Soluble syntaxin 3 functions as a transcriptional regulator

TitleSoluble syntaxin 3 functions as a transcriptional regulator
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsGiovannone, AJ, Winterstein, C, Bhattaram, P, Reales, E, Low, SH, Baggs, JE, Xu, M, Lalli, MA, Hogenesch, JB, Weimbs, T
JournalJ Biol Chem
Date Published2018

Syntaxins are a conserved family of SNARE proteins and contain C-terminal transmembrane anchors required for their membrane fusion activity. Here we show that syntaxin 3 (Stx3) unexpectedly also functions as a nuclear regulator of gene expression. We found that alternative splicing creates a soluble isoform, we termed Stx3S, lacking the transmembrane anchor. Soluble Stx3S binds to the nuclear import factor RAN-binding protein 5 (RanBP5), targets to the nucleus and interacts physically and functionally with several transcription factors, including ETS variant 4 (ETV4) and activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2). Stx3S is differentially expressed in normal human tissues, during epithelial cell polarization, and in breast cancer versus normal breast tissue. Inhibition of endogenous Stx3S expression alters the expression of cancer-associated genes and promotes cell proliferation. Similar nuclear-targeted, soluble forms of other syntaxins were identified suggesting that nuclear signaling is a conserved, novel function common among these membrane trafficking proteins.


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