Siew Wee Chan, Chun Jye Lim, Ke Guo, Chee Peng Ng, Ian Lee, Walter Hunziker, Qi Zeng, and Wanjin Hong.
Cancer and Developmental Cell Biology Division, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore.
Correspondence should be addressed to Wanjin HONG: email@example.com
TAZ (WWTR1), identified as a 14-3-3 binding protein with a PDZ binding motif, modulates mesenchymal stem cell differentiation. We now show that TAZ plays a critical role in the migration, invasion, and tumorigenesis of breast cancer cells. TAZ is conspicuously expressed in human breast cancer cell lines in which its expression levels generally correlate with the invasiveness of cancer cells. Overexpression of TAZ in lowexpressing MCF10A cells causes morphologic changes characteristic of cell transformation and promotes cell migration and invasion. Conversely, RNA interference–mediated knockdown of TAZ expression in MCF7 and Hs578T cells reduces cell migration and invasion. TAZ knockdown in MCF7 cells also retards anchorage independent growth in soft agar and tumorigenesis in nude mice. Significantly, TAZ is overexpressed in f20% of breast cancer samples. These results indicate that TAZ plays a role in the migration, invasion, and tumorigenesis of breast cancer cells and thus presents a novel target for the detection and treatment of breast cancer.