Research Papers

WT1 activates transcription of the splice factor kinase SRPK1 gene in PC3 and K562 cancer cells in the absence of corepressor BASP1

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms 1863: 194642 (2020)
 - PMID/doi: 33017668
Authors: Tareg Belali, Chigeru Wodi, Bethany Clark, Man-Kim Cheung,Tim Craig, Gabrielle Wheway, Nicole Wagner, Kay Wagner, Stefan Roberts, Sean Porazinski, Michael Ladomery


Dysregulated alternative splicing plays a prominent role in all hallmarks of cancer. The splice factor kinase SRPK1 drives the activity of oncogenic splice factors such as SRSF1. SRSF1 in turn promotes the expression of splice isoforms that favour tumour growth, including proangiogenic VEGF. Knockdown (with siRNA) or chemical inhibition (using SPHINX) of SRPK1 in K562 leukemia and PC3 prostate cancer cell lines reduced cell proliferation, invasion and migration. In glomerular podocytes, the Wilms tumour suppressor zinc-finger transcription factor WT1 represses SRPK1 transcription. Here we show that in cancer cells WT1 activates SRPK1 transcription, unless a canonical WT1 binding site adjacent to the transcription start site is mutated.The ability of WT1 to activate SRPK1 transcription was reversed by the transcriptional corepressor BASP1. Both WT1 and BASP1 co-precipitated with the SRPK1 promoter, and BASP1 significantly increased the expression of the antiangiogenic VEGF 165 b splice isoform. We propose that by upregulating SRPK1 transcription WT1 can direct an alternative splicing landscape that facilitates tumour growth.

Keywords: BASP1; SRPK1; SRSF1; Splice factor kinases; VEGF; WT1