Analysis of tripartite motif (TRIM) family gene expression in prostate cancer bone metastases

Anne Offermann, Duan Kang, Christian Watermann, Anika Weingart, Marie C. Hupe, Alireza Saraji, Janine Stegmann-Frehse, Rosemarie Kruper, Roland Schüle, Klaus Pantel, Helge Taubert, Stefan Duensing, Zoran Culig, Achim Aigner, Wolfram Klapper, Danny Jonigk, Mark Philipp Kühnel, Axel S. Merseburger, Jutta Kirfel, Verena SailerSven Perner


Tripartite motif (TRIM) family proteins are post-translational protein modifiers with E3-ubiquitin ligase activity, thereby involved in various biological processes. The molecular mechanisms driving prostate cancer (PCa) bone metastasis (BM) are incompletely understood, and targetable genetic alterations are lacking in the majority of cases. Therefore, we aimed to explore the expression and potential functional relevance of 71 TRIM members in bone metastatic PCa. We performed transcriptome analysis of all human TRIM family members and 770 cancer-related genes in 29 localized PCa and 30 PCa BM using Nanostring. KEGG, STRING and Ubibrowser were used for further bioinformatic gene correlation and pathway enrichment analyses. Compared to localized tumors, six TRIMs are under-expressed while nine TRIMs are over-expressed in BM. The differentially expressed TRIM proteins are linked to TNF-, TGFβ-, PI3K/AKT- and HIF-1-signaling, and to features such as proteoglycans, platelet activation, adhesion and ECM-interaction based on correlation to cancer-related genes. The identification of TRIM-specific E3-ligase-substrates revealed insight into functional connections to oncogenes, tumor suppressors and cancer-related pathways including androgen receptor- and TGFβ signaling, cell cycle regulation and splicing. In summary, this is the first study that comprehensively and systematically characterizes the expression of all TRIM members in PCa BM. Our results describe post-translational protein modification as an important regulatory mechanism of oncogenes, tumor suppressors, and pathway molecules in PCa progression. Therefore, this study may provide evidence for novel therapeutic targets, in particular for the treatment or prevention of BM.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1475-1484
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 31.12.2021

Research Areas and Centers

  • Centers: University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH)


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