Lactate, once considered a waste product of glycolysis, has emerged as a critical regulator of cancer development, maintenance, and metastasis. Indeed, tumor lactate levels correlate with increased metastasis, tumor recurrence, and poor outcome. Lactate mediates cancer cell intrinsic effects on metabolism and has additional non–tumor cell autonomous effects that drive tumorigenesis. Tumor cells can metabolize lactate as an energy source and shuttle lactate to neighboring cancer cells, adjacent stroma, and vascular endothelial cells, which induces metabolic reprogramming. Lactate also plays roles in promoting tumor inflammation and in functioning as a signaling molecule that stimulates tumor angiogenesis. Here we review the mechanisms of lactate production and transport and highlight emerging evidence indicating that targeting lactate metabolism is a promising approach for cancer therapeutics.
The RNA-binding protein Tristetraprolin (TTP, ZFP36) functions as a tumor suppressor that impairs the development and disables the maintenance of MYC-driven lymphoma. In addition, other human cancers expressed reduced levels of TTP, suggesting that it may function as a tumor suppressor in several malignancies. To identify genes that may be associated with TTP tumor suppressor functions in human cancer, we analyzed The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) breast cancer, lung adenocarcinoma, lung squamous cell carcinoma, and colon adenocarcinoma datasets. These analyses defined a signature of 50 genes differentially regulated between high and low TTP-expressing tumors. Notably, patients with low TTP-expressing breast cancer and lung adenocarcinoma had decreased survival rates and more aggressive tumors with increased necrosis. In addition, analysis across non-TCGA tumor gene expression databases identified a broad spectrum of human cancers having similarities with the TTP-low tumor gene signature, including pancreatic, bladder, and prostate cancer. TTP has documented roles in regulating mRNAs encoding inflammatory proteins, and pathway analysis identified several inflammatory pathways that are altered in tumors with low TTP expression. Surprisingly, the TTP-low tumor gene signature includes a core component of 20 under-expressed CREB target genes, suggesting that the regulation of CREB activity may be related to the tumor suppressor function of TTP. Thus, reduced levels of TTP are a potential biomarker for human cancers with poor outcome, and targeting the CREB pathway may be a therapeutic route for treating aggressive TTP-low tumors.
A synthesis of C11-desmethoxy soraphen A1α is described that proceeds in just 14 steps from readily available starting materials. This natural product analog was identified as a target of interest in a program aimed at identifying novel natural product-inspired inhibitors of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) as potential anticancer therapeutics. While describing the most efficient synthesis of a soraphen A1α analog (total syntheses of the natural product have been reported that proceed in 25 to ≥40 linear steps), we also present data supporting the conclusion that C11-heteroatom functionality is a beneficial but unnecessary structural characteristic of soraphen A1α analogs for inhibiting ACC.
Soraphen A; function-oriented synthesis; acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC); polyketide synthesis
A synthesis of C11-desmethoxy soraphen
described that proceeds in just 14 steps from readily available starting
materials. This natural product analogue was identified as a target
of interest in a program aimed at identifying novel natural product-inspired
inhibitors of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) as potential anticancer
therapeutics. While describing the most efficient synthesis of a soraphen
A1α analogue (total syntheses of the natural product
have been reported that proceed in 25 to ≥40 linear steps),
we also present data supporting the conclusion that C11-heteroatom
functionality is a beneficial but unnecessary structural characteristic
of soraphen A1α analogues for inhibiting ACC.
Soraphen A; function-oriented synthesis; acetyl-CoA
carboxylase (ACC); polyketide synthesis
MYC family oncoproteins (MYC, N-MYC and L-MYC) function as basic helix-loop-helix-leucine zipper
(bHLH-Zip) transcription factors that are activated (i.e., overexpressed) in well over half of all
human malignancies (Boxer & Dang, 2001; Beroukhim
et al, 2010). In this issue of
EMBO Molecular Medicine, Eilers and colleagues (Peter
et al, 2014) describe a novel
approach to disable MYC, whereby inhibition of the ubiquitin ligase HUWE1 stabilizes MIZ1 and leads
to the selective repression of MYC-activated target genes.
See also: S Peter et al (December 2014)
Here we report the cloning and functional characterization of the cyclin D-dependent kinase 4 and 6 (Cdk4/6) inhibitory protein Cdkn2d/p19Ink4d of Xenopuslaevis (Xl-Ink4d). Xl-Ink4d is the only Ink4 family gene highly expressed during Xenopus development and its transcripts were detected maternally and during neurulation. The Xl-Ink4d protein has 63% identity to mouse and human Cdkn2d/p19Ink4d and its function as a negative regulator of cell cycle traverse is evolutionary conserved. Indeed, Xl-lnk4d can functionally substitute for mouse Cdkn2d in binding to mouse Cdk4 and inhibiting cyclin-D1-dependent CDK4 kinase activity. Further, enforced expression of Xl-lnk4d arrests mouse fibroblasts in the G1 phase of the cell cycle. These findings indicate that CDKN2d/p19Ink4d is conserved through vertebrate evolution and suggest Xl-lnk4d may contribute to the development of Xenopuslaevis.
Xenopuslaevis; Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor; Ink4d; Cdkn2d; Cell cycle
The development of a series of potent and highly selective casein kinase 1δ/ε (CK1δ/ε) inhibitors is described. Starting from a purine scaffold inhibitor (SR-653234) identified by high throughput screening, we developed a series of potent and highly kinase selective inhibitors, including SR-2890 and SR-3029, which have IC50 ≤ 50 nM versus CK1δ. The two lead compounds have ≤ 100 nM EC50 values in MTT assays against the human A375 melanoma cell line and have physical, in vitro and in vivo PK properties suitable for use in proof of principle animal xenograft studies against human cancer cell lines.
Casein kinase 1δ/ε inhibitor; Selective CK1δ/ε inhibitor; Purine scaffold kinase inhibitor; Antiproliferative agent; Potent growth inhibitor of A375 melanoma; cell line
We report a concise and convergent laboratory synthesis of the rare marine natural product lehualide B that has led to the discovery that: (1) this compound has low nanomolar activity against human multiple myeloma cells, and (2) the anti-cancer effects of lehualide B and its analogs are selective (i.e., they are ~ two to three orders of magnitude less toxic to human breast cancer cells). Synthetic lehualide B is shown to be an effective inhibitor of complex I of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, with potency similar to that observed for the terrestrial natural products piericidin A1 and rotenone – an observation that led to the discovery that piericidin A1 is also selectively cytotoxic toward human multiple myeloma cells. Interestingly, synthetic derivatives of lehualide B that resemble verticipyrone (an established complex I inhibitor composed of a γ-pyrone and a simple mono-unsaturated hydrophobic chain) lack the potent anti-myeloma activity of the natural product. Finally, the synthesis and evaluation of a collection of lehualide-inspired analogs led to the elucidation of structure-activity relationships for this rare natural product that established important roles for the substituted γ-pyrone head group and the skipped polyene side chain.
The G1 kinase CDK4 is amplified or overexpressed in some human tumors and
promotes tumorigenesis by inhibiting known tumor suppressors. Here, we report
that CDK4 deficiency markedly accelerated lymphoma development in the
Eμ-Myc transgenic mouse model of B lymphoma and that
silencing or loss of CDK4 augmented the tumorigenic potential of
Myc-driven mouse and human B cell lymphoma in transplant
models. Accelerated disease in CDK4-deficient Eμ-Myc
transgenic mice was associated with rampant genomic instability that was
provoked by dysregulation of a FOXO1/RAG1/RAG2 pathway. Specifically, CDK4
phosphorylated and inactivated FOXO1, which prevented FOXO1-dependent induction
of Rag1 and Rag2 transcription. CDK4-deficient
Eμ-Myc B cells had high levels of the active form of
FOXO1 and elevated RAG1 and RAG2. Furthermore, overexpression of RAG1 and RAG2
accelerated lymphoma development in a transplant model, with RAG1/2-expressing
tumors exhibiting hallmarks of genomic instability. Evaluation of human tumor
samples revealed that CDK4 expression was markedly suppressed, while FOXO1
expression was elevated, in several subtypes of human non-Hodgkin B cell
lymphoma. Collectively, these findings establish a context-specific tumor
suppressor function for CDK4 that prevents genomic instability, which
contributes to B cell lymphoma. Furthermore, our data suggest that targeting
CDK4 may increase the risk for the development and/or progression of lymphoma.
Autophagy is critical for maintaining cellular homeostasis, coping with metabolic stress, and limiting oxidative damage. Several autophagy-deficient or knockout models show increased tumor incidence, implicating autophagy as a tumor suppressor. Autophagy is involved in multiple processes which may curb transformation, including the control of oncogene-induced senescence (OIS), which can limit progression to full malignancy, and efficient antigen presentation, which is crucial for immune cell recognition and elimination of nascent cancer cells. Activation of the autophagy pathway may therefore hold promise as a chemoprevention strategy. Caloric restriction, bioactive dietary compounds, or specific pharmacological activators of the autophagy pathway are all possible avenues to explore in harnessing the autophagy pathway in cancer prevention.
Neuroblastoma is a pediatric malignancy that arises from the neural crest and patients with high-risk neuroblastoma that typically harbor amplifications of MYCN have an extremely poor prognosis. The tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) promoter-driven TH-MYCN transgenic mouse model faithfully recapitulates many hallmarks of human MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma. A key downstream target of Myc oncoproteins in tumorigenesis is ornithine decarboxylase (Odc), the rate-limiting enzyme of polyamine biosynthesis. Indeed, sustained treatment with the Odc suicide inhibitor α-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), or Odc heterozygosity, markedly impairs lymphoma development in Eμ-Myc transgenic mice, and these effects are linked to the induction of the cyclin dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor p27Kip1, which is normally repressed by Myc. Here we report that DFMO treatment, but not Odc heterozygosity impairs MYCN-induced neuroblastoma, and that in this malignancy transient DFMO treatment is sufficient to confer protection. The selective anti-cancer effects of DFMO on mouse and human MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma also rely on its ability to disable Myc's proliferative response, yet in this tumor context DFMO targets the expression of the p21Cip1 Cdk inhibitor, which is also suppressed by Myc oncoproteins. These findings suggest that agents such as DFMO that target the polyamine pathway may show efficacy in high-risk, MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma.
neuroblastoma; MYCN; ornithine decarboxylase; DFMO; p21Cip1
Myc oncoproteins directly regulate transcription by binding to target genes, yet this only explains a fraction of the genes affected by Myc. mRNA turnover is controlled via AU-binding proteins (AUBPs) that recognize AU-rich elements (AREs) found within many transcripts. Analyses of precancerous and malignant Myc-expressing B cells revealed that Myc regulates hundreds of ARE-containing (ARED) genes and select AUBPs. Notably, Myc directly suppresses transcription of Tristetraprolin (TTP/ZFP36), an mRNA-destabilizing AUBP, and this circuit is also operational during B lymphopoiesis and IL7 signaling. Importantly, TTP suppression is a hallmark of cancers with MYC involvement, and restoring TTP impairs Myc-induced lymphomagenesis and abolishes maintenance of the malignant state. Further, there is a selection for TTP loss in malignancy; thus, TTP functions as a tumor suppressor. Finally, Myc/TTP-directed control of select cancer-associated ARED genes is disabled during lymphomagenesis. Thus, Myc targets AUBPs to regulate ARED genes that control tumorigenesis.
Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable plasma cell malignancy. The recent successes of the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib in MM therapy have prompted investigations of its efficacy in combination with other anticancer agents. Polyamines play important roles in regulating tumor cell proliferation and angiogenesis and represent an important therapeutic target. CGC-11093 is a novel polyamine analog that has completed a Phase I clinical trial for the treatment of cancer. Here we report that CGC-11093 selectively augments the in vitro and in vivo anti-myeloma activity of bortezomib. Specifically, the combination of CGC-11093 and bortezomib compromised MM viability and clonogenic survival, and increased drug-induced apoptosis over that achieved by either single agent. Xenografts of MM tumors treated with this combination had marked increases in phospho-JNK-positive cells and apoptosis, and corresponding reductions in tumor burden, tumor vasculature, and the expression of PCNA and the pro-angiogenic cytokine vascular endothelial growth factor. Furthermore, inhibition of JNK with a pharmacological inhibitor or by selective knockdown blunted the efficacy of CGC-11093 and bortezomib. Therefore, CGC-11093 enhances bortezomib's anti-cancer activity by augmenting JNK-mediated apoptosis and blocking angiogenesis. These findings support study of the use of the combination of bortezomib and CGC-11093 in multiple myeloma patients that fail to respond to frontline therapy.
multiple myeloma; bortezomib; polyamine analog; therapy
c-Myc-deficient mice fail to develop normal vascular networks and c-Myc-deficient embryonic stem cells fail to provoke a tumor angiogenic response when injected into immune compromised mice. However, the molecular underpinnings of these defects are poorly understood. To assess whether c-Myc indeed contributes to embryonic vasculogenesis we evaluated c-Myc function in Xenopus laevis embryogenesis. Here we report that Xc-Myc is required for the normal assembly of endothelial cells into patent vessels during both angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. Accordingly, the specific knockdown of Xc-Myc provokes massive embryonic edema and hemorrhage. Conversely, Xc-Myc overexpression triggers the formation of ectopic vascular beds in embryos. c-Myc is required for normal expression of Slug/Snail2 and Twist, and either XSlug/Snail2 or XTwist could compensate for defects manifest by Xc-Myc knockdown. Importantly, knockdown of Xc-Myc, XSlug/Snail2, or XTwist within the lateral plate mesoderm, but not the neural crest, provoked embryonic edema and hemorrhage. Collectively, these findings support a model in which c-Myc, Twist, and Slug/Snail2 function in a regulatory circuit within lateral plate mesoderm that directs normal vessel formation in both the vascular and lymphatic systems.
Myc; Slug/Snail2; Twist; Vasculogenesis; Lymphangiogenesis; Xenopus
Autophagy is an ancient, intracellular degradative system which plays important roles in regulating protein homeostasis and which is essential for survival when cells are faced with metabolic stress. Increasing evidence suggests that autophagy also functions as a tumor suppressor mechanism that harnesses the growth and/or survival of cells as they transition towards a rapidly dividing malignant state. However, the impact of autophagy on cancer progression and on the efficacy of cancer therapeutics is controversial. In particular, although the induction of autophagy has been reported after treatment with a number of therapeutic agents, including imatinib, this response has variously been suggested to either impair or contribute to the effects of anticancer agents. More recent studies support the notion that autophagy compromises the efficacy of anticancer agents, where agents such as chloroquine (CQ) that impair autophagy augment the anticancer activity of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors and alkylating agents. Inhibition of autophagy is a particularly attractive strategy for the treatment of imatinib-refractory chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) since a combination of CQ with the HDAC inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) compromises the survival of even BCR-ABL-T315I+ imatinib-resistant CML. Additional studies are clearly needed to establish the clinical utility of autophagy inhibitors and to identify patients most likely to benefit from this novel therapeutic approach.
autophagy; imatinib; resistance; chronic myelogenous leukemia
Despite great interest in cancer chemoprevention, effective agents are few. Here we show that chloroquine, a drug that activates the stress-responsive Atm-p53 tumor-suppressor pathway, preferentially enhances the death of Myc oncogene–overexpressing primary mouse B cells and mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and impairs Myc-induced lymphomagenesis in a transgenic mouse model of human Burkitt lymphoma. Chloroquine-induced cell death in primary MEFs and human colorectal cancer cells was dependent upon p53, but not upon the p53 modulators Atm or Arf. Accordingly, chloroquine impaired spontaneous lymphoma development in Atm-deficient mice, a mouse model of ataxia telangiectasia, but not in p53-deficient mice. Chloroquine treatment enhanced markers of both macroautophagy and apoptosis in MEFs but ultimately impaired lysosomal protein degradation. Interestingly, chloroquine-induced cell death was not dependent on caspase-mediated apoptosis, as neither overexpression of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 nor deletion of the proapoptotic Bax and Bak affected chloroquine-induced MEF death. However, when both apoptotic and autophagic pathways were blocked simultaneously, chloroquine-induced killing of Myc-overexpressing cells was blunted. Thus chloroquine induces lysosomal stress and provokes a p53-dependent cell death that does not require caspase-mediated apoptosis. These findings specifically demonstrate that intermittent chloroquine use effectively prevents cancer in mouse models of 2 genetically distinct human cancer syndromes, Burkitt lymphoma and ataxia telangiectasia, suggesting that agents targeting lysosome-mediated degradation may be effective in cancer prevention.
Autophagy, the primary recycling pathway of cells, plays a critical role in mitochondrial quality control under normal growth conditions and in the response to cellular stress. The Hsp90-Cdc37 chaperone complex coordinately regulates the activity of select kinases to orchestrate many facets of the stress response. Although both maintain mitochondrial integrity, the relationship between Hsp90-Cdc37 and autophagy has not been well characterized. Ulk1, one of the mammalian homologues of yeast Atg1, is a serine-threonine kinase required for mitophagy. Here we show that the interaction between Ulk1 and Hsp90-Cdc37 stabilizes and activates Ulk1, which in turn is required for the phosphorylation and release of Atg13 from Ulk1, and for the recruitment of Atg13 to damaged mitochondria. Hsp90-Cdc37, Ulk1 and Atg13 phosphorylation are all required for efficient mitochondrial clearance. These findings establish a direct pathway that integrates Ulk1- and Atg13- directed mitophagy with the stress response coordinated by Hsp90 and Cdc37.
The functions of key oncogenic transcription factors independent of context have not been fully delineated despite our richer understanding of the genetic alterations in human cancers. The MYC oncogene, which produces the Myc transcription factor, is frequently altered in human cancer and is a major regulatory hub for many cancers. In this regard, we sought to unravel the primordial signature of Myc function by using high-throughput genomic approaches to identify the cell-type independent core Myc target gene signature. Using a model of human B lymphoma cells bearing inducible MYC, we identified a stringent set of direct Myc target genes via chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), global nuclear run-on assay, and changes in mRNA levels. We also identified direct Myc targets in human embryonic stem cells (ESCs). We further document that a Myc core signature (MCS) set of target genes is shared in mouse and human ESCs as well as in four other human cancer cell types. Remarkably, the expression of the MCS correlates with MYC expression in a cell-type independent manner across 8,129 microarray samples, which include 312 cell and tissue types. Furthermore, the expression of the MCS is elevated in vivo in Eμ-Myc transgenic murine lymphoma cells as compared with premalignant or normal B lymphocytes. Expression of the MCS in human B cell lymphomas, acute leukemia, lung cancers or Ewing sarcomas has the highest correlation with MYC expression. Annotation of this gene signature reveals Myc's primordial function in RNA processing, ribosome biogenesis and biomass accumulation as its key roles in cancer and stem cells.
The universal cyclin-Cdk inhibitor p27Kip1 functions as a tumor suppressor and reduced levels of p27Kip1 connote poor prognosis in several human malignancies. p27Kip1 levels are predominately regulated by ubiquitin-mediated turnover of the protein, which is marked for destruction by the E3 ubiquitin ligase SCFSkp2 complex following its phosphorylation by the cyclin E-Cdk2 complex. Binding of phospho-p27Kip1 is directed by the Skp2 F-box protein, and this is greatly augmented by its allosteric regulator Cks1. We have established that programmed expression of c-Myc in the B cells of Eμ-Myc transgenic mice triggers p27Kip1 destruction by inducing Cks1, that this response controls Myc-driven proliferation, and that loss of Cks1 markedly delays Myc-induced lymphomagenesis and cancels the dissemination of these tumors. Here, we report that elevated levels of Skp2 are a characteristic of Eμ-Myc lymphomas and of human Burkitt lymphoma that bear MYC/immunoglobulin chromosomal translocations. As expected, Myc-mediated suppression of p27Kip1 was abolished in Skp2-null Eμ-Myc B cells. However, the impact of Skp2 loss on Myc-driven proliferation and lymphomagenesis was surprisingly modest compared to the effects of Cks1 loss. Collectively these findings suggest that Cks1 targets in addition to p27Kip1 are critical for Myc-driven proliferation and tumorigenesis.
Myc; Skp2; p27Kip1; lymphomagenesis
Genome reduction is a hallmark of obligate intracellular pathogens such as Chlamydia, where adaptation to intracellular growth has resulted in the elimination of genes encoding biosynthetic enzymes. Accordingly, chlamydiae rely heavily on the host cell for nutrients yet their specific source is unclear. Interestingly, chlamydiae grow within a pathogen-defined vacuole that is in close apposition to lysosomes. Metabolically-labeled uninfected host cell proteins were provided as an exogenous nutrient source to chlamydiae-infected cells, and uptake and subsequent labeling of chlamydiae suggested lysosomal degradation as a source of amino acids for the pathogen. Indeed, Bafilomycin A1 (BafA1), an inhibitor of the vacuolar H+/ATPase that blocks lysosomal acidification and functions, impairs the growth of C. trachomatis and C. pneumoniae, and these effects are especially profound in C. pneumoniae. BafA1 induced the marked accumulation of material within the lysosomal lumen, which was due to the inhibition of proteolytic activities, and this response inhibits chlamydiae rather than changes in lysosomal acidification per se, as cathepsin inhibitors also inhibit the growth of chlamydiae. Finally, the addition of cycloheximide, an inhibitor of eukaryotic protein synthesis, compromises the ability of lysosomal inhibitors to block chlamydial growth, suggesting chlamydiae directly access free amino acids in the host cytosol as a preferred source of these nutrients. Thus, chlamydiae co-opt the functions of lysosomes to acquire essential amino acids.
Deregulated c-Myc expression is a hallmark of several human cancers where it promotes proliferation and an aggressive tumour phenotype. Myc overexpression is associated with reduced activity of Rel/NF-κB, transcription factors that control the immune response, cell survival, and transformation, and that are frequently altered in cancer. The Rel/NF-κB family member NFKB2 is altered by chromosomal translocations or deletions in lymphoid malignancies and deletion of the C-terminal ankyrin domain of NF-κB2 augments lymphocyte proliferation.
Precancerous Eμ-Myc-transgenic B cells, Eμ-Myc lymphomas and human Burkitt lymphoma samples were assessed for Nfkb2 expression. The contribution of Nfkb2 to Myc-driven apoptosis, proliferation, and lymphomagenesis was tested genetically in vivo.
Here we report that the Myc oncoprotein suppresses Nfkb2 expression in vitro in primary mouse fibroblasts and B cells, and in vivo in the Eμ-Myc transgenic mouse model of human Burkitt lymphoma (BL). NFKB2 suppression by Myc was also confirmed in primary human BL. Promoter-reporter assays indicate that Myc-mediated suppression of Nfkb2 occurs at the level of transcription. The contribution of Nfkb2 to Myc-driven lymphomagenesis was tested in vivo, where Nfkb2 loss was shown to accelerate lymphoma development in Eμ-Myc transgenic mice, by impairing Myc's apoptotic response.
Nfkb2 is suppressed by c-Myc and harnesses Myc-driven lymphomagenesis. These data thus link Myc-driven lymphomagenesis to the non-canonical NF-κB pathway.
Research in autophagy continues to accelerate,1 and as a result many new scientists are entering the field. Accordingly, it is important to establish a standard set of criteria for monitoring macroautophagy in different organisms. Recent reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose.2,3 There are many useful and convenient methods that can be used to monitor macroautophagy in yeast, but relatively few in other model systems, and there is much confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure macroautophagy in higher eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers of autophagosomes versus those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway; thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from fully functional autophagy that includes delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of the methods that can be used by investigators who are attempting to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as by reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that investigate these processes. This set of guidelines is not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to verify an autophagic response.
autolysosome; autophagosome; flux; lysosome; phagophore; stress; vacuole
The p53 tumor suppressor pathway limits oncogenesis by inducing cell cycle arrest or apoptosis. A key p53 target gene is PUMA, which encodes a BH3-only proapoptotic protein. Here we demonstrate that Puma deletion in the Eμ-Myc mouse model of Burkitt lymphoma accelerates lymphomagenesis and that ∼75% of Eμ-Myc lymphomas naturally select against Puma protein expression. Furthermore, approximately 40% of primary human Burkitt lymphomas fail to express detectable levels of PUMA and in some tumors this is associated with DNA methylation. Burkitt lymphoma cell lines phenocopy the primary tumors with respect to DNA methylation and diminished PUMA expression, which can be reactivated following inhibition of DNA methyltransferases. These findings establish that PUMA is silenced in human malignancies, and they suggest PUMA as a target for the development of novel chemotherapeutics.