Chemotherapeutic regimens involve the systemic administration of genotoxic compounds that induce cancer cell death via well-established DNA damage response signaling networks. Less understood is how the treatment of other cell types within the tumor microenvironment impacts therapeutic response. Here we discuss recent work that shows that tumor-adjacent cells can respond to genotoxic stress by engaging a paracrine secretory program. While this secretory response serves to protect progenitor cells and promote tissue regeneration in conditions of cellular stress, it can also be coopted by tumor cells to survive front-line chemotherapy. Thus, local pro-survival signaling may present a fundamental barrier to tumor clearance by genotoxic agents, suggesting that effective treatments need to target both cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment.
Commonly used antitumor treatments, including radiation and chemotherapy, function by damaging the DNA of rapidly proliferating cells. However, resistance to these agents is a predominant clinical problem. A member of the Rho family of small GTPases, RhoB has been shown to be integral in mediating cell death after ionizing radiation (IR) or other DNA damaging agents in Ras-transformed cell lines. In addition, RhoB protein expression increases after genotoxic stress, and loss of RhoB expression causes radio- and chemotherapeutic resistance. However, the signaling pathways that govern RhoB-induced cell death after DNA damage remain enigmatic. Here, we show that RhoB activity increases in human breast and cervical cancer cell lines after treatment with DNA damaging agents. Furthermore, RhoB activity is necessary for DNA damage-induced cell death, as the stable loss of RhoB protein expression using shRNA partially protects cells and prevents the phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs) and the induction of the pro-apoptotic protein Bim after IR. The increase in RhoB activity after genotoxic stress is associated with increased activity of the nuclear guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), Ect2 and Net1, but not the cytoplasmic GEFs p115 RhoGEF or Vav2. Importantly, loss of Ect2 and Net1 via siRNA-mediated protein knock-down inhibited IR-induced increases in RhoB activity, reduced apoptotic signaling events, and protected cells from IR-induced cell death. Collectively, these data suggest a mechanism involving the nuclear GEFs Ect2 and Net1 for activating RhoB after genotoxic stress, thereby facilitating cell death after treatment with DNA damaging agents.
The genome is continuously attacked by a variety of agents that cause DNA damage. Recognition of DNA lesions activates the cellular DNA damage response (DDR), which comprises a network of signal transduction pathways to maintain genome integrity. In response to severe DNA damage, cells undergo apoptosis to avoid transformation into tumour cells, or alternatively, the cells enter permanent cell cycle arrest, called senescence. Most tumour cells have defects in pathways leading to DNA repair or apoptosis. In addition, apoptosis could be counteracted by nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), the main anti-apoptotic transcription factor in the DDR. Despite the high clinical relevance, the interplay of the DDR pathways is poorly understood. For therapeutic purposes DNA damage signalling processes are induced to induce apoptosis in tumour cells. However, the efficiency of radio- and chemotherapy is strongly hampered by cell survival pathways in tumour cells. In this study logical modelling was performed to facilitate understanding of the complexity of the signal transduction networks in the DDR and to provide cancer treatment options.
Our comprehensive discrete logical model provided new insights into the dynamics of the DDR in human epithelial tumours. We identified new mechanisms by which the cell regulates the dynamics of the activation of the tumour suppressor p53 and NF-κB. Simulating therapeutic intervention by agents causing DNA single-strand breaks (SSBs) or DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) we identified candidate target proteins for sensitization of carcinomas to therapeutic intervention. Further, we enlightened the DDR in different genetic diseases, and by failure mode analysis we defined molecular defects putatively contributing to carcinogenesis.
By logic modelling we identified candidate target proteins that could be suitable for radio- and chemotherapy, and contributes to the design of more effective therapies.
Topoisomerase inhibitors; Signal transduction; Cell cycle arrest; Apoptosis; Cancer; Logical model
While numerous cell-intrinsic processes are known to play decisive roles in chemotherapeutic response, relatively little is known about the impact of the tumor microenvironment on therapeutic outcome. Here, we use a well-established mouse model of Burkitt's lymphoma to show that paracrine factors in the tumor microenvironment modulate lymphoma cell survival following the administration of genotoxic chemotherapy. Specifically, IL-6 and Timp-1 are released in the thymus in response to DNA damage, creating a “chemo-resistant niche” that promotes the survival of a minimal residual tumor burden and serves as a reservoir for eventual tumor relapse. Notably, IL-6 is released acutely from thymic endothelial cells in a p38-dependent manner following genotoxic stress, and this acute secretory response precedes the gradual induction of senescence in tumor-associated stromal cells. Thus, conventional chemotherapies can induce tumor regression while simultaneously eliciting stress responses that protect subsets of tumor cells in select anatomical locations from drug action.
The DNA damage response (DDR) represents a complex network of multiple signaling pathways involving cell cycle checkpoints, DNA repair, transcriptional programs, and apoptosis, through which cells maintain genomic integrity following various endogenous (metabolic) or environmental stresses. In cancer treatment, the DDR occurs in response to various genotoxic insults by diverse cytotoxic agents and radiation, representing an important mechanism limiting chemo- and radio-therapeutic efficacy. This has prompted the development of agents targeting DDR signaling pathways, particularly checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1), which contributes to all currently defined cell cycle checkpoints, including G1/S, intra-S phase, G2/M, and the mitotic spindle checkpoint. While numerous agents have been developed with the primary goal of enhancing the activity of DNA-damaging agents or radiation, the therapeutic outcome of this strategy remains to be determined. Recently, new insights into DDR signaling pathways support the notion that Chk1 represents a core component central to the entire DDR, including, in addition to checkpoint regulation, direct involvement in DNA repair and apoptotic events. Together, these new insights into the role of Chk1 in the DDR machinery could provide an opportunity for novel approaches to the development of Chk1 inhibitor strategies.
Acquired resistance to anticancer treatments is a substantial barrier to reducing the morbidity and mortality that is attributable to malignant tumors. Components of tissue microenvironments are recognized to profoundly influence cellular phenotypes, including susceptibilities to toxic insults. Using a genome-wide analysis of transcriptional responses to genotoxic stress induced by cancer therapeutics, we identified a spectrum of secreted proteins derived from the tumor microenvironment that includes the Wnt family member wingless-type MMTV integration site family member 16B (WNT16B). We determined that WNT16B expression is regulated by nuclear factor of κ light polypeptide gene enhancer in B cells 1 (NF-κB) after DNA damage and subsequently signals in a paracrine manner to activate the canonical Wnt program in tumor cells. The expression of WNT16B in the prostate tumor microenvironment attenuated the effects of cytotoxic chemotherapy in vivo, promoting tumor cell survival and disease progression. These results delineate a mechanism by which genotoxic therapies given in a cyclical manner can enhance subsequent treatment resistance through cell nonautonomous effects that are contributed by the tumor microenvironment.
p53 is recruited in response to DNA-damaging genotoxic stress and plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of the genome. We show that exposure of cells to various genotoxic agents, including anticancer drugs such as mitomycin and 5-fluorouracil, results in an increase in p53 mRNA levels and in p53 promoter activation, indicating that the p53 genotoxic stress response is partly regulated at the transcriptional level. The results of the p53 promoter analysis show that a novel p53 promoter element, termed a p53 core promoter element (from -70 to -46), is essential for basal p53 promoter activity and promoter activation induced by genotoxic agents such as anticancer drugs and UV. Although a kappa B motif partially overlaps with this element and those genotoxic agents activate NF-kappa B, it does not play a major role in p53 genotoxic stress response: NF-kappa B p65 expression did not induce significant p53 promoter activation, and NF-kappa B inhibitors (N-acetyl cysteine and I kappa B alpha) did not inhibit genotoxic stress-inducible p53 promoter activation. Finally, we characterized nuclear factors, the binding of which to the p53 core promoter element is essential for basal p53 promoter activity and p53 promoter activation induced by genotoxic agents.
Cellular senescence suppresses cancer by arresting cell proliferation, essentially permanently, in response to oncogenic stimuli, including genotoxic stress. We modified the use of antibody arrays to provide a quantitative assessment of factors secreted by senescent cells. We show that human cells induced to senesce by genotoxic stress secrete myriad factors associated with inflammation and malignancy. This senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) developed slowly over several days and only after DNA damage of sufficient magnitude to induce senescence. Remarkably similar SASPs developed in normal fibroblasts, normal epithelial cells, and epithelial tumor cells after genotoxic stress in culture, and in epithelial tumor cells in vivo after treatment of prostate cancer patients with DNA-damaging chemotherapy. In cultured premalignant epithelial cells, SASPs induced an epithelial–mesenchyme transition and invasiveness, hallmarks of malignancy, by a paracrine mechanism that depended largely on the SASP factors interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8. Strikingly, two manipulations markedly amplified, and accelerated development of, the SASPs: oncogenic RAS expression, which causes genotoxic stress and senescence in normal cells, and functional loss of the p53 tumor suppressor protein. Both loss of p53 and gain of oncogenic RAS also exacerbated the promalignant paracrine activities of the SASPs. Our findings define a central feature of genotoxic stress-induced senescence. Moreover, they suggest a cell-nonautonomous mechanism by which p53 can restrain, and oncogenic RAS can promote, the development of age-related cancer by altering the tissue microenvironment.
Cells with damaged DNA are at risk of becoming cancerous tumors. Although “cellular senescence” can suppress tumor formation from damaged cells by blocking the cell division that underlies cancer growth, it has also been implicated in promoting cancer and other age-related diseases. To understand how this might happen, we measured proteins that senescent human cells secrete into their local environment and found many factors associated with inflammation and cancer development. Different types of cells secrete a common set of proteins when they senesce. This senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) occurs not only in cultured cells, but also in vivo in response to DNA-damaging chemotherapy. Normal cells that acquire a highly active mutant version of the RAS protein, which is known to contribute to tumor growth, undergo cellular senescence, and develop a very intense SASP, with higher levels of proteins secreted. Likewise, the SASP is more intense when cells lose the functions of the tumor suppressor p53. Senescent cells promote the growth and aggressiveness of nearby precancerous or cancer cells, and cells with a more intense SASP do so more efficiently. Our findings support the idea that cellular senescence can be both beneficial, in preventing damaged cells from dividing, and deleterious, by having effects on neighboring cells; this balance of effects is predicted by an evolutionary theory of aging.
By controlling how damaged cells modify their surrounding tissue environment, a tumor suppressor gene can restrain, and an oncogene can promote, the development of cancer.
Hypoxia is an important nongenotoxic stress that modulates the tumor suppressor activity of p53 during malignant progression. In this study, we investigated how genotoxic and nongenotoxic stresses regulate p53 association with chromatin, p53 transcriptional activity, and p53-dependent apoptosis. We found that genotoxic and nongenotoxic stresses result in the accumulation and binding of the p53 tumor suppressor protein to the same cognate binding sites in chromatin. However, it is the stress that determines whether downstream signaling is mediated by association with transcriptional coactivators. In contrast to p53 induced by DNA-damaging agents, hypoxia-induced p53 has primarily transrepression activity. Using extensive microarray analysis, we identified families of repressed targets of p53 that are involved in cell signaling, DNA repair, cell cycle control, and differentiation. Following our previous study on the contribution of residues 25 and 26 to p53-dependent hypoxia-induced apoptosis, we found that residues 25-26 and 53-54 and the polyproline- and DNA-binding regions are also required for both gene repression and the induction of apoptosis by p53 during hypoxia. This study defines a new role for residues 53 and 54 of p53 in regulating transrepression and demonstrates that 25-26 and 53-54 work in the same pathway to induce apoptosis through gene repression.
Activation of signaling pathways in response to genotoxic stress is crucial for cells to properly repair DNA damage. In response to DNA damage, intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species increase. One important function of such a response could be to initiate signal transduction processes. We have employed the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae to delineate DNA damage sensing mechanisms. We report a novel, unanticipated role for the transcription factor Yap1 as a DNA damage responder, providing direct evidence that reactive oxygen species are an important component of the DNA damage signaling process. Our findings reveal an epistatic link between Yap1 and the DNA base excision repair pathway. Corruption of the Yap1-mediated DNA damage response influences cell survival and genomic stability in response to exposure to genotoxic agents.
DNA damage signaling; Oxidative stress; Base excision repair; Reactive oxygen species; Genome instability
The Growth Arrest and DNA Damage-inducible 45 (GADD45) proteins have been implicated in regulation of many cellular functions including DNA repair, cell cycle control, senescence and genotoxic stress. However, the pro-apoptotic activities have also positioned GADD45 as an essential player in oncogenesis. Emerging functional evidence implies that GADD45 proteins serve as tumor suppressors in response to diverse stimuli, connecting multiple cell signaling modules. Defects in the GADD45 pathway can be related to the initiation and progression of malignancies. Moreover, induction of GADD45 expression is an essential step for mediating anti-cancer activity of multiple chemotherapeutic drugs and the absence of GADD45 might abrogate their effects in cancer cells. In this review, we present a comprehensive discussion of the functions of GADD45 proteins, linking their regulation to effectors of cell cycle arrest, DNA repair and apoptosis. The ramifications regarding their roles as essential and central players in tumor growth suppression are also examined. We also extensively review recent literature to clarify how different chemotherapeutic drugs induce GADD45 gene expression and how its up-regulation and interaction with different molecular partners may benefit cancer chemotherapy and facilitate novel drug discovery.
GADD45 family; cancer; apoptosis; survival
Cells process signals using complex and dynamic networks. Studying how this is performed in a context and cell type specific way is essential to understand signaling both in physiological and diseased situations. Context-specific medium/high throughput proteomic data measured upon perturbation is now relatively easy to obtain but formalisms that can take advantage of these features to build models of signaling are still comparatively scarce.
Here we present CellNOptR, an open-source R software package for building predictive logic models of signaling networks by training networks derived from prior knowledge to signaling (typically phosphoproteomic) data. CellNOptR features different logic formalisms, from Boolean models to differential equations, in a common framework. These different logic model representations accommodate state and time values with increasing levels of detail. We provide in addition an interface via Cytoscape (CytoCopteR) to facilitate use and integration with Cytoscape network-based capabilities.
Models generated with this pipeline have two key features. First, they are constrained by prior knowledge about the network but trained to data. They are therefore context and cell line specific, which results in enhanced predictive and mechanistic insights. Second, they can be built using different logic formalisms depending on the richness of the available data. Models built with CellNOptR are useful tools to understand how signals are processed by cells and how this is altered in disease. They can be used to predict the effect of perturbations (individual or in combinations), and potentially to engineer therapies that have differential effects/side effects depending on the cell type or context.
Signaling networks; Systems biology; Phosphoproteomics; Logic modeling; Perturbation data
Genotoxic stress (DNA damage) can elicit multiple responses in mammalian cells, including the activation of numerous cascades of signal transduction that result in the activation of cellular genes involved in growth control, DNA repair and apoptosis. In an earlier report, we have shown that DNA-damaging agents can also induce the RNA-binding activity of several specific proteins that favor a double stem–loop RNA structure. Here we report the purification and identification of nucleophosmin (NPM) and nucleolin as two genotoxic stress-responsive RNA-binding proteins. UV radiation induces the protein expression levels and RNA-binding activity of NPM while nucleolin RNA-binding activity increases after UV or ionizing radiation exposure. Moreover, we have identified 40 mRNA ligands that are potentially regulated by nucleolin, several of which are stress-responsive transcripts. In addition, our data indicate that activation of nucleolin RNA-binding activity by genotoxic stress is mediated by stress-activated protein kinase p38. Our findings suggest that activation of the RNA-binding properties of nucleolin and NPM is part of the cellular response to genotoxic stress.
DNA-damaging agents cause a multifaceted cellular stress response. Cells set in motion either repair mechanisms or programmed cell death pathways, depending on the extent of the damage and on their ability to withstand it. The RNA-binding protein (RBP) Sam68, which is up-regulated in prostate carcinoma, promotes prostate cancer cell survival to genotoxic stress. Herein, we have investigated the function of Sam68 in this cellular response. Mitoxantrone (MTX), a topoisomerase II inhibitor, induced relocalization of Sam68 from the nucleoplasm to nuclear granules, together with several other RBPs involved in alternative splicing, such as TIA-1, hnRNP A1 and the SR proteins SC35 and ASF/SF2. Sam68 accumulation in nuclear stress granules was independent of signal transduction pathways activated by DNA damage. Using BrU labelling and immunofluorescence, we demonstrate that MTX-induced nuclear stress granules are transcriptionally active foci where Sam68 and the phosphorylated form of RNA polymerase II accumulate. Finally, we show that MTX-induced relocalization of Sam68 correlates with changes in alternative splicing of its mRNA target CD44, and that MTX-induced CD44 splicing depends on Sam68 expression. These results strongly suggest that Sam68 is part of a RNA-mediated stress response of the cell that modulates alternative splicing in response to DNA damage.
The DNA damage response (DDR) involves both the control of DNA damage repair and signaling to cell cycle checkpoints. Therefore, unraveling the underlying mechanisms of the DDR is important for understanding tumor suppression and cellular resistance to clastogenic cancer therapeutics. Because the DDR is likely to be influenced by chromatin regulation at the sites of DNA damage, we investigated the role of heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) during the DDR process. We monitored double-strand breaks (DSBs) using the γH2AX foci marker and found that depleting cells of HP1 caused genotoxic stress, a delay in the repair of DSBs and elevated levels of apoptosis after irradiation. Furthermore, we found that these defects in repair were associated with impaired BRCA1 function. Depleting HP1 reduced recruitment of BRCA1 to DSBs and caused defects in two BRCA1-mediated DDR events: (i) the homologous recombination repair pathway and (ii) the arrest of cell cycle at the G2/M checkpoint. In contrast, depleting HP1 from cells did not affect the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway: instead it elevated the recruitment of the 53BP1 NHEJ factor to DSBs. Notably, all three subtypes of HP1 seemed to be almost equally important for these DDR functions. We suggest that the dynamic interaction of HP1 with chromatin and other DDR factors could determine DNA repair choice and cell fate after DNA damage. We also suggest that compromising HP1 expression could promote tumorigenesis by impairing the function of the BRCA1 tumor suppressor.
The p53 tumor suppressor is a key protein in maintaining the integrity of the genome by inducing either cell cycle arrest or apoptosis following cellular stress signals. Two human family members, Mdm2 and Mdmx, are primarily responsible for inactivating p53 transcription and targeting p53 protein for ubiquitin-mediated degradation. In response to genotoxic stress, post-translational modifications to p53, Mdm2 and Mdmx stabilize and activate p53. The role that phosphorylation of these molecules plays in the cellular response to genotoxic agents has been extensively studied with respect to cancer biology. In this review, we discuss the main phosphorylation events of p53, Mdm2 and Mdmx in response to DNA damage that are important for p53 stability and activity. In tumors that harbor wild-type p53, reactivation of p53 by modulating both Mdm2 and Mdmx signaling is well suited as a therapeutic strategy. However, the rationale for development of kinase inhibitors that target the Mdm2-Mdmx-p53 axis must be carefully considered since modulation of certain kinase signaling pathways has the potential to destabilize and inactivate p53.
Mdm2; Mdmx; p53; phosphorylation; kinase inhibitor
This review highlights several in vivo studies utilizing non-genotoxic and genotoxic chemical carcinogens, and the mechanisms of their high and low dose carcinogenicities with respect to formation of oxidative stress. Here, we survey the examples and discuss possible mechanisms of hormetic effects with cytochrome P450 inducers, such as phenobarbital, α-benzene hexachloride and 1,1-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-2,2,2-trichloroethane. Epigenetic processes differentially can be affected by agents that impinge on oxidative DNA damage, repair, apoptosis, cell proliferation, intracellular communication and cell signaling. Non-genotoxic carcinogens may target nuclear receptors and induce post-translational modifications at the protein level, thereby impacting on the stability or activity of key regulatory proteins, including oncoproteins and tumor suppressor proteins. We further discuss role of oxidative stress focusing on the low dose carcinogenicities of several genotoxic carcinogens such as a hepatocarcinogen contained in seared fish and meat, 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline, arsenic and its metabolites, and the kidney carcinogen potassium bromate.
oxidative stress; carcinogenicity; chemical carcinogen; low dose
Cell cycle checkpoints induced by DNA damage play an integral role in preservation of genomic stability by allowing cells to limit the propagation of deleterious mutations. The retinoblastoma tumor suppressor (RB) is crucial for the maintenance of the DNA damage checkpoint function because it elicits cell cycle arrest in response to a variety of genotoxic stresses. Although sporadic loss of RB is characteristic of most cancers and results in the bypass of the DNA damage checkpoint, the consequence of RB loss upon chemotherapeutic responsiveness has been largely uninvestigated. Here, we employed a conditional knockout approach to ablate RB in adult fibroblasts. This system enabled us to examine the DNA damage response of adult cells following acute RB deletion. Using this system, we demonstrated that loss of RB disrupted the DNA damage checkpoint elicited by either cisplatin or camptothecin exposure. Strikingly, this bypass was not associated with enhanced repair, but rather the accumulation of phosphorylated H2AX (γH2AX) foci, which indicate DNA double-strand breaks. The formation of γH2AX foci was due to ongoing replication following chemotherapeutic treatment in the RB-deficient cells. Additionally, peak γH2AX accumulation occurred in S-phase cells undergoing DNA replication in the presence of damage, and these γH2AX foci co-localized with replication foci. These results demonstrate that acute RB loss abrogates DNA damage-induced cell cycle arrest to induce γH2AX foci formation. Thus, secondary genetic lesions induced by RB loss have implications for the chemotherapeutic response and the development of genetic instability.
A central goal of systems biology is the construction of predictive models of bio-molecular networks. Cellular networks of moderate size have been modeled successfully in a quantitative way based on differential equations. However, in large-scale networks, knowledge of mechanistic details and kinetic parameters is often too limited to allow for the set-up of predictive quantitative models.
Here, we review methodologies for qualitative and semi-quantitative modeling of cellular signal transduction networks. In particular, we focus on three different but related formalisms facilitating modeling of signaling processes with different levels of detail: interaction graphs, logical/Boolean networks, and logic-based ordinary differential equations (ODEs). Albeit the simplest models possible, interaction graphs allow the identification of important network properties such as signaling paths, feedback loops, or global interdependencies. Logical or Boolean models can be derived from interaction graphs by constraining the logical combination of edges. Logical models can be used to study the basic input–output behavior of the system under investigation and to analyze its qualitative dynamic properties by discrete simulations. They also provide a suitable framework to identify proper intervention strategies enforcing or repressing certain behaviors. Finally, as a third formalism, Boolean networks can be transformed into logic-based ODEs enabling studies on essential quantitative and dynamic features of a signaling network, where time and states are continuous.
We describe and illustrate key methods and applications of the different modeling formalisms and discuss their relationships. In particular, as one important aspect for model reuse, we will show how these three modeling approaches can be combined to a modeling pipeline (or model hierarchy) allowing one to start with the simplest representation of a signaling network (interaction graph), which can later be refined to logical and eventually to logic-based ODE models. Importantly, systems and network properties determined in the rougher representation are conserved during these transformations.
Interaction graphs; Logical models; Boolean models; Signal transduction; Qualitative modeling; ODE models; EGF signaling
Chemotherapeutic agents- and radiation therapy-induced NF-κB activation in cancer cells contributes to aggressive tumor growth and resistance to chemotherapy and ionizing radiation during cancer treatment. TAK1 has been shown to be required for genotoxic stress-induced NF-κB activation. However, whether TAK1 ubiquitination is involved in genotoxic stress-induced NF-κB activation remains unknown. Herein, we demonstrate that TAK1 ubiquitination plays an important role in the positive and negative regulation of Doxorubicin (Dox)-induced NF-κB activation. We found that TAK1 was required for Dox-induced NF-κB activation. At the early stage of Dox treatment, Dox induced Lys63-linked TAK1 polyubiquitination at lysine 158 residue. USP4 inhibited Dox-induced TAK1 Lys63-linked polyubiquitination and knockdown of USP4 enhanced Dox-induced NF-κB activation. At the late stage of Dox treatment, Dox induced Lys48-linked TAK1 polyubiquitination to promote TAK1 degradation. ITCH inhibited Dox-induced NF-κB activation by promoting Lys48-linked TAK1 polyubiquitination and its subsequent degradation. Our study indicates that TAK1 ubiquitination plays critical roles in the regulation of Dox-induced NF-κB activation. Thus, intervention of TAK1 kinase activity or TAK1 Lys63-linked polyubiquitination pathways might greatly enhance the therapeutic efficacy of Dox.
TAK1; Ubiquitination; Doxorubicin; USP4; ITCH
Oxidative stress is a consequence of normal and abnormal cellular metabolism and is linked to the development of human diseases. The effective functioning of the pathway responding to oxidative stress protects the cellular DNA against oxidative damage; conversely the failure of the oxidative stress response mechanism can induce aberrant cellular behavior leading to diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. Thus, understanding the normal signaling present in oxidative stress response pathways and determining possible signaling alterations leading to disease could provide us with useful pointers for therapeutic purposes. Using knowledge of oxidative stress response pathways from the literature, we developed a Boolean network model whose simulated behavior is consistent with earlier experimental observations from the literature. Concatenating the oxidative stress response pathways with the PI3-Kinase-Akt pathway, the oxidative stress is linked to the phenotype of apoptosis, once again through a Boolean network model. Furthermore, we present an approach for pinpointing possible fault locations by using temporal variations in the oxidative stress input and observing the resulting deviations in the apoptotic signature from the normally predicted pathway. Such an approach could potentially form the basis for designing more effective combination therapies against complex diseases such as cancer.
In this paper, we have developed a Boolean network model for the oxidative stress response. This model was developed based on pathway information from the current literature pertaining to oxidative stress. Where applicable, the behaviour predicted by the model is in agreement with experimental observations from the published literature. We have also linked the oxidative stress response to the phenomenon of apoptosis via the PI3k/Akt pathway.
It is our hope that some of the additional predictions here, such as those pertaining to the oscillatory behaviour of certain genes in the presence of oxidative stress, will be experimentally validated in the near future. Of course, it should be pointed out that the theoretical procedure presented here for pinpointing fault locations in a biological network with feedback will need to be further simplified before it can be even considered for practical biological validation.
The PIDDosome, a multiprotein complex constituted of the ‘p53-induced protein with a death domain (PIDD), ‘receptor-interacting protein (RIP)-associated ICH-1/CED-3 homologous protein with a death domain' (RAIDD) and pro-Caspase-2 has been defined as an activating platform for this apoptosis-related protease. PIDD has been implicated in p53-mediated cell death in response to DNA damage but also in DNA repair and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain enhancer (NF-κB) activation upon genotoxic stress, together with RIP-1 kinase and Nemo/IKKγ. As all these cellular responses are critical for tumor suppression and deregulated expression of individual PIDDosome components has been noted in human cancer, we investigated their role in oncogenesis induced by DNA damage or oncogenic stress in gene-ablated mice. We observed that Pidd or Caspase-2 failed to suppress lymphoma formation triggered by γ-irradiation or 3-methylcholanthrene-driven fibrosarcoma development. In contrast, Caspase-2 showed tumor suppressive capacity in response to aberrant c-Myc expression, which did not rely on PIDD, the BH3-only protein Bid (BH3 interacting domain death agonist) or the death receptor ligand Trail (TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand), but associated with reduced rates of p53 loss and increased extranodal dissemination of tumor cells. In contrast, Pidd deficiency associated with abnormal M-phase progression and delayed disease onset, indicating that both proteins are differentially engaged upon oncogenic stress triggered by c-Myc, leading to opposing effects on tumor-free survival.
apoptosis; Caspase-2; PIDDosome; cancer
Malignant rhabdoid tumors (MRTs) are extremely aggressive and resist current radio- and chemotherapic treatments. To gain insight into the dysfunctions of MRT cells, the apoptotic response of a model cell line, MON, was analyzed after exposure to several genotoxic and non-genotoxic agents employed separately or in association.
Fluorescence microscopy of chromatin morphology and electrophoretic analysis of internucleosomal DNA fragmentation revealed that MON cells were, comparatively to HeLa cells, resistant to apoptosis after treatment with etoposide, cisplatin (CisPt) or X-rays, but underwent some degree of apoptosis after ultraviolet (UV) C irradiation. Concomitant treatment of MON cells with X-rays or vinblastine and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) inhibitor wortmannin resulted in synergistic induction of apoptosis. Western blot analysis showed that the p53 protein was upregulated in MON cells after exposure to all the different agents tested, singly or in combination. In treated cells, the p53 downstream effectors p21WAF1/CIP1, Mdm2 and Bax were induced with some inconsistency with regard to the accumulation of p53. Poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage, indicative of ongoing apoptosis, occurred in UVC-irradiated cells and, especially, in cells treated with combinations of X-rays or vinblastine with wortmannin. However, there was moderate or no PARP cleavage in cells treated with CisPt, X-rays, vinblastine or wortmannin singly or with the combinations X-rays plus CisPt or vinblastine and CisPt plus vinblastine or wortmannin. The synergistic effect on the induction of apoptosis exerted by some agent combinations corresponded with synergy in respect of MON cell growth inhibition.
These results suggest abnormalities in the p53 pathway and apoptosis control in MRT cells. The Ras/PI3-K/AKT signaling pathway might also be deregulated in these cells by generating an excess of survival factors. These dysfunctions might contribute to the resistance of MRTs to current antineoplastic treatments and could warrant consideration in the search of new therapeutic approaches.
Crosstalk and complexity within signaling pathways, and their perturbation by oncogenes, limits component-by-component approaches to understanding human disease. Network analysis of how normal and oncogenic signaling can be re-wired by drugs may provide opportunities to target tumors with high specificity and efficacy. Using targeted inhibition of oncogenic signaling pathways combined with DNA damaging chemotherapy, we report that time-staggered EGFR inhibition, but not simultaneous co-administration, dramatically sensitizes a subset of triple-negative breast cancer cells to genotoxic drugs. Systems-level analysis—using high-density time-dependent measurements of signaling networks, gene expression profiles, and cell phenotypic responses in combination with mathematical modeling— revealed an approach for altering the intrinsic state of the cell through dynamic re-wiring of oncogenic signaling pathways. This process converts these cells to a less tumorigenic state that is more susceptible to DNA damage-induced cell death by re-activation of an extrinsic apoptotic pathway whose function is suppressed in the oncogene-addicted state.
The SUMO ligase activity of Mms21/Nse2, a conserved member of the Smc5/6 complex, is required for resisting extrinsically induced genotoxic stress. We report that the Mms21 SUMO ligase activity is also required during the unchallenged mitotic cell cycle in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. SUMO ligase-defective cells were slow growing and spontaneously incurred DNA damage. These cells required caffeine-sensitive Mec1 kinase-dependent checkpoint signaling for survival even in the absence of extrinsically induced genotoxic stress. SUMO ligase-defective cells were sensitive to replication stress and displayed synthetic growth defects with DNA damage checkpoint-defective mutants such as mec1, rad9, and rad24. MMS21 SUMO ligase and mediator of replication checkpoint 1 gene (MRC1) were epistatic with respect to hydroxyurea-induced replication stress or methyl methanesulfonate-induced DNA damage sensitivity. Subjecting Mms21 SUMO ligase-deficient cells to transient replication stress resulted in enhancement of cell cycle progression defects such as mitotic delay and accumulation of hyperploid cells. Consistent with the spontaneous activation of the DNA damage checkpoint pathway observed in the Mms21-mediated sumoylation-deficient cells, enhanced frequency of chromosome breakage and loss was detected in these mutant cells. A mutation in the conserved cysteine 221 that is engaged in coordination of the zinc ion in Loop 2 of the Mms21 SPL-RING E3 ligase catalytic domain resulted in strong replication stress sensitivity and also conferred slow growth and Mec1 dependence to unchallenged mitotically dividing cells. Our findings establish Mms21-mediated sumoylation as a determinant of cell cycle progression and maintenance of chromosome integrity during the unperturbed mitotic cell division cycle in budding yeast.
Cell Cycle; Checkpoint Control; Chromosomes; Mitosis; Sumoylation