Oncogenic transcription factor FOXQ1 has been implicated in promotion of multiple transformed phenotypes in carcinoma cells. Recently, we have characterized FOXQ1 as a melanoma tumor suppressor that acts via repression of N-cadherin gene, and invasion and metastasis. Here we report that FOXQ1 induces differentiation in normal and transformed melanocytic cells at least partially via direct transcriptional activation of MITF gene, melanocytic lineage-specific regulator of differentiation. Importantly, we demonstrate that pigmentation induced in cultured melanocytic cells and in mice by activation of cAMP/CREB1 pathway depends in large part on FOXQ1. Moreover, our data reveal that FOXQ1 acts as a critical mediator of BRAFV600E-dependent regulation of MITF levels, thus providing a novel link between two major signal transduction pathways controlling MITF and differentiation in melanocytic cells.
Cell Death & Differentiation – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 20, 2018