MALT1 is required for EGFR-induced NF-κB activation and contributes to EGFR-driven lung cancer progression

D. Pan, C. Jiang, Z. Ma, M. Blonska, M. J. You, X. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) has been implicated in having a crucial role in the tumorigenesis of many types of human cancers. Although epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) can directly activate NF-κB, the mechanism by which EGFR induces NF-κB activation and the role of NF-κB in EGFR-associated tumor progression is still not fully defined. Herein, we found that mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue 1 (MALT1) is involved in EGFR-induced NF-κB activation in cancer cells, and that MALT1 deficiency impaired EGFR-induced NF-κB activation. MALT1 mainly functions as a scaffold protein by recruiting E3 ligase TRAF6 to IKK complex to activate NF-κB in response to EGF stimulation. Functionally, MALT1 inhibition shows significant defects in EGFR-associated tumor malignancy, including cell migration, metastasis and anchorage-independent growth. To further access a physiological role of MALT1-dependent NF-κB activation in EGFR-driven tumor progression, we generated triple-transgenic mouse model (tetO-EGFRL858R; CCSP-rtTA; Malt1-/-), in which mutant EGFR-driven lung cancer was developed in the absence of MALT1 expression. MALT1-deficient mice show significantly less lung tumor burden when compared with its heterozygous controls, suggesting that MALT1 is required for the progression of EGFR-induced lung cancer. Mechanistically, MALT1 deficiency abolished both NF-κB and STAT3 activation in vivo, which is a result of a defect of interleukin-6 production. In comparison, MALT1 deficiency does not affect tumor progression in a mouse model (LSL-K-rasG12D; CCSP-Cre; Malt1-/-) in which lung cancer is induced by expressing a K-ras mutant. Thus, our study has provided the cellular and genetic evidence that suggests MALT1-dependent NF-κB activation is important in EGFR-associated solid-tumor progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-928
Number of pages10
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 18 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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