System paclitaxel-based chemotherapy is the first-line treatment regimen of defense against breast cancer, but inherent or acquired chemotherapy resistance remains a major obstacle in breast cancer therapy. Elucidating the molecular mechanism of chemoresistance is essential to improve the outcome of patients with breast cancer. Here, we demonstrate that intraflagellar transport 20 (IFT20) is positively associated with shorter relapse-free survival in patients with system paclitaxel-based chemotherapy. High-expressed IFT20 in breast cancer cells increases resistance to cell death upon paclitaxel treatment; in contrast, IFT20 knockdown enhances apoptosis in breast cancer cells in response to paclitaxel. Mechanistically, IFT20 triggers β-arrestin-1 to bind with apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) and promotes the ubiquitination of ASK1 degradation, leading to attenuating ASK1 signaling and its downstream JNK cascades, which helps cells to escape from cell death during paclitaxel treatment. Our results reveal that IFT20 drives paclitaxel resistance through modulating ASK1 signaling and identifies IFT20 as a potential molecular biomarker for predicting the response to paclitaxel therapeutic in breast cancer.
IFT20 drives paclitaxel resistance through modulating ASK1 signaling and IFT20 may act as a potential molecular biomarker for predicting the response to paclitaxel therapeutic in breast cancer.