Despite being in the same pathway, mutations of KRAS and BRAF in colorectal carcinomas (CRCs) determine distinct progression courses. ZEB1 induces an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and is associated with worse progression in most carcinomas. Using samples from patients with CRC, mouse models of KrasG12D and BrafV600E CRC, and a Zeb1-deficient mouse, we show that ZEB1 had opposite functions in KRAS- and BRAF-mutant CRCs. In KrasG12D CRCs, ZEB1 was correlated with a worse prognosis and a higher number of larger and undifferentiated (mesenchymal or EMT-like) tumors. Surprisingly, in BrafV600E CRC, ZEB1 was associated with better prognosis; fewer, smaller, and more differentiated (reduced EMT) primary tumors; and fewer metastases. ZEB1 was positively correlated in KRAS-mutant CRC cells and negatively in BRAF-mutant CRC cells with gene signatures for EMT, cell proliferation and survival, and ERK signaling. On a mechanistic level, ZEB1 knockdown in KRAS-mutant CRC cells increased apoptosis and reduced clonogenicity and anchorage-independent growth; the reverse occurred in BRAFV600E CRC cells. ZEB1 is associated with better prognosis and reduced EMT signature in patients harboring BRAF CRCs. These data suggest that ZEB1 can function as a tumor suppressor in BRAF-mutant CRCs, highlighting the importance of considering the KRAS/BRAF mutational background of CRCs in therapeutic strategies targeting ZEB1/EMT.
Ester Sánchez-Tilló, Leire Pedrosa, Ingrid Vila, Yongxu Chen, Balázs Győrffy, Lidia Sánchez-Moral, Laura Siles, Juan J. Lozano, Anna Esteve-Codina, Douglas S. Darling, Miriam Cuatrecasas, Antoni Castells, Joan Maurel, Antonio Postigo
This file is in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. If you have not installed and configured the Adobe Acrobat Reader on your system.
PDFs are designed to be printed out and read, but if you prefer to read them online, you may find it easier if you increase the view size to 125%.
Many versions of the free Acrobat Reader do not allow Save. You must instead save the PDF from the JCI Online page you downloaded it from. PC users: Right-click on the Download link and choose the option that says something like "Save Link As...". Mac users should hold the mouse button down on the link to get these same options.