CYLD is a novel tumor suppressor gene that was discovered by positional cloning of the linkage interval for Familial Cylindromatosis(FC) on chromosome 16q12. FC is an autosomal dominantly inherited syndrome characterized by disfiguring skin appendage tumors, such as cylindromas, trichoepitheliomas and spiradenomas. Typically these tumors are located on the scalp and face,appear in childhood or early adulthood, and gradually increase in size and number throughout life. Moreover, malignant transformation of these tumors with locally invasive behavior as well as distant metastasis can occur. Germline mutations in CYLD have been demonstrated in families with FC, and loss of heterozygosity at the CYLD locus has been found in these neoplasms, suggesting that CYLD functions as a tumor suppressor. The protein product of CYLD is 956 amino acids and contains sequence motifs found in deubiquitinating enzymes and microtubule binding proteins. It is expressed in a variety of tissues, and of interest, its expression in the skin is observed in the epidermis as well as in the skin appendages. Mutations leading to gain of function of proto-oncogenes or loss of function of tumor suppressor genes result in tumor development. Tumor suppressor genes either inhibit proliferation, promote apoptosis, or enhance differentiation, and maintain genomic integrity via regulation of distinct cellular pathways, one of which is the NF-KB signaling pathway. Recent data suggests that CYLD has enzymatic activity to deubiquitinate target proteins. It has been shown to interact with several members of the NF-KB signaling pathway, such as TRAF-2, TRIP, and IKKy/NEMO, and negatively regulate NF-KB activation. However, the molecular and cellular mechanism(s) of CYLD tumor suppression is largely unknown. NF-KB signaling is essential for ectodermal organogenesis. NF-KB suppression results in severe defects in the development of epidermal appendages including hair follicles and sweat glands. In addition, abnormalities in NF-KB signaling play a role in epidermal neoplasia. However, the mechanisms of tumor development related to NF-KB signaling, and in particular the role of CYLD-dependent tumorigenesis, are not well understood. Our overall goal is to define the functions of CYLD in cutaneous tumorigenesis. We have identified a variety of mutations in the CYLD gene in patients with FC. However, the mutational data on CYLD is currently limited.
In Aim 1, we will evaluate genotype and phenotype correlation in FC that will lead to a molecular-based understanding of the skin appendage tumors. As a crucial step in defining the mechanisms of CYLD-mediated tumor suppression, we will establish a mouse model for FC in Aim 2. And lastly, our Preliminary Studies demonstrate that CYLD is present in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm of HeLa cells at steady state and that leptomycin B treatment increases its nuclear localization. This observation suggests that CYLD constitutively shuttles between cytoplasmic and nuclear compartments in a CRMl-dependent manner. However, its role in the nucleus has not been defined.
In Aim 3, we first plan to identify a functional nuclear export signal responsible for nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling of CYLD and evaluate localization of CYLD during NF-KB activation. Second, to provide insights into its nuclear role, we will attempt to identify its interaction partners in the nucleus. We anticipate that significant insights into the pathway of CYLD regulated tumor suppression will arise in the course of these studies, thereby extending our understanding of tumorigenesis.
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