Growth factor regulation of estrogen receptor coregulator PELP1 functions via protein kinase A pathway

Jatin K. Nagpal, Sujit Nair, Dimple Chakravarty, Rajib Rajhans, Saikumar Pothana, Darrell W. Brann, Rajeshwar Rao Tekmal, Ratna K. Vadlamudi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


PELP1 (proline-rich, glutamic acid-rich, and leucine-rich protein-1) is a potential proto-oncogene that functions as a coregulator of estrogen receptor (ER), and its expression is deregulated during breast cancer progression. Emerging evidence suggests growth factor signaling crosstalk with ER as one possible mechanism by which breast tumors acquire resistance to therapy. In this study, we examined mechanisms by which growth factors modulate PELP1 functions, leading to activation of ER. Using in vivo labeling assays, we have found that growth factors promote phosphorylation of PELP1. Utilizing a panel of substrate-specific phosphorylated antibodies, we discovered that growth factor stimulation promotes phosphorylation of PELP1 that is recognized by a protein kinase A (PKA) substrate-specific antibody. Accordingly, growth factor-mediated PELP1 phosphorylation was effectively blocked by PKA-specific inhibitor H89. Utilizing purified PKA enzyme and in vitro kinase assays, we obtained evidence of direct PELP1 phosphorylation by PKA. Using deletion and mutational analysis, we identified PELP1 domains that are phosphorylated by PKA. Interestingly, site-directed mutagenesis of the putative PKA site in PELP1 compromised growth factor-induced activation and subnuclear localization of PELP1 and also affected PELP1-mediated transactivation function. Utilizing MCF-7 cells expressing a PELP1 mutant that cannot be phosphorylated by PKA, we provide mechanistic insights by which growth factor signaling regulates ER transactivation in a PELP1-dependent manner. Collectively, these findings suggest that growth factor signals promote phosphorylation of ER coactivator PELP1 via PKA pathway, and such modification may have functional implications in breast tumors with deregulated growth factor signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)851-861
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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