Mechanistic studies of anticancer aptamer AS1411 reveal a novel role for nudeolin in regulating Rac1 activation
2015; 9 (7): 1392–1405
AS1411 is a G-rich quadruplex-forming oligodeoxynucleotide that binds specifically to nucleolin, a protein found on the surface and in the cytoplasm of most malignant cells but absent from the surface/cytoplasm of most normal cells. AS1411 has shown promising clinical activity and is being widely used as a tumor-targeting agent, but its mechanism of action is not fully understood. Previously, we showed that AS1411 is taken up in cancer cells by macropinocytosis (fluid phase endocytosis) and subsequently stimulates further macropinocytosis by a nucleolin-dependent mechanism. In the current study, we have investigated the significance and molecular mechanisms of AS1411-induced macropinocytosis. Our results indicate that the antiproliferative activity of AS1411 in various cell lines correlated with its capacity to stimulate macropinocytosis. In DU145 prostate cancer cells, AS1411 induced activation of EGFR, Akt, p38, and Rac1. Activation of Akt and p38 were not critical for AS1411 activity because Akt activation was not observed in all AS1411-responsive cell lines and knockdown of p38 had no effect on AS1411's ability to inhibit proliferation. On the other hand, activation of EGFR and Rac1 appeared to play a role in AS1411 activity in all cancer cell lines examined (DU145, MDA-MB-468, A549, LNCaP) and their inhibition significantly reduced AS1411-mediated macropinocytosis and AS1411 antiproliferative activity. Interestingly, downregulation of nucleolin expression by siRNA also produced a substantial increase in activated Rac1, revealing a previously unknown role for nucleolin as a negative regulator of Rac1 activation. Our results are consistent with a model whereby AS1411 binding to nucleolin leads to sustained activation of Rac1 and causes methuosis, a novel type of nonapoptotic cell death characterized by hyperstimulation of macropinocytosis. We speculate that methuosis is a tumor/metastasis suppressor mechanism that opposes the malignant functions of Rac1 and that cancer cells may overexpress nucleolin to surmount this barrier.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.molonc.2015.03.012
View details for Web of Science ID 000359884800014
View details for PubMedID 25911416
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4523413
The RASSF1A Tumor Suppressor Regulates XPA-Mediated DNA Repair
MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR BIOLOGY
2015; 35 (1): 277–87
RASSF1A may be the most frequently inactivated tumor suppressor identified in human cancer so far. It is a proapoptotic Ras effector and plays an important role in the apoptotic DNA damage response (DDR). We now show that in addition to DDR regulation, RASSF1A also plays a key role in the DNA repair process itself. We show that RASSF1A forms a DNA damage-regulated complex with the key DNA repair protein xeroderma pigmentosum A (XPA). XPA requires RASSF1A to exert full repair activity, and RASSF1A-deficient cells exhibit an impaired ability to repair DNA. Moreover, a cancer-associated RASSF1A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variant exhibits differential XPA binding and inhibits DNA repair. The interaction of XPA with other components of the repair complex, such as replication protein A (RPA), is controlled in part by a dynamic acetylation/deacetylation cycle. We found that RASSF1A and its SNP variant differentially regulate XPA protein acetylation, and the SNP variant hyperstabilizes the XPA-RPA70 complex. Thus, we identify two novel functions for RASSF1A in the control of DNA repair and protein acetylation. As RASSF1A modulates both apoptotic DDR and DNA repair, it may play an important and unanticipated role in coordinating the balance between repair and death after DNA damage.
View details for DOI 10.1128/MCB.00202-14
View details for Web of Science ID 000349292400022
View details for PubMedID 25368379
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4295385
A novel small molecule that induces oxidative stress and selectively kills malignant cells
FREE RADICAL BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE
2014; 68: 110–21
We have synthesized a novel molecule named XB05 (1-bromo-1,1-difluoro-non-2-yn-4-ol) and evaluated its effects in a variety of human cell lines. XB05 displayed potent antiproliferative activity against cell lines derived from leukemia or solid tumors, but had less effect on nonmalignant cells. To identify factors that contribute to the cancer selectivity of XB05, we chose three cell lines that had high sensitivity to XB05 (U937 leukemia), moderate sensitivity (A549 lung cancer), or low sensitivity (Hs27 nonmalignant skin fibroblasts), and proceeded to assess cell death and oxidative stress in these cells. XB05 was found to induce cell death via both apoptotic and nonapoptotic mechanisms in U937 and A549 cells, whereas it had no cytotoxicity against Hs27 cells at comparable concentrations. Treatment with XB05 caused an increase in reactive oxygen species in all cell lines tested, but levels were higher in malignant compared to nonmalignant cells. XB05 treatment also induced DNA damage exclusively in the malignant cells. Differences in antioxidant responses were observed between cell lines. For example, XB05 caused a decrease in levels of glutathione and nuclear Nrf2 in the most sensitive cells (U937), whereas the least sensitive cells (Hs27) displayed increased glutathione levels and no change in nuclear Nrf2. XB05 could react in vitro with cysteine and glutathione, but had much lower reactivity compared to typical thiol-reactive electrophiles, diethyl maleate and maleimide. In summary, XB05 is a novel compound that selectively kills malignant cells, most likely by disrupting cellular redox homeostasis, making it a promising candidate for development as a chemotherapeutic agent.
View details for DOI 10.1016/yreeradbiomed.2013.12.002
View details for Web of Science ID 000332429900012
View details for PubMedID 24321317
Cleavage of PGRP-LC receptor in the Drosophila IMD pathway in response to live bacterial infection in S2 cells.
2011; 2 (3): 125-141
Drosophila responds to Gram-negative bacterial infection by activating the immune deficiency (IMD) pathway, leading to production of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). As a receptor for the IMD pathway, peptidoglycan-recognition protein (PGRP), PGRP-LC is known to recognize and bind monomeric peptidoglycan (DAP-type PGN) through its PGRP ectodomain and in turn activate the IMD pathway. The questions remain how PGRP-LC is activated in response to pathogen infection to initiate the IMD signal transduction in Drosophila. Here we present evidence to show that proteases such as elastase and Mmp2 can also activate the IMD pathway but not the TOLL pathway. The elastase-dependent IMD activation requires the receptor PGRP-LC. Importantly, we find that live Salmonella/E. coli infection modulates PGRP-LC expression/receptor integrity and activates the IMD pathway while dead Salmonella/E. coli or protease-deficient E. coli do neither. Our results suggest an interesting possibility that Gram-negative pathogen infection may be partially monitored through the structural integrity of the receptor PGRP-LC via an infection-induced enzyme-based cleavage-mediated activation mechanism.
View details for PubMedID 22496930
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3323661
Loss of NKX3.1 Favors Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-C Expression in Prostate Cancer
2008; 68 (21): 8770–78
Decreased levels of the prostate-specific homeobox protein NKX3.1 are correlated with hormone-refractory and metastatic prostate cancer. Thus, it is compelling to define the NKX3.1-regulated genes that may be important for the progression of the advanced stage of the disease. In this study, we showed that vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) is one such target gene of NKX3.1. NKX3.1 inhibited VEGF-C expression in prostate cancer, and the loss of NKX3.1 led to increased VEGF-C expression. Histone deacetylase 1 acted as a corepressor of VEGF-C expression along with NKX3.1. Activated RalA acted in synergy with the loss of NKX3.1 for VEGF-C transcription. Patients with deletions at chromosome 8p21.1-p21.2 as a sole deletion developed lymph node metastasis. Interestingly, the higher expression of VEGF-C in prostate cancer is also correlated with lymph node metastasis. Therefore, regulation of VEGF-C expression by NKX3.1 provides a possible mechanism by which the loss of NKX3.1 protein level leads to lymphangiogenesis in the late stages of advanced prostate cancer.
View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-1912
View details for Web of Science ID 000260698900017
View details for PubMedID 18974119
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2674365
RalA regulates vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) synthesis in prostate cancer cells during androgen ablation
2007; 26 (12): 1731–38
Prostate cancer mortality is primarily due to failure to cure patients with metastatic disease. In its early stages, prostate cancer growth is enhanced by androgens. As such, the primary therapy for advanced (locally extensive or metastatic) prostate cancer consists of androgen deprivation therapy by pharmacotherapeutic or surgical means. Eventually, the tumor recurs owing to a transition from androgen-dependence to a highly metastatic and androgen refractory (androgen depletion-independent) phenotype. As the detailed molecular mechanism underlying this transition to a more aggressive phenotype is poorly understood, it has been difficult to develop effective treatments for this advanced stage of the disease. We have previously reported an increase in vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) expression in human prostate cancer cells after androgen withdrawal. We have also shown increased expression of the androgen receptor co-activator BAG-1L by VEGF-C, suggesting the involvement of this growth factor in transactivation of the androgen receptor, even at low concentrations of androgen. In our present study, we show that androgen deprivation of human prostate carcinoma cells activates the small GTPase, RalA, a molecule important for human oncogenesis. RalA activation leads to VEGF-C upregulation. We also show that elevated levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species in prostate cancer cells under androgen-ablated conditions is the major inducer of RalA activation and VEGF-C synthesis.
View details for DOI 10.1038/sj.onc.1209971
View details for Web of Science ID 000244955600007
View details for PubMedID 16964283
Upregulation of VEGF-C by androgen depletion: the involvement of IGFIR-FOXO pathway
2005; 24 (35): 5510–20
Androgen ablation therapy is eventually followed by a more metastatic and androgen-refractory stage of prostate cancer. The detailed molecular mechanism of this gradual transition is not clearly understood. Recent reports correlate the high abundance of vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) to the lymph node metastasis seen in human prostate cancer (Tsurusaki et al., 1999). In this study, we report that androgen ablation in LNCaP cells augment the transcriptional upregulation of VEGF-C and the downregulation of the IGF-IR pathway, due to androgen withdrawal, is a potential mechanism for this observed VEGF-C transcription. Forkhead transcription factor FOXO-1, activated by SIRT-1, was identified as the downstream molecule within this pathway. Furthermore, the VEGF-C-induced increase of Bag-IL expression in LNCaP cells suggests that VEGF-C plays a role in the androgen-independent reactivation of the androgen receptor, resulting in androgen-refractory prostate cancer growth.
View details for DOI 10.1038/sj.onc.1208693
View details for Web of Science ID 000231222300011
View details for PubMedID 15897888