
article description
Progesterone promotes differentiation coupled to proliferation and prosurvival in the breast, but inhibits estrogen-driven growth in the reproductive tract and ovaries. Herein, it is demonstrated, using progesterone receptor (PR) isoform-specific ovarian cancer model systems, that PR-A and PR-B promote distinct gene expression profiles that differ from PR-driven genes in breast cancer cells. In ovarian cancer models, PR-A primarily regulates genes independently of progestin, while PR-B is the dominant ligand-dependent isoform. Notably, FOXO1 and the PR/FOXO1 target gene p21 (CDKN1A) are repressed by PR-A, but induced by PR-B. In the presence of progestin, PR-B, but not PR-A, robustly induced cellular senescence via FOXO1-dependent induction of p21 and p15 (CDKN2B). Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays performed on PR isoform-specific cells demonstrated that while each isoform is recruited to the same PRE-containing region of the p21 promoter in response to progestin, only PR-B elicits active chromatin marks. Overexpression of constitutively active FOXO1 in PR-A-expressing cells conferred robust ligand-dependent upregulation of the PR-B target genes GZMA, IGFBP1, and p21, and induced cellular senescence. In the presence of endogenous active FOXO1, PR-A was phosphorylated on Ser294 and transactivated PR-B at PR-B target genes; these events were blocked by the FOXO1 inhibitor (AS1842856). PR isoform-specific regulation of the FOXO1/p21 axis recapitulated in human primary ovarian tumor explants treated with progestin; loss of progestin sensitivity correlated with high AKT activity.