Functional characterization of lysine-specific demethylase 2 (LSD2/KDM1B) in breast cancer progression.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Oncotarget (2017)


Flavin-dependent histone demethylases govern histone H3K4 methylation and act as important chromatin modulators that are extensively involved in regulation of DNA replication, gene transcription, DNA repair, and heterochromatin gene silencing. While the activities of lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1/KDM1A) in facilitating breast cancer progression have been well characterized, the roles of its homolog LSD2 (KDM1B) in breast oncogenesis are relatively less understood. In this study, we showed that LSD2 protein level was significantly elevated in malignant breast cell lines compared with normal breast epithelial cell line. TCGA- Oncomine database showed that LSD2 expression is significantly higher in basal-like breast tumors compared to other breast cancer subtypes or normal breast tissue. Overexpression of LSD2 in MDA-MB-231 cells significantly altered the expression of key important epigenetic modifiers such as LSD1, HDAC1/2, and DNMT3B; promoted cellular proliferation; and augmented colony formation in soft agar; while attenuating motility and invasion. Conversely, siRNA-mediated depletion of endogenous LSD2 hindered growth of multiple breast cancer cell lines while shRNA-mediated LSD2 depletion augmented motility and invasion. Moreover, LSD2 overexpression in MDA-MB-231 cells facilitated mammosphere formation, enriched the subpopulation of CD49f+/EpCAM- and ALDHhigh, and induced the expression of pluripotent stem cell markers, NANOG and SOX2. In xenograft studies using immune-compromised mice, LSD2-overexpressing MDA-MB-231 cells displayed accelerated tumor growth but significantly fewer lung metastases than controls. Taken together, our findings provide novel insights into the critical and multifaceted roles of LSD2 in the regulation of breast cancer progression and cancer stem cell enrichment.