FATS inhibits the Wnt pathway and induces apoptosis through degradation of MYH9 and enhances sensitivity to paclitaxel in breast cancer

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Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent and diverse malignancies, and, with global cases increasing, the need for biomarkers to inform individual sensitivity to chemotherapeutics has never been greater. Our retrospective clinical analysis predicted that the expression of the fragile site-associated tumor suppressor (FATS) gene was associated with the sensitivity of breast cancer to neoadjuvant chemotherapy with paclitaxel. In vitro experiments subsequently demonstrated that FATS significantly increased the inhibitory effects of paclitaxel on breast cancer cells’ migration, growth, and survival. An interaction screen revealed that FATS interacted with MYH9 and promoted its degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, thereby downregulating Wnt signaling. By overexpression of FATS and MYH9, we demonstrated that FATS enhanced paclitaxel-induced apoptosis in breast cancer cells by degrading MYH9 to downregulate the Wnt pathway. We also demonstrated in a mouse xenograft model that FATS significantly increased the chemosensitivity of breast cancer cells to paclitaxel in vivo . This study presents a new mechanism by which FATS interacts with MYH9 to suppress the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and induce apoptosis, thus enhancing the sensitivity of breast cancer cells to paclitaxel chemotherapy. The results also propose novel biomarkers for predicting breast cancer sensitivity to neoadjuvant chemotherapy with paclitaxel. Finally, we provide in vivo evidence that the combination of paclitaxel with IWR-1, a novel Wnt pathway inhibitor, synergistically suppresses breast cancer growth, laying the foundation for future trials with this drug combination. These results therefore provide a number of potential solutions for more precise treatment of patients with breast cancer in the future.

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