TMEM43/LUMA is a key signaling component mediating EGFR-induced NF-κB activation and tumor progression

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Abstract

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family members play pivotal roles in cell proliferation, differentiation and survival. Overexpression and mutations of EGFRs, or aberrant EGFR signaling are commonly associated with the development of various cancers, where constitutive NF-κB activation is often found to promote the expression of various proteins involved in the proliferation, survival, migration and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of cancer cells. However, the mechanism of EGFR-induced NF-κB activation is not fully defined. Here, we used a Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation-based functional genomics method to perform a high throughput screening and identified TMEM43/LUMA as a critical component in EGFR signaling network, mediating EGFR-induced NF-κB activation. Our data show that EGFR recruits TMEM43 following EGF stimulation. TMEM43 interacts with the scaffold protein CARMA3 and its associating complex to induce downstream NF-κB activation, and plays a critical role in controlling cell survival. TMEM43 deficiency significantly affects colony formation, survival of anoikis-induced cell death, migration and invasion of cancer cells in vitro, as well as tumor progression in vivo. Importantly, higher expression of TMEM43 closely correlates with brain tumor malignancy, and suppression of TMEM43 expression in brain tumor cells inhibited their growth both in vitro and in vivo. Altogether, our studies reveal a crucial link of EGF receptor to NF-κB activation and tumor progression.

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