SnoN oncoprotein enhances estrogen receptor-α transcriptional activity

Arja M. Band, Marikki Laiho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Estrogen receptor-α (ERα) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) signaling pathways are essential regulators during mammary gland development and tumorigenesis. Ski-related novel gene (SnoN) is an oncoprotein and a negative feedback inhibitor of TGF-β signaling. We have previously reported that low expression of SnoN in ERα positive breast carcinomas is associated with favorable prognosis (Zhang et al. Cancer Res. (2003) 63, 5005-5010). Here we have studied the mechanism of a possible cross-talk between ERα and SnoN. We find that SnoN interacts with the estrogen-activated form of ERα in the nucleus. SnoN contains two highly conserved nuclear receptor binding LxxLL-like motifs and we show that mutations in these motifs reduce the interaction of SnoN with ERα. Over-expression of SnoN enhanced the transcriptional activity of ERα in estrogen response element (ERE)-reporter assays, augmented the expression of several ERα target genes and increased the proliferation of MCF7 breast carcinoma cells in an estrogen-dependent manner. Chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrated that SnoN interacts with ERα at the TTF1 (pS2) gene promoter. Conversely, silencing of SnoN reduced both ERE-reporter activity and the expression of ERα target genes in MCF7 and T-47D breast cancer cells. Histone deacetylase inhibition increased the level of SnoN and SnoN-dependent enhancement of ERα-dependent transcription and SnoN supported the recruitment of p300 histone acetylase to ERα. This study reveals a novel mechanism that interconnects ERα and TGF-β signaling pathways by SnoN. Accordingly, the results indicate that high SnoN level promotes ERα signaling and possibly breast cancer progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)922-930
Number of pages9
JournalCellular Signalling
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Estrogen receptor-α
  • Ski
  • SnoN
  • Transcription
  • Transforming growth factor β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'SnoN oncoprotein enhances estrogen receptor-α transcriptional activity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this