Endometrial cancer is the most frequent malignancy of the female genital tract in western countries. Our group has previously characterized the upregulation of the transcription factor ETV5 in endometrial cancer with a specific and significant increase in those tumor stages associated with myometrial invasion. We have shown that ETV5 overexpression in Hec1A endometrial cancer cells induces epithelial to mesenchymal transition resulting in the acquisition of migratory and invasive capabilities. In the present work, we have identified Nidogen 1 (NID1) and Nuclear Protein 1 (NUPR1) as direct transcriptional targets of ETV5 in endometrial cancer cells. Inhibition of NID1 and NUPR1 in ETV5 overexpressing cells reduced cell migration and invasion in vitro and reduced tumor growth and dissemination in an orthotopic endometrial cancer model. Importantly, we confirmed a significant increase of NUPR1 and NID1 protein expression in the invasion front of the tumor compared to their paired superficial zone, concomitant to ETV5 overexpression. Altogether, we conclude that NID1 and NUPR1 are novel targets of ETV5 and are actively cooperating with ETV5 at the invasion front of the tumor in the acquisition of an invasive phenotype to jointly drive endometrial cancer invasion.
- Endometrial cancer