Identification of RBCK1 as a novel regulator of FKBPL: implications for tumor growth and response to tamoxifen

C Donley, K McClelland, H D McKeen, L Nelson, A Yakkundi, P V Jithesh, J Burrows, L McClements, A Valentine, K M Prise, H O McCarthy, T Robson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


FKBPL has been implicated in processes associated with cancer, including regulation of tumor growth and angiogenesis with high levels of FKBPL prognosticating for improved patient survival. Understanding how FKBPL levels are controlled within the cell is therefore critical. We have identifed a novel role for RBCK1 as an FKBPL-interacting protein, which regulates FKBPL stability at the post-translational level via ubiquitination. Both RBCK1 and FKBPL are upregulated by 17-b-estradiol and interact within heat shock protein 90 chaperone complexes, together with estrogen receptor-a (ERa). Furthermore, FKBPL and RBCK1 associate with ERa at the promoter of the estrogen responsive gene, pS2, and regulate pS2 levels. MCF-7 clones stably overexpressing RBCK1 were shown to have reduced proliferation and increased levels of FKBPL and p21. Furthermore, these clones were resistant to tamoxifen therapy, suggesting that RBCK1 could be a predictive marker of response to endocrine therapy. RBCK1 knockdown using targeted small interfering RNA resulted in increased proliferation and increased sensitivity to tamoxifen treatment. Moreover, in support of our in vitro data, analysis of mRNA microarray data sets demonstrated that high levels of FKBPL and RBCK1 correlated with increased patient survival, whereas high RBCK1 predicted for a poor response to tamoxifen. Our findings support a role for RBCK1 in the regulation of FKBPL with important implications for estrogen receptor signaling, cell proliferation and response to endocrine therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3441-3450
Number of pages10
Early online date05 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • RBCK1
  • estrogen receptor
  • p21
  • tamoxifen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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