A MYC-ZNF148-ID1/3 regulatory axis modulating cancer stem cell traits in aggressive breast cancer

Mijeong Kim, Manjot Singh, Bum-Kyu Lee, Moira Hibbs, Kirsty Richardson, Lesley Ellies, Larissa Wintle, Lisa Stuart, Jenny Y. Wang, Dominic C. Voon, Pilar Blancafort, Jianlong Wang, Jonghwan Kim, Peter Leedman, Andrew Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The MYC proto-oncogene (MYC) is one of the most frequently overexpressed genes in breast cancer that drives cancer stem cell-like traits, resulting in aggressive disease progression and poor prognosis. In this study, we identified zinc finger transcription factor 148 (ZNF148, also called Zfp148 and ZBP-89) as a direct target of MYC. ZNF148 suppressed cell proliferation and migration and was transcriptionally repressed by MYC in breast cancer. Depletion of ZNF148 by short hairpin RNA (shRNA) and CRISPR/Cas9 increased triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell proliferation and migration. Global transcriptome and chromatin occupancy analyses of ZNF148 revealed a central role in inhibiting cancer cell de-differentiation and migration. Mechanistically, we identified the Inhibitor of DNA binding 1 and 3 (ID1, ID3), drivers of cancer stemness and plasticity, as previously uncharacterized targets of transcriptional repression by ZNF148. Silencing of ZNF148 increased the stemness and tumorigenicity in TNBC cells. These findings uncover a previously unknown tumor suppressor role for ZNF148, and a transcriptional regulatory circuitry encompassing MYC, ZNF148, and ID1/3 in driving cancer stem cell traits in aggressive breast cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Article number60
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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