Accumulating evidence suggests that the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme has additional catalytic-independent functions. Here we show that COX-2 appears to be cleaved in mouse and human tumors, which led us to hypothesize that COX-2 proteolysis may play a role in cell proliferation. The data presented herein show that a K598R point mutation at the carboxyl-terminus of COX-2 causes the appearance of several COX-2 immunoreactive fragments in nuclear compartments, and significantly enhances cell proliferation. In contrast, insertion of additional mutations at the border of the membrane-binding and catalytic domains of K598R COX-2 blocks fragment formation and prevents the increase in proliferation. Transcriptomic analyses show that K598R COX-2 significantly affects the expression of genes involved in RNA metabolism, and subsequent proteomics suggest that it is associated with proteins that regulate mRNA processing. We observe a similar increase in proliferation by expressing just that catalytic domain of COX-2 (ΔNT-COX-2), which is completely devoid of catalytic activity in the absence of its other domains. Moreover, we show that the ΔNT-COX-2 protein also interacts in the nucleus with β-catenin, a central regulator of gene transcription. Together these data suggest that the cleavage products of COX-2 can affect cell proliferation by mechanisms that are independent of prostaglandin synthesis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation personal grant to L.B.-H. (1445/14 and 2240/19).
Funding: This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation personal grant to L.B.-H. (1445/14 and 2240/19).
© 2020 by the authors.
- Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry