The MYC proto-oncogene (MYC) is one of the most frequently overexpressed genes in breast cancer that drives cancer stem cell-like traits, resulting in aggressive disease progression and poor prognosis. In this study, we identified zinc finger transcription factor 148 (ZNF148, also called Zfp148 and ZBP-89) as a direct target of MYC. ZNF148 suppressed cell proliferation and migration and was transcriptionally repressed by MYC in breast cancer. Depletion of ZNF148 by short hairpin RNA (shRNA) and CRISPR/Cas9 increased triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell proliferation and migration. Global transcriptome and chromatin occupancy analyses of ZNF148 revealed a central role in inhibiting cancer cell de-differentiation and migration. Mechanistically, we identified the Inhibitor of DNA binding 1 and 3 (ID1, ID3), drivers of cancer stemness and plasticity, as previously uncharacterized targets of transcriptional repression by ZNF148. Silencing of ZNF148 increased the stemness and tumorigenicity in TNBC cells. These findings uncover a previously unknown tumor suppressor role for ZNF148, and a transcriptional regulatory circuitry encompassing MYC, ZNF148, and ID1/3 in driving cancer stem cell traits in aggressive breast cancer.
|State||Published - Dec 2022|