Qian J, Hassanein M, Hoeksema MD, Harris BK, Zou Y, Chen H, Lu P, Eisenberg R, Wang J, Espinosa A, Ji X, Harris FT, Rahman SM, Massion PP. The RNA binding protein FXR1 is a new driver in the 3q26-29 amplicon and predicts poor prognosis in human cancers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2015 Mar 17;112(112). 3469-74. PMID: 25733852 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC4371932
Aberrant expression of RNA-binding proteins has profound implications for cellular physiology and the pathogenesis of human diseases such as cancer. We previously identified the Fragile X-Related 1 gene (FXR1) as one amplified candidate driver gene at 3q26-29 in lung squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). FXR1 is an autosomal paralog of Fragile X mental retardation 1 and has not been directly linked to human cancers. Here we demonstrate that FXR1 is a key regulator of tumor progression and its overexpression is critical for nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell growth in vitro and in vivo. We identified the mechanisms by which FXR1 executes its regulatory function by forming a novel complex with two other oncogenes, protein kinase C, iota and epithelial cell transforming 2, located in the same amplicon via distinct binding mechanisms. FXR1 expression is a candidate biomarker predictive of poor survival in multiple solid tumors including NSCLCs. Because FXR1 is overexpressed and associated with poor clinical outcomes in multiple cancers, these results have implications for other solid malignancies.