Melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) is a novel cytokine displaying selective apoptosis-inducing activity in transformed cells without harming normal cells. The present studies focused on defining the mechanism(s) by which a GST-MDA-7 fusion protein inhibits cell survival of primary human glioma cells in vitro. GST-MDA-7 killed glioma cells with diverse genetic characteristics that correlated with inactivation of ERK1/2 and activation of JNK1-3. Activation of JNK1-3 was dependent on protein kinase R–like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK), and GST-MDA-7 lethality was suppressed in PERK−/− cells. JNK1-3 signaling activated BAX, whereas inhibition of JNK1-3, deletion of BAX, or expression of dominant-negative caspase-9 suppressed lethality. GST-MDA-7 also promoted a PERK-, JNK-, and cathepsin B–dependent cleavage of BID; loss of BID function promoted survival. GST-MDA-7 suppressed BAD and BIM phosphorylation and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) expression. GST-MDA-7 caused PERK-dependent vacuolization of LC3-expressing endosomes whose formation was suppressed by incubation with 3-methylade-nine, expression of HSP70 or BiP/GRP78, or knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin-1 expression but not by inhibition of the JNK1-3 pathway. Knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin-1 expression or overexpression of HSP70 reduced GST-MDA-7 lethality. Our data show that GST-MDA-7 induces an endoplasmic reticulum stress response that is causal in the activation of multiple proapoptotic pathways, which converge on the mitochondrion and highlight the complexity of signaling pathways altered by mda-7/IL-24 in glioma cells that ultimately culminate in decreased tumor cell survival.
Melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin 24 (mda-7/IL-24) is a novel cytokine displaying selective apoptosis-inducing activity in transformed cells without harming normal cells. The studies by further defines the mechanism(s) by which a GST-MDA-7 fusion protein inhibits cell survival of primary human glioma cells in vitro. GST-MDA-7 killed glioma cells with diverse genetic characteristics that were dependent on activation of JNK1-3 with subsequent activation of BAX and the induction of mitochondrial dysfunction. Activation of JNK1-3 was dependent upon protein kinase R-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) and GST-MDA-7 lethality was suppressed in PERK-/- cells. GST-MDA-7 caused PERK-dependent vacuolization of LC3-expressing endosomes whose formation was suppressed by incubation with 3-methyladenine, expression of HSP70 or of BiP/GRP78, or by knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin 1 expression, but not by inhibition of the JNK1-3 pathway. Knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin 1 expression or overexpression of HSP70 reduced GST-MDA-7 lethality. Our data demonstrate that GST-MDA-7 induces an ER stress response that, via the induction of autophagy, is causal in the activation of pro-apoptotic pathways that converge on the mitochondrion and ultimately culminate in decreased glioma cell survival.
autophagy; caspase; ER stress; cell death
The present studies focused on determining whether the autophagy-inducing drug OSU-03012 (AR-12) could enhance the toxicity of recombinant adenoviral delivery of melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cells. The toxicity of a recombinant adenovirus to express MDA-7/IL-24 (Ad.mda-7) was enhanced by OSU-03012 in a diverse panel of primary human GBM cells. The enhanced toxicity correlated with reduced ERK1/2 phosphorylation and expression of MCL-1 and BCL-XL, and was blocked by molecular activation of ERK1/2 and by inhibition of the intrinsic, but not the extrinsic, apoptosis pathway. Both OSU-03012 and expression of MDA-7/IL-24 increased phosphorylation of PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) that correlated with increased levels of autophagy and expression of dominant negative PERK blocked autophagy induction and tumor cell death. Knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin1 suppressed OSU-03012 enhanced MDA-7/IL-24-induced autophagy and blocked the lethal interaction between the two agents. Ad.mda-7-infected GBM cells secreted MDA-7/IL-24 into the growth media and this conditioned media induced expression of MDA-7/IL-24 in uninfected GBM cells. OSU-03012 interacted with conditioned media to kill GBM cells and knockdown of MDA-7/IL-24 in these cells suppressed tumor cell killing. Collectively, our data demonstrate that the induction of autophagy and mitochondrial dysfunction by a combinatorial treatment approach represents a potentially viable strategy to kill primary human GBM cells.
ROS; caspase; ER stress; CD95; cell death
We have determined whether an adenovirus that comprises the tail and shaft domains of a serotype 5 virus and the knob domain of a serotype 3 virus expressing MDA-7/IL-24, Ad.5/3-mda-7, more effectively infects and kills renal carcinoma cells (RCCs) compared to a serotype 5 virus, Ad.5-mda-7. RCCs are a tumor cell type that generally does not express the receptor for the type 5 adenovirus; the coxsakie and adenovirus receptor (CAR). Ad.5/3-mda-7 infected RCCs to a much greater degree than Ad.5-mda-7. MDA-7/IL-24 protein secreted from Ad.5/3-mda-7-infected RCCs induced MDA-7/IL-24 expression and promoted apoptosis in uninfected “bystander” RCCs. MDA-7/IL-24 killed both infected and bystander RCCs via CD95 activation. Knockdown of intracellular MDA-7/IL-24 in uninfected RCCs blocked the lethal effects of conditioned media. Infection of RCC tumors in one flank, with Ad.5/3-mda-7, suppressed growth of infected tumors and reduced the growth rate of uninfected tumors implanted on the opposite flank. The toxicity of the serotype 5/3 recombinant adenovirus to express MDA-7/IL-24 was enhanced by combined molecular or small molecule inhibition of MEK1/2 and PI3K; inhibition of mTOR, PI3K and MEK1/2; or use of the multi-kinase inhibitor sorafenib. In RCCs, combined inhibition of cytoprotective cell signaling pathways enhanced the MDA-7/IL-24-induction of CD95 activation, with greater mitochondrial dysfunction due to loss of MCL-1 and BCL-XL expression and tumor cell death. Treatment of RCC tumors in vivo with sorafenib also enhanced Ad.5/3-mda-7 toxicity and prolonged animal survival. Future combinations of these approaches hold promise for developing a more effective therapy for kidney cancer.
ERK; JNK; PI3K; AKT; MDA-7/IL-24; sorafenib; PERK; MAPK; interleukin; RCC; kidney
We developed several adenoviral vectors designed to target MDA-7 expression to different subcellular compartments (ie, ER, mitochondria, nucleus, and cytosol) and evaluated their ability to enhance apoptosis. Adenoviral ER-targeted mda-7/IL-24 vector (Ad-ER-mda7) selectively and effectively inhibited the growth and proliferation of lung (A549 and H1299) and esophageal (Seg1 and Bic1) cancer cells by enhancing cell killing. Both Ad-mda7 and Ad-ER-mda7 activated a novel pathway of ER stress-induced apoptosis characterized by unregulated expression of phosphorylated JNK (p-JNK), phosphorylated cJun (p-cJun), and phosphorylated RNA-dependent protein kinase (p-PKR). Caspase-4 activation mediated Ad-mda7- and Ad-ER-mda7-induced cell death. In addition, Ad-mda7- and Ad-ER-mda7-mediated growth inhibition correlated with activation of ER molecular markers PKR and JNK both in vitro (in Ad-mda7- or Ad-ER-mda7-treated lung cancer cells) and in vivo. These findings suggest that vectors targeting the endoplasmic reticulum (Ad-ER-mda7) may be more effective in cancer gene therapy possibly through more effective induction or ER stress pathways.
Apoptosis; MDA-7; adenovirus; gene therapy
Apoptosis is a process present in a variety of cardiovascular diseases, and oxidative stress is a major apoptotic stimulus in these diseases. Glutathione S-transferase (GST) plays a crucial role against oxidative injury; it also regulates glutathione homeostasis. Recently, new roles for GST have been discussed such as in gene expression, protein glutathionylation and nitric oxide metabolism. However, its role with regard to cardiomyocyte apoptosis and alteration of signalling cascades of cardiomyocytes has not been determined. This article evaluates the effect of GST inhibition on cardiomyocyte apoptosis and on the alteration of proteins and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in rat models.
Oxidative stress and ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury are crucial in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. The antioxidant glutathione S-transferase (GST) is responsible for the high-capacity metabolic inactivation of electrophilic compounds and toxic substrates. The main objective of the present study was to examine the effect of GST inhibition (with the administration of ethacrynic acid [EA]) on the viability and apoptosis of cardiomyocytes when these cells are exposed to various stress components of I/R and mitogen-activated protein kinase (c-Jun N-terminal kinase, p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase [ERK]) inhibitors. The primary culture of neonatal rat cardiomyocytes was divided into six experimental groups: control group of cells (group 1), cells exposed to H2O2 (group 2), I/R (group 3), I/R and EA (group 4), H2O2 coupled with EA (group 5), and EA alone (group 6). The viability of cardiomyocytes was determined using a colorimetric MTT assay. The apoptosis ratio was evaluated via fluorescein isothiocyanate-labelled annexin V and propidium iodide staining. c-Jun N-terminal kinase, p38, Akt/protein kinase B and ERK/p42-p44 transcription factors were monitored with flow cytometry. c-Jun N-terminal kinase activation increased due to GST inhibition during I/R. EA administration led to a significant increase in p38 activation following both H2O2 treatment and I/R. ERK phosphorylation increased when GST was exposed to I/R. A pronounced decrease in Akt phosphorylation was observed when cells were cotreated with EA and H2O2. GST plays an important role as a regulator of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in I/R injury.
Glutathione S-transferase; MAP kinases; Oxidative stress; Signalling
Lymphatic filarial parasites survive within the lymphatic vessels for years despite the complex immune environment surrounding them. Parasites possibly accomplish this by adopting various immunomodulatory strategies, which include release of glutathione-S-transferases (GSTs) that counteract the oxidative free radicals produced by the host. Since GSTs produced by parasites appear to be critical for the survival of parasites in the host, several studies evaluated the potential of parasite GSTs as vaccine candidates especially against schistosomiasis, fascioliasis and Seteria cervi. However, vaccine potential of GSTs of lymphatic filarial parasites has not been evaluated before.
In the present study, the GST gene was cloned from the third stage larval (L3) cDNA libraries of Wuchereria bancrofti, and recombinant GST (WbGST) was expressed and purified. Serum samples from individuals living in an endemic area were analyzed for their reactivity with rWbGST. These findings showed that sera from endemic normal individuals (EN) carry significant levels of anti-WbGST IgG antibodies compared to subjects who are microfilaraemic (Mf) or show symptoms of clinical pathology (CP). Isotype analysis of the anti-WbGST IgG antibodies showed a predominance of IgG1 and IgG3 antibodies in EN individuals. Subsequent functional analysis of the rWbGST showed that the rWbGST protein retained the enzymatic activity of GST and the antibodies in EN sera could inhibit this enzymatic activity. Similar results were obtained when anti-rWbGST antibodies raised in mice were used in the neutralization assay. Brugia malayi GST and WbGST show significant sequence similarity. Therefore, to evaluate the vaccine potential of rWbGST, we used B. malayi L3 as challenge parasites. Vaccine potential of rWbGST was initially evaluated by confirming the role of human and mice WbGST antibodies in an antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) assay. Subsequent vaccination studies in a jird model showed that approximately 61% protection could be achieved against a B. malayi L3 challenge infection in jirds immunized with rWbGST.
Results of this study show that rWbGST is a potential vaccine candidate against lymphatic filariasis. Nearly 61% protection can be achieved against a B. malayi challenge infection in a jird model. The study also showed that the WbGST protein retained the enzymatic activity of GST and this enzymatic activity appears to be critical for the survival of the parasite in the host.
Lymphatic parasites survive for years in a complex immune environment by adopting various strategies of immune modulation, which includes counteracting the oxidative free radical damage caused by the host. We now know that the filarial parasites secrete antioxidant enzymes. Among these, the glutathione-S-transferases (GSTs) have the potent ability to effectively neutralize cytotoxic products arising from reactive oxygen species (ROS) that attack cell membranes. Thus, GSTs have the potential to protect the parasite against host oxidative stress. GSTs of several helminthes, including schistosomes, fasciola and the filarial parasite Seteria cervi, are also involved in inducing protective immunity in the host. The schistosome 28 kDa GST has been successfully developed into a vaccine and is currently in Phase II clinical trials. Thus, GST appears to be a potential target for vaccine development. Therefore, in the present study, we cloned W. bancrofti GST, and expressed and purified the recombinant protein. Immunization and challenge experiments showed that 61% of protection could be achieved against B. malayi infections in a jird model. In vitro studies confirm that the anti-WbGST antibodies participate in the killing of B. malayi L3 through an ADCC mechanism and enzymatic activity of WbGST appears to be critical for this larvicidal function.
Subtraction-hybridization combined with induction of cancer cell terminal differentiation in human melanoma cells identified melanoma differentiation associated gene-7 (mda-7/IL-24) and SARI (Suppressor of AP-1, induced by IFN) that display potent antitumor activity. These genes are not constitutively expressed in cancer cells and forced expression of mda-7/IL-24 (Ad.mda-7) or SARI(Ad.SARI) promotes cancer-specific cell death. Ectopic expression of mda-7/IL-24 induces SARI mRNA and protein in a panel of different cancer cells leading to cell death, without harming corresponding normal cells. Simultaneous inhibition of K-ras downstream extracellular regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) signaling in pancreatic cancer cells reverses the translational block of MDA-7/IL-24 and induces SARI expression and cell death. Using SARI-antisense-based approaches we demonstrate that SARI expression is necessary for mda-7/IL-24 antitumor effects. Secreted MDA-7/IL-24 protein induces antitumor ‘bystander’ effects by promoting its own expression. Recombinant MDA-7/IL-24 (His-MDA-7) induces SARI expression, supporting the involvement of SARI in the MDA-7/IL-24-driven autocrine loop culminating in antitumor effects. Moreover, His-MDA-7 after binding to its cognate receptors (IL-20R1/IL-20R2 or IL-22R/IL-20R2) induces intracellular signaling by phosphorylation of p38 MAPK leading to transcription of a family of growth arrest and DNA damage inducible (GADD) genes, culminating in apoptosis. Inhibition of p38 MAPK fails to induce SARI following Ad.mda-7 infection. These findings reveal the significance of the mda-7/IL-24-SARI axis in cancer-specific killing, and provide a potential strategy for treating both local and metastatic disease.
SARI; MDA-7/IL-24; apoptosis; IL-20/IL-22 receptors
Melanoma differentiation associated gene-7(mda-7) encodes IL-24, a cytokine that can selectively trigger apoptosis in transformed cells. Recombinant mda-7 adenovirus (Ad.mda-7) effectively kills glioma cells, offering a novel gene therapy strategy to address deadly brain tumors. In this study, we defined the proximal mechanisms by which Ad-mda-7 kills glioma cells. Key factors implicated included activation of the endoplasmic reticulum stress kinase protein kinase R–like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK), Ca++ elevation, ceramide generation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. PERK inhibition blocked ceramide or dihydroceramide generation, which were critical for Ca++ induction and subsequent ROS formation. Activation of autophagy and cell death relied upon ROS formation, the inhibition of which ablated Ad.mda-7–killing activity. In contrast, inhibiting TRX induced by Ad.MDA-7 enhanced tumor cytotoxicity and improved animal survival in an orthotopic tumor model. Our findings indicate that mda-7/IL-24 induces an endoplasmic reticulum stress response that triggers production of ceramide, Ca2+, and ROS, which in turn promote glioma cell autophagy and cell death.
Previous studies have shown that the gold compounds, gold sodium thiomalate (GST) and auranofin (AUR), which are effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, inhibit functional activities of a variety of cells, but the biochemical basis of their effect is unknown. In the current studies, human T cell proliferation and interleukin 2 production by Jurkat cells were inhibited by GST or AUR at pharmacologically relevant concentrations. Because it has been documented that protein kinase C (PKC) is involved in T cell activation, the capacity of gold compounds to inhibit PKC partially purified from Jurkat cells was assayed in vitro. GST was found to inhibit PKC in a dose-dependent manner, but AUR caused no significant inhibition of PKC at pharmacologically relevant concentrations. The inhibitory effect of GST on PKC was abolished by 2-mercaptoethanol. To investigate the effect of GST on the regulation of PKC in vivo, the levels of PKC activity in Jurkat cells were examined. Cytosolic PKC activity decreased slowly in a concentration- and time-dependent manner as a result of incubation of Jurkat cells with GST. To ascertain whether GST inhibited PKC translocation and down-regulation, PKC activities associated with the membrane and cystosolic fractions were evaluated after phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) stimulation of GST incubated Jurkat cells. Translocation of PKC was markedly inhibited by pretreatment of Jurkat cells with GST for 3 d, but the capacity of PMA to down-regulate PKC activity in Jurkat cells was not altered by GST preincubation. The functional impact of GST-mediated downregulation of PKC in Jurkat cells was examined by analyzing PMA-stimulated phosphorylation of CD3. Although GST preincubated Jurkat cells exhibited an increased density of CD3, PMA-stimulated phosphorylation of the gamma chain of CD3 was markedly inhibited. Specificity for the inhibitory effect of GST on PKC was suggested by the finding that GST did not alter the mitogen-induced increases in inositol trisphosphate levels in Jurkat cells. Finally, the mechanism of the GST-induced inhibition of PKC was examined in detail, using purified PKC subspecies from rat brain. GST inhibited type II PKC more effectively than type III PKC, and also inhibited the enzymatic activity of the isolated catalytic fragment of PKC. The inhibitory effect of GST on PKC activity could not be explained by competition with phospholipid or nonspecific interference with the substrate. These data suggest that the immunomodulatory effects of GST may result from its capacity to inhibit PKC activity.
mda-7/IL-24 is a unique member of the IL-10 gene family, which displays a broad range of antitumor properties including induction of cancer-specific apoptosis. Adenoviral mediated delivery by Ad.mda-7 invokes an endoplasmic reticulum stress response that is associated with ceramide production and autophagy in some cancer cells. Here we report that Ad.mda-7-induced ER stress and ceramide production triggers autophagy in human prostate cancer cells, but not normal prostate epithelial cells, through a canonical signaling pathway that involves Beclin-1, atg5 and hVps34. Autophagy occurs in cancer cells at early times after Ad.mda-7 infection but a switch to apoptosis occurs by 48 hr post-infection. Inhibiting autophagy with 3-methyladenosine increases Ad.mda-7-induced apoptosis, suggesting that autophagy may be initiated first as a cytoprotective mechanism. Inhibiting apoptosis by overexpression of anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2 or Bcl-xL increased autophagy after Ad.mda-7 infection. During the apoptotic phase, the MDA-7/IL-24 protein physically interacted with Beclin-1 in a manner that could inhibit Beclin-1 function culminating in apoptosis. Conversely, Ad.mda-7 infection elicited calpain-mediated cleavage of the autophagic protein ATG5 in a manner that could facilitate switch to apoptosis. Our findings reveal novel aspects of the interplay between autophagy and apoptosis in prostate cancer cells that underlie the cytotoxic action of mda-7/IL-24, possibly providing new insights in the development of combinatorial therapies for prostate cancer.
mda-7/IL-24; protective autophagy; apoptosis; Beclin-1; atg5
Glutathione (GSH) conjugating enzymes, glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are present in different subcellular compartments including cytosol, mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, nucleus and plasma membrane. The regulation and function of GSTs have implications in cell growth, oxidative stress, as well as in disease progression and prevention. Of the several mitochondria localized forms, GSTK (GST kappa) is mitochondria-specific since it contains N-terminal canonical and cleavable mitochondria targeting signal. Other forms, like GST alpha, mu and pi purified from mitochondria are similar to the cytosolic molecular forms or “echoproteins”. Altered GST expression has been implicated in hepatic, cardiac and neurological diseases. Mitochondria-specific GSTK has also been implicated in obesity, diabetes and related metabolic disorders. Studies have shown that silencing the GSTA4 (GST alpha) gene resulted in mitochondrial dysfunction, as was also seen in GSTA4 null mice which could contribute to insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. This review highlights the significance of mitochondrial GST pool, particularly the mechanism and significance of dual targeting of GSTA4-4 under in vitro and in vivo conditions. GSTA4-4 is targeted in the mitochondria by activation of the internal cryptic signal present at the C-terminus of the protein by protein kinase-dependent phosphorylation and cytosolic heat shock protein (Hsp70) chaperon. Mitochondrial GSTpi, on the other hand, has been shown to have two uncleaved cryptic signals rich in positively charged amino acids at the N-terminal region. Both physiological and pathophysiological implications of GST translocation to mitochondria have been discussed in this review.
We previously reported that calycosin, a natural phytoestrogen structurally similar to estrogen, successfully triggered apoptosis of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer cell line, MCF-7. To better understand the antitumor activities of calycosin against breast cancer, besides MCF-7 cells, another ER-positive cell line T-47D was analyzed here, with ER-negative cell lines (MDA-231, MDA-435) as control. Notably, calycosin led to inhibited cell proliferation and apoptosis only in ER-positive cells, particularly in MCF-7 cells, whereas no such effect was observed in ER-negative cells. Then we investigated whether regulation of ERβ, a subtype of ER, contributed to calycosin-induced apoptosis in breast cancer cells. The results showed that incubation of calycosin resulted in enhanced expression ERβ in MCF-7 and T-47D cells, rather than MDA-231 and MDA-435 cells. Moreover, with the upregulation of ERβ, successive changes in downstream signaling pathways were found, including inactivation of insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R), then stimulation of p38 MAPK and suppression of the serine/threonine kinase (Akt), and finally poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1) cleavage. However, the other two members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), were not consequently regulated by downregulated IGF-1R, indicating ERK 1/2 and JNK pathways were not necessary to allow proliferation inhibition by calycosin. Taken together, our results indicate that calycosin tends to inhibit growth and induce apoptosis in ER-positive breast cancer cells, which is mediated by ERβ-induced inhibition of IGF-1R, along with the selective regulation of MAPK and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathways.
Ultraviolet (UV) B causes oxidative stress, which has been implicated in carcinogenesis. We determined if the sensitivity of keratinocytes to UVB-induced oxidative stress is dependent on their differentiation state. In primary cultures of undifferentiated and differentiated mouse keratinocytes, UVB (25 mJ/cm2) stimulated production of reactive oxygen intermediates. This was associated with increased messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidase, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and the glutathione S-transferase (GST), GSTA1-2. The effects of UVB on GSTA1-2 were greater in undifferentiated when compared with differentiated cells. UVB also induced GSTM1, but only in undifferentiated cells. In contrast, UVB reduced expression of manganese superoxide dismutase, metallothionein-2, GSTA3 and microsomal glutathione S-transferase (mGST)3 in both cell types, whereas it had no major effects on catalase, copper–zinc superoxide dismutase, GSTP1, mGST1 or mGST2. Of note, levels of GSTA4 mRNA were 4- to 5-fold greater in differentiated relative to undifferentiated cells. Moreover, whereas GSTA4 was induced by UVB in undifferentiated cells, it was inhibited in differentiated cells. UVB activated p38 and c-jun N-terminal kinase mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases in both undifferentiated and differentiated keratinocytes. Whereas inhi bition of these kinases blocked UVB-induced HO-1 in both cell types, GSTA1–2 and GST-4 were only suppressed in undifferentiated cells. In differentiated keratinocytes, p38 inhibition also suppressed GSTA1–2. In contrast, MAP kinase inhibition had no major effects on UVB-induced suppression of GSTA4 in differentiated cells. These data indicate that UVB-induced alterations in antioxidant expression are differentiation dependent. Moreover, MAP kinases are critical regulators of this response. Alterations in antioxidants are likely to be important mechanisms for protecting the skin from UVB-induced oxidative stress.
Cancer metastasis is the main cause leading to disease recurrence and high mortality in cancer patients. Therefore, inhibiting metastasis process or killing metastatic cancer cells by inducing apoptosis is of clinical importance in improving cancer patient survival. Previous studies revealed that fucoidan, a fucose-rich polysaccharide isolated from marine brown alga, is a promising natural product with significant anti-cancer activity. However, little is known about the role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in fucoidan-induced cell apoptosis.
We reported that fucoidan treatment inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis in cancer cells. Fucoidan treatments resulted in down-regulation of the glucose regulated protein 78 (GRP78) in the metastatic MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, and of the ER protein 29 (ERp29) in the metastatic HCT116 colon cancer cells. However, fucoidan treatment promoted ER Ca2+-dependent calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) phosphorylation, Bcl-associated X protein (Bax) and caspase 12 expression in MDA-MB-231 cells, but not in HCT116 cells. In both types of cancer cells, fucoidan activated the phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 alpha (p-eIF2α)\CCAAT/enhancer binding protein homologous protein (CHOP) pro-apoptotic cascade and inhibited the phosphorylation of inositol-requiring kinase 1 (p-IRE-1)\X-box binding proteins 1 splicing (XBP-1s) pro-survival cascade. Furthermore, CHOP knockdown prevented DNA damage and cell death induced by fucoidan.
Fucoidan exerts its anti-tumor function by modulating ER stress cascades. Contribution of ER stress to the fucoidan-induced cell apoptosis augments our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying its anti-tumour activity and provides evidence for the therapeutic application of fucoidan in cancer.
Melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) displays a broad range of antitumor properties including cancer-specific induction of apoptosis, inhibition of tumor angiogenesis and modulation of antitumor immune responses. In our study, we elucidated the role of MDA-7/IL-24 in inhibiting growth of breast cancer-initiating/stem cells. Ad.mda-7 infection decreased proliferation of breast cancer-initiating/stem cells without affecting normal breast stem cells. Ad.mda-7 induced apoptosis and endoplasmic reticulum stress in breast cancer-initiating/stem cells similar to unsorted breast cancer cells and inhibited the self-renewal property of breast cancer-initiating/stem cells by suppressing Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Prevention of inhibition of Wnt signaling by LiCl increased cell survival upon Ad.mda-7 treatment, suggesting that Wnt signaling inhibition might play a key role in MDA-7/IL-24-mediated death of breast cancer-initiating/stem cells. In a nude mouse subcutaneous xenograft model, Ad.mda-7 injection profoundly inhibited growth of tumors generated from breast cancer-initiating/stem cells and also exerted a potent “bystander” activity inhibiting growth of distant uninjected tumors. Further studies revealed that tumor growth inhibition by Ad.mda-7 was associated with a decrease in proliferation and angiogenesis, two intrinsic features of MDA-7/IL-24, and a reduction in vivo in the percentage of breast cancer-initiating/stem cells. Our findings demonstrate that MDA-7/IL-24 is not only nontoxic to normal cells and normal stem cells but also can kill both unsorted cancer cells and enriched populations of cancer-initiating/stem cells, providing further documentation that MDA-7/IL-24 might be a safe and effective way to eradicate cancers and also potentially establish disease-free survival.
MDA-7/IL-24; apoptosis; Wnt signaling; cancer-initiating/stem cells; breast cancer
Inhibitors of cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-2 are being extensively studied as anticancer agents. In the present study we evaluated the mechanisms by which a highly selective COX-2 inhibitor, celecoxib, affects tumor growth of two differentially invasive human breast cancer cell lines.
MDA-MB-231 (highly invasive) and MDA-MB-468 (moderately invasive) cell lines were treated with varying concentrations of celecoxib in vitro, and the effects of this agent on cell growth and angiogenesis were monitored by evaluating cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and vasculogenic mimicry. The in vitro results of MDA-MB-231 cell line were further confirmed in vivo in a mouse xenograft model.
The highly invasive MDA-MB-231 cells express higher levels of COX-2 than do the less invasive MDA-MB-468 cells. Celecoxib treatment inhibited COX-2 activity, indicated by prostaglandin E2 secretion, and caused significant growth arrest in both breast cancer cell lines. In the highly invasive MDA-MB-231 cells, the mechanism of celecoxib-induced growth arrest was by induction of apoptosis, associated with reduced activation of protein kinase B/Akt, and subsequent activation of caspases 3 and 7. In the less invasive MDA-MB-468 cells, growth arrest was a consequence of cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 checkpoint. Celecoxib-induced growth inhibition was reversed by addition of exogenous prostaglandin E2 in MDA-MB-468 cells but not in MDA-MB-231 cells. Furthermore, MDA-MB-468 cells formed significantly fewer extracellular matrix associated microvascular channels in vitro than did the high COX-2 expressing MDA-MB-231 cells. Celecoxib treatment not only inhibited cell growth and vascular channel formation but also reduced vascular endothelial growth factor levels. The in vitro findings corroborated in vivo data from a mouse xenograft model in which daily administration of celecoxib significantly reduced tumor growth of MDA-MB-231 cells, which was associated with reduced vascularization and increased necrosis in the tumor mass.
The disparate molecular mechanisms of celecoxib-induced growth inhibition in human breast cancer cells depends upon the level of COX-2 expression and the invasive potential of the cell lines examined. Data suggest a role for COX-2 not only in the growth of cancer cells but also in activating the angiogenic pathway through regulating levels of vascular endothelial growth factor.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths among females worldwide. Berbamine (BER), a kind of bis-benzylisoquinoline alkaloid, has been used to treat clinical patients with inflammation and cancer for many years in China. The purpose of this study is to investigate the activity of BER against highly-metastatic human breast cancer and its molecular mechanisms of action.
In our study, we found that BER inhibits growth of highly-metastatic human breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-435S cells dose-dependently and time-dependently. The sera from BER-treated rats suppress the growth of MDA-MB-231 cells. BER shows synergistic effects with some existing anticancer agents such as trichostatin A (TSA, the histone deacetylase inhibitor), celecoxib (the inhibitor of COX-2), and carmofur against the growth of MDA-MB-231 cells. BER also displays the strong activity of inducing apoptosis in both estrogen receptor-negative MDA-MB-231 cells and estrogen receptor-alpha-positive MCF-7 breast cancer cells, but not in normal human mammary epithelial cell line MCF10A. BER down-regulates anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 levels and up-regulates pro-apoptotic protein Bax expressions in MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-435S cells. BER also has synergistic effects with anticancer agents trichostatin A, celecoxib and/or carmofur on reducing Bcl-2/Bax ratios and VEGF secretions in MDA-MB-231 cells. In addition, BER significantly suppresses cell migration and invasion, as well as decreases pro-MMP-9/pro-MMP-2 activation in breast cancer cells. Furthermore, BER suppresses Akt and nuclear factor κB signaling by reducing the phosphorylation of c-Met and Akt, and inhibiting their downstream targets such as nuclear factor κB p-65, Bcl-2/Bax, osteopontin, VEGF, MMP-9 and MMP-2 on protein and/or mRNA levels in breast cancer cells.
Our findings have showed that BER suppresses the growth, migration and invasion in highly-metastatic human breast cancer cells by possibly inhibiting Akt and NF-κB signaling with their upstream target c-Met and downstream targets Bcl-2/Bax, osteopontin, VEGF, MMP-9 and MMP-2. BER has synergistic effects with anticancer agents trichostatin A, celecoxib and carmofur on inhibiting the growth of MDA-MB-231 cells and reducing the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax and/or VEGF expressions in the cancer cells. These findings suggest that BER may have the wide therapeutic and/or adjuvant therapeutic application in the treatment of human breast cancer and other cancers.
In the present study we show that histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) enhance the anti-tumor effects of melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin 24 (mda-7/IL-24) in human renal carcinoma cells. Similar data were obtained in other GU tumor cells. Combination of these two agents resulted in increased autophagy that was dependent on expression of ceramide synthase 6, with HDACIs enhancing MDA-7/IL-24 toxicity by increasing generation of ROS and Ca2+. Knock down of CD95 protected cells from HDACI and MDA-7/IL-24 lethality. Sorafenib treatment further enhanced (HDACI + MDA-7/IL-24) lethality. Anoikis resistant renal carcinoma cells were more sensitive to MDA-7/IL-24 that correlated with elevated SRC activity and tyrosine phosphorylation of CD95. We employed a recently constructed serotype 5/3 adenovirus, which is more effective than a serotype 5 virus in delivering mda-7/IL-24 to renal carcinoma cells and which conditionally replicates (CR) in tumor cells expressing MDA-7/IL-24 by virtue of placing the adenoviral E1A gene under the control of the cancer-specific promoter progression elevated gene-3 (Ad.5/3-PEG-E1A-mda-7; CRAd.5/3-mda-7, Ad.5/3-CTV), to define efficacy in renal carcinoma cells. Ad.5/3-CTV decreased the growth of renal carcinoma tumors to a significantly greater extent than did a non-replicative virus Ad.5/3-mda-7. In contralateral uninfected renal carcinoma tumors Ad.5/3-CTV also decreased the growth of tumors to a greater extent than did Ad.5/3-mda-7. In summation, our data demonstrates that HDACIs enhance MDA-7/IL-24-mediated toxicity and tumor specific adenoviral delivery and viral replication of mda-7/IL-24 is an effective pre-clinical renal carcinoma therapeutic.
MDA-7/IL-24; HDACI; ceramide; apoptosis; bystander; cytokine; ROS; caspase; animal study
Immediate postreceptor events activated by IL-1-IL-1R interaction remain undefined. We have initiated studies to identify candidate signal transducers that associate with the cytosolic domain (cd) of the IL-1R. Immunocomplex kinase assays demonstrated an IL-1-activated myelin basic protein kinase activity that coprecipitated with the IL-1R from rat mesangial, mouse EL-4, and HeLa cells. Using glutathione-S-transferase (GST) fusion proteins, HeLa cell lysates next were assayed for kinases that associated with IL-1R cytoplasmic sequences. A GST-IL-1R fusion protein containing the entire cd (amino acids 369-569; GST-IL-1Rcd) recruited a kinase activity in the absence and presence of IL-1 stimulation. In contrast, a GST-IL-1R membrane-proximal region mutant (amino acids 369-501; GST-IL-1RcdDelta), which lacks COOH-terminal amino acid residues required for nuclear factor-kappaB activation, poorly phosphorylated MBP. In gel, kinase assays demonstrated 63-, 83-, and 100-kD kinases that specifically coprecipitated with the HeLa IL-1R and the GST-IL-1Rcd, but not GST-IL-1RcdDelta. 35S-labeled proteins, with Mrs identical to the kinase activities, stably associated with GST-IL-1Rcd. Transient transfection assays of 293 cells were used to evaluate the functional significance of these findings. Simply increasing IL-1cd expression in 293 cells stimulated 5'-IL-6 flanking region-regulated CAT activity threefold above control, an effect blocked by the kinase inhibitors staurosporine and calphostin C. In summary, we have identified two previously unrecognized 63- and 83-kD kinases as well as a protein with an Mr similar to the recently cloned IL-1R-associated kinase, all of which associate spontaneously with the IL-1Rcd. Ectopic IL-1Rcd expression was sufficient to trigger cellular activation, suggesting that the extracellular domain of the intact receptor represses signal transduction until IL-1 is bound. Given that the IL-1Rcd signaling domain has been conserved in a functionally diverse group of transmembrane receptors, further characterization of this signaling process may define novel molecular mechanisms controlling cellular function and differentiation.
Triple-negative breast cancer does not express estrogen and progesterone receptors, and no overexpression/amplification of the HER2-neu gene occurs. Therefore, this subtype of breast cancer lacks the benefits of specific therapies that target these receptors. Today chemotherapy is the only systematic therapy for patients with triple-negative breast cancer. About 50% to 64% of human breast cancers express receptors for gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which might be used as a target. New targeted therapies are warranted. Recently, we showed that antagonists of gonadotropin-releasing hormone type II (GnRH-II) induce apoptosis in human endometrial and ovarian cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. This was mediated through activation of stress-induced mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), followed by activation of proapoptotic protein Bax, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, and activation of caspase-3. In the present study, we analyzed whether GnRH-II antagonists induce apoptosis in MCF-7 and triple-negative MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells that express GnRH receptors. In addition, we ascertained whether knockdown of GnRH-I receptor expression affects GnRH-II antagonist-induced apoptosis and apoptotic signaling.
Induction of apoptosis was analyzed by measurement of the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Apoptotic signaling was measured with quantification of activated MAPK p38 and caspase-3 by using the Western blot technique. GnRH-I receptor protein expression was inhibited by using the antisense knockdown technique. In vivo experiments were performed by using nude mice bearing xenografted human breast tumors.
We showed that treatment of MCF-7 and triple-negative MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells with a GnRH-II antagonist results in apoptotic cell death in vitro via activation of stress-activated MAPK p38 and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. In addition, we showed GnRH-II antagonist-induced activation of caspase-3 in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. After knockdown of GnRH-I receptor expression, GnRH-II antagonist-induced apoptosis and apoptotic signaling was only slightly reduced, indicating that an additional pathway mediating the effects of GnRH-II antagonists may exist. The GnRH-I receptor seems not to be the only target of GnRH-II antagonists. The antitumor effects of the GnRH-II antagonist could be confirmed in nude mice. The GnRH-II antagonist inhibited the growth of xenotransplants of human breast cancers in nude mice completely, without any apparent side effects.
GnRH-II antagonists seem to be suitable drugs for an efficacious and less-toxic endocrine therapy for breast cancers, including triple-negative breast cancers.
Raf kinase inhibitor protein (RKIP) is a member of the phosphatidylethanolamine-binding-protein (PEBP) family that modulates the action of many kinases involved in cellular growth, apoptosis, epithelial to mesenchymal transition, motility, invasion and metastasis. Previously, we described an inverse association between RKIP and signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (STAT3) expression in gastric adenocarcinoma patients. In this study, we elucidated the mechanism by which RKIP regulates STAT3 activity in breast and prostate cancer cell lines. RKIP over expression inhibited c-Src auto-phosphorylation and activation, as well as IL-6-, JAK1 and 2-, and activated Raf-mediated STAT3 tyrosine and serine phosphorylation and subsequent activation. In MDA-231 breast cancer cells that stably over express RKIP, IL-6 treatment blocked STAT3 phosphorylation and transcriptional activation. Conversely, in RKIP knockdown MDA-231 cells: STAT3 phosphorylation and activation increased in comparison to parental MDA-231 cells. RKIP over expression resulted in constitutive physical interaction with STAT3 and blocked c-Src and STAT3 association. The treatment of DU145 prostate, but not PC3 prostate or MDA-231 breast, cancer cell lines with ENMD-1198 or MKC-1 dramatically increased expression of RKIP. Overexpression of RKIP sensitized PC3 and MDA-231 cells to MTI-induced apoptosis. Moreover, MTI treatment resulted in a decrease in Src-mediated STAT3 tyrosine phosphorylation and activation, an effect that was significantly enhanced by RKIP over expression. In stable RKIP over expressing MDA-231 cells, tumor xenograft growth induced by activated STAT3 is inhibited. RKIP synergizes with MTIs to induce apoptosis and inhibit STAT3 activation of breast and prostate cancer cells. RKIP plays a critical role in opposing the effects of pro-oncogenic STAT3 activation.
Although the rictor-mTOR complex (mTORC2) has been shown to act as phosphoinositide-dependent kinase (PDK)2 in many cell types, other kinases have also been implicated in mediating Ser473-Akt phosphorylation. Here, we demonstrated the cell line specificity of integrin-linked kinase (ILK) versus mTORC2 as PDK2 in LNCaP and PC-3 prostate and MDA-MB-468 breast cancer cells, of which the PTEN-negative status allowed the study of Ser473-Akt phosphorylation independent of external stimulation. PC-3 and MDA-MB-468 cells showed upregulated ILK expression relative to LNCaP cells, which expressed a high abundance of mTOR. Exposure to Ku-0063794, a second-generation mTOR inhibitor, decreased Ser473-Akt phosphorylation in LNCaP cells, but not in PC-3 or MDA-MB-468 cells. In contrast, treatment with T315, a novel ILK inhibitor, reduced the phosphorylation of Ser473-Akt in PC-3 and MDA-MB-468 cells without affecting that in LNCaP cells. This cell line specificity was verified by comparing Ser473-Akt phosphorylation status after genetic knockdown of rictor, ILK, and other putative Ser-473-Akt kinases. Genetic knockdown of rictor, but not ILK or the other kinases examined, inhibited Ser473-Akt phosphorylation in LNCaP cells. Conversely, PC-3 and MDA-MB-468 cells were susceptible to the effect of ILK silencing on Ser473-Akt phosphorylation, while knockdown of rictor or any of the other target kinases had no appreciable effect. Co-immunoprecipitation analysis demonstrated the physical interaction between ILK and Akt in PC-3 cells, and T315 blocked ILK-mediated Ser473 phosphorylation of bacterially expressed Akt. ILK also formed complexes with rictor in PC-3 and MDA-MB-468 cells that were disrupted by T315, but such complexes were not observed in LNCaP cells. In the PTEN-functional MDA-MB-231 cell line, both T315 and Ku-0063794 suppressed EGF-induced Ser473-Akt phosphorylation. Inhibition of ILK by T315 or siRNA-mediated knockdown suppressed epithelial-mesenchymal transition in MDA-MB-468 and PC-3 cells. Thus, we hypothesize that ILK might bestow growth advantage and metastatic potential in the course of tumor progression.
The melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7 (mda-7) is a known mediator of apoptosis in cancer cells but not in normal cells. We hypothesized that MDA-7 interferes with the prosurvival signaling pathways that are commonly altered in cancer cells to induce growth arrest and apoptosis. We also identified the cell signaling pathways that are antagonized by MDA-7 leading to apoptosis. Using an adenoviral expression system, mda-7 was introduced into the breast cancer cell lines SKBr3, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-468, each with a different estrogen receptor (ER) and HER-2 receptor status. Downstream targets of MDA-7 were assessed by reverse phase protein array analysis, western blot analysis and immunofluorescence confocal microscopy. Our results show that MDA-7-induced apoptosis was mediated by caspases in all cell lines tested. However, MDA-7 modulates additional pathways in SKBr3 (HER-2 positive) and MCF-7 (ER positive) cells including downregulation of AKT-GSK3β and upregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors in the nucleus. This leads to cell cycle arrest in addition to apoptosis. In conclusion, MDA-7 abrogates tumor-promoting pathways including the activation of caspase-dependent signaling pathways ultimately leading to apoptosis. In addition, depending on the phenotype of the breast cancer cell, MDA-7 modulates cell cycle regulating pathways to mediate cell cycle arrest.
MDA-7; IL-24; breast cancer and AKT
Breast tumor kinase (Brk/protein tyrosine kinase 6 (PTK6)) is a nonreceptor, soluble tyrosine kinase overexpressed in the majority of breast tumors. Previous work has placed Brk downstream of epidermal growth factor receptor (ErbB) activation and upstream of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 5 (ERK5) and p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases. Herein we investigate the regulation of Brk kinase activity and cell migration in response to treatment of keratinocytes (HaCaT cells) and breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231 and T47D cells) with hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and macrophage stimulating protein (MSP), peptide ligands for Met and Ron receptors, respectively.
In vitro kinase assays were performed to directly measure Brk kinase activity in response to MET and RON ligands. Transfection of Brk-targeted RNAi was used to knock down endogenous Brk or ERK5 in multiple cell lines. Kinase activities (downstream of MET signaling) were assayed by Western blotting using total and phospho-specific antibodies. Boyden chamber assays were used to measure cell migration in response to manipulation of Brk and downstream MET effectors. Rescue experiments were performed by knock down of endogenous Brk using RNAi (targeting the untranslated region (3′-UTR)) and transient transfection (re-expression) of either wild-type or kinase-inactive Brk.
Brk gene silencing revealed that HGF, but not MSP, induced robust Brk-dependent cell migration. Brk and ERK5 copurified in HGF-induced protein complexes, and Brk/ERK5 complexes formed independently of Brk kinase activity. ERK5 was required for breast cancer cell but not keratinocyte cell migration, which became ERK1/2-dependent upon ERK5 knockdown. Notably, rescue experiments indicated that the kinase activity of Brk was not required for HGF-induced cell migration. Further, expression of either wild-type or kinase-inactive Brk in Brk-null MDA-MB-435 cells activated ERK5 and conferred increased HGF-induced cell migration.
These results have identified Brk and ERK5 as important downstream effectors of Met signaling to cell migration. Targeting ERK5 kinase activity or inhibiting the formation of Brk/ERK5 complexes may provide an additional means of blocking cell migration associated with breast cancer progression to metastasis.