Non-coding regions of nuclear-DNA-encoded mitochondrial genes and intergenic sequences are targeted by autoantibodies in breast cancer
Obaidat D, Giordo R, Kleinbrink EL, Banisad E, Grossman LI, Arshad R, Stark A, Maroun MC, Lipovich L, and Fernandez-Madrid F. Non-coding regions of nuclear-DNA-encoded mitochondrial genes and intergenic sequences are targeted by autoantibodies in breast cancer. Front Genet 2022; 13:970619.
Autoantibodies against mitochondrial-derived antigens play a key role in chronic tissue inflammation in autoimmune disorders and cancers. Here, we identify autoreactive nuclear genomic DNA (nDNA)-encoded mitochondrial gene products (GAPDH, PKM2, GSTP1, SPATA5, MFF, TSPOAP1, PHB2, COA4, and HAGH) recognized by breast cancer (BC) patients' sera as nonself, supporting a direct relationship of mitochondrial autoimmunity to breast carcinogenesis. Autoreactivity of multiple nDNA-encoded mitochondrial gene products was mapped to protein-coding regions, 3' untranslated regions (UTRs), as well as introns. In addition, autoantibodies in BC sera targeted intergenic sequences that may be parts of long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) genes, including LINC02381 and other putative lncRNA neighbors of the protein-coding genes ERCC4, CXCL13, SOX3, PCDH1, EDDM3B, and GRB2. Increasing evidence indicates that lncRNAs play a key role in carcinogenesis. Consistent with this, our findings suggest that lncRNAs, as well as mRNAs of nDNA-encoded mitochondrial genes, mechanistically contribute to BC progression. This work supports a new paradigm of breast carcinogenesis based on a globally dysfunctional genome with altered function of multiple mitochondrial and non-mitochondrial oncogenic pathways caused by the effects of autoreactivity-induced dysregulation of multiple genes and their products. This autoimmunity-based model of carcinogenesis will open novel avenues for BC treatment.