Cancer Res 2019 Apr 8;79(8):1784-1798. Epub 2019 Jan 8.
Lautenberg Center for Immunology and Cancer Research, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, IMRIC, Jerusalem, Israel.
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous, highly aggressive, and difficult to treat tumor type. The tumor suppressor spans FRA16D, a common fragile site that is commonly altered in breast cancer. Despite recent progress, the role of WWOX in TNBC metastasis is unknown. Here we report that WWOX inactivation correlates with advanced stages of TNBC and that its levels are frequently altered in TNBC cells. Ectopic restoration of WWOX in WWOX-negative TNBC cells inhibited metastasis while its depletion in WWOX-positive TNBC cells promoted metastasis. WWOX was a negative regulator of c-MYC, which regulated miR-146a expression and consequently fibronectin levels, contributing to an epithelial status of the cell. Treatment of TNBC cells with anti-miR-146a rescued the WWOX antimetastatic phenotype. Moreover, overexpression of MYC in WWOX-expressing TNBC cells overrode WWOX effects on miR-146a and fibronectin levels. Altogether, our data uncover an essential role for WWOX in antagonizing TNBC progression and highlight its potential use as a biomarker for metastasis. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings highlight the mechanism by which the tumor suppressor WWOX regulates metastasis of triple-negative breast cancer..