14-3-3ζ loss leads to neonatal lethality by microRNA-126 downregulation-mediated developmental defects in lung vasculature
Metabolic reprogramming is a hallmark of cancer. Elevated glycolysis in cancer cells switches the cellular metabolic flux to produce more biological building blocks, thereby sustaining rapid proliferation. Recently, new evidence has emerged that metabolic dysregulation may occur at early-stages of neoplasia and critically contribute to cancer initiation. Here, our bioinformatics analysis of microarray data from early-stages breast neoplastic lesions revealed that 14-3-3ζ expression is strongly correlated with the expression of canonical glycolytic genes, particularly lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA). Experimentally, increasing 14-3-3ζ expression in human mammary epithelial cells (hMECs) up-regulated LDHA expression, elevated glycolytic activity, and promoted early transformation. Knockdown of LDHA in the 14-3-3ζ-overexpressing hMECs significantly reduced glycolytic activity and inhibited transformation. Mechanistically, 14-3-3ζ overexpression activates the MEK-ERK-CREB axis, which subsequently up-regulates LDHA. In vivo, inhibiting the activated the MEK/ERK pathway in 14-3-3ζ-overexpressing hMEC-derived MCF10DCIS.COM lesions led to effective inhibition of tumor growth. Therefore, targeting the MEK/ERK pathway could be an effective strategy for intervention of 14-3-3ζ-overexpressing early breast lesions. Together, our data demonstrate that overexpression of 14-3-3ζ in early stage pre-cancerous breast epithelial cells may trigger an elevated glycolysis and transcriptionally up-regulating LDHA, thereby contributes to human breast cancer initiation.