BH3 mimetic drugs induce cell death by antagonizing the activity of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins. Cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors that function as transcriptional repressors down-regulate the Bcl-2 family member Mcl-1 and increase the activity of selective BH3-mimetics that fail to target this protein. In this study, we determined whether CDK inhibitors potentiate the activity of pan-BH3 mimetics by directly neutralizing Mcl-1. Specifically, we evaluated interactions between the prototypical pan-CDK inhibitor flavopiridol and the pan-BH3-mimetic obatoclax in multiple myeloma (MM) cells in which Mcl-1 is critical for survival. Co-administration of flavopiridol and obatoclax synergistically triggered apoptosis in both drug-naive and drug-resistant MM cells. Mechanistic investigations revealed that flavopiridol inhibited Mcl-1 transcription but increased transcription of Bim and its binding to Bcl-2/Bcl-xL. Obatoclax prevented Mcl-1 recovery and potentiated release of Bim from Bcl-2/Bcl-xL and Mcl-1, accompanied by activation of Bax/Bak. Whether administered singly or in combination with obatoclax, flavopiridol also induced up-regulation of multiple BH3-only proteins, including BimEL, BimL, Noxa, and Bik/NBK. Notably, shRNA knock-down of Bim or Noxa abrogated lethality triggered by the flavopiridol/obatoclax combination in vitro and in vivo. Together, our findings demonstrate that CDK inhibition potentiates pan-BH3-mimetic activity through a cooperative mechanism involving up-regulation of BH3-only proteins with coordinate down-regulation of their anti-apoptotic counterparts. These findings have immediate implications for the clinical trial design of BH3 mimetic-based therapies that are presently being studied intensively for the treatment of diverse hematopoietic malignancies, including lethal multiple myeloma.
BH3-only protein; Bim; Cdk inhibitor; BH3-mimetic; myeloma
The present studies sought to further understand how the anti-folate pemetrexed and the multi-kinase inhibitor sorafenib interact to kill tumor cells. Sorafenib activated SRC, and via SRC the drug combination activated ERK1/2. Expression of dominant negative SRC or dominant negative MEK1 abolished drug-induced ERK1/2 activation, together with drug-induced autophagy, acidic lysosome formation, and tumor cell killing. Protein phosphatase 2A is an important regulator of the ERK1/2 pathway. Fulvestrant resistant MCF7 cells expressed higher levels of the PP2A inhibitor SET/I2PP2A, had lower endogenous PP2A activity, and had elevated basal ERK1/2 activity compared with their estrogen dependent counterparts. Overexpression of I2PP2A blocked drug-induced activation of ERK1/2 and tumor cell killing. PP2A can be directly activated by ceramide and SET/I2PP2A can be inhibited by ceramide. Inhibition of the de novo ceramide synthase pathway blocked drug-induced ceramide generation, PP2A activation and tumor cell killing. Collectively these findings demonstrate that ERK1/2 plays an essential role downstream of SRC in pemetrexed and sorafenib lethality and that PP2A plays an important role in regulating this process.
ERK; I2PP2A; PP2A; SRC; autophagy; ceramide; pemetrexed; sorafenib
Adenovirus (Ad)-based gene therapy represents a potentially viable strategy for treating colorectal cancer. The infectivity of serotype 5 adenovirus (Ad.5), routinely used as a transgene delivery vector, is dependent on Coxsackie-adenovirus receptors (CAR). CAR expression is downregulated in many cancers thus preventing optimum therapeutic efficiency of Ad.5-based therapies. To overcome the low CAR problem, a serotype chimerism approach was used to generate a recombinant Ad (Ad.5/3) that is capable of infecting cancer cells via Ad.3 receptors in a CAR-independent manner. We evaluated the improved transgene delivery and efficacy of Ad.5/3 recombinant virus expressing melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24), an effective wide-spectrum cancer-selective therapeutic. In low CAR human colorectal cancer cells RKO, wild-type Ad.5 virus expressing mda-7/IL-24 (Ad.5-mda-7) failed to infect efficiently resulting in lack of expression of MDA-7/IL-24 or induction of apoptosis. However, a recombinant Ad.5/3 virus expressing mda-7/IL-24 (Ad.5/3-mda-7) efficiently infected RKO cells resulting in higher MDA-7/IL-24 expression and inhibition of cell growth both in vitro and in nude mice xenograft models. Addition of the novel Bcl-2 family pharmacological inhibitor Apogossypol derivative BI-97C1 (Sabutoclax) significantly augmented the efficacy of Ad.5/3-mda-7. A combination regimen of suboptimal doses of Ad.5/3-mda-7 and BI-97C1 profoundly enhanced cytotoxicity in RKO cells both in vitro and in vivo. Considering the fact that Ad.5-mda-7 has demonstrated significant objective responses in a Phase I clinical trial for advanced solid tumors, Ad.5/3-mda-7 alone or in combination with BI-97C1 would be predicted to exert significantly improved therapeutic efficacy in colorectal cancer patients.
Viral gene therapy; Mcl-1 inhibition; apoptosis induction; anti-tumor activity
Melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24), a unique member of the IL-10 gene family, displays a broad range of antitumor properties including cancer-specific induction of apoptosis, inhibition of tumor angiogenesis, and modulation of anti-tumor immune responses. Here we identify clusterin (CLU) as a MDA-7/IL-24 interacting protein in DU-145 cells and investigate the role of MDA-7/IL-24 in regulating CLU expression and mediating the antitumor properties of mda-7/IL-24 in prostate cancer. Ad.mda-7 decreased expression of soluble CLU (sCLU) and increased expression of nuclear CLU (nCLU). In the initial phase of Ad.mda-7 infection sCLU expression increased and CLU interacted with MDA-7/IL-24 producing a cytoprotective effect. Infection of stable clones of DU-145 prostate cancer cells expressing sCLU with Ad.mda-7 resulted in generation of nCLU that correlated with decreased cell viability and increased apoptosis. In the presence of mda-7/IL-24, sCLU-DU-145 cells displayed G2/M phase arrest followed by apoptosis. Similarly, Ad.mda-7 infection decreased cell migration by altering cytoskeleton in sCLU-DU-145 cells. Ad.mda-7-treated sCLU-DU-145 cells displayed a significant reduction in tumor growth in mouse xenograft models and reduced angiogenesis when compared to the vector control group. Tumor tissue lysates demonstrated enhanced nCLU generated from sCLU with increased apoptosis in the presence of MDA-7/IL-24. Our findings reveal novel aspects relative to the role of sCLU/nCLU in regulating the anticancer properties of MDA-7/IL-24 that may be exploited for developing enhanced therapies for prostate cancer.
MDA-7/IL-24; soluble clusterin; nuclear clusterin; G2/M arrest; apoptosis
Interactions between the the irreversible proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib (CFZ) and the pan-BH3 mimetic obatoclax (Obato) were examined in GC- and ABC-DLBCL cells. Co-treatment with minimally toxic concentrations of CFZ (i.e., 2–6 nM) and sub-toxic concentrations of obato (0.05–2.0μM) synergistically increased apoptosis in multiple DLBCL cell lines and increased lethality toward primary human DLBCL but not normal CD34+ cells. Synergistic interactions were associated with sharp increases in caspase-3 activation, PARP cleavage, phospho-JNK induction, up-regulation of Noxa, and AKT dephosphorylation. Combined treatment also diminished CFZ-mediated Mcl-1 up-regulation while immunoprecipitation analysis revealed reduced associations between Bak and Mcl-1/Bcl-xL, and Bim and Mcl-1. The CFZ/Obato regimen triggered translocation, conformational change and dimerization of Bax and activation of Bak. Genetic interruption of JNK and Noxa by shRNA knockdown, ectopic Mcl-1 expression, or enforced activation of AKT significantly attenuated CFZ/Obato-mediated apoptosis. Notably, co-administration of CFZ/Obato sharply increased apoptosis in multiple bortezomib-resistant DLBCL models. Finally, in vivo administration of CFZ and Obato to mice inoculated with SUDHL4 cells substantially suppressed tumor growth, activated JNK, inactivated AKT, and increased survival compared to the effects of single agent treatment. Together, these findings argue that a strategy combining CFZ and Obato warrants attention in DLBCL.
Carfilzomib; Obatoclax; DLBCL; NHL
The present studies were designed to determine whether the multi-kinase inhibitor sorafenib (Nexavar) interacted with histone deacetylase inhibitors to kill glioblastoma and medulloblastoma cells. In a dose-dependent fashion sorafenib lethality was enhanced in multiple genetically disparate primary human glioblastoma isolates by the HDAC inhibitor sodium valproate (Depakote). Drug exposure reduced phosphorylation of p70 S6K and of mTOR. Similar data to that with valproate were also obtained using the HDAC inhibitor vorinostat (Zolinza). Sorafenib and valproate also interacted to kill medulloblastoma and PNET cell lines. Treatment with sorafenib and HDAC inhibitors radio-sensitized both GBM and medulloblastoma cell lines. Knock down of death receptor (CD95) expression protected GBM cells from the drug combination, as did overexpression of c-FLIP-s, BCL-XL and dominant negative caspase 9. Knock down of PDGFRα recapitulated the effect of sorafenib in combination with HDAC inhibitors. Collectively, our data demonstrate that the combination of sorafenib and HDAC inhibitors kills through activation of the extrinsic pathway, and could represent a useful approach to treat CNS-derived tumors.
HDAC inhibitor; Sorafenib; apoptosis; glioma
Effects of the HDAC inhibitor LBH-589 (panobinostat) on fludarabine lethality toward acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells were examined in vitro and in vivo. LBH-589 pretreatment sensitized U937, HL-60, and primary leukemia cells to fludarabine while blocking NF-κB activation accompanied by XIAP down-regulation and JNK activation. Pharmacologic or genetic JNK inhibition significantly attenuated LBH-589/fludarabine lethality, whereas XIAP over-expression diminished JNK activation and apoptosis. Combined in vivo treatment abrogated leukemia growth in a U937 xenograft murine model and substantially increased animal survival. These studies highlight the interplay between NF-κB activation, XIAP down-regulation, and JNK activation in anti-leukemic synergism between fludarabine and LBH-589.
AML; histone deacetylase inhibitor; fludarabine
The present studies were initiated to determine whether inhibitors of MEK1/2 or SRC signaling, respectively, enhance CHK1 inhibitor lethality in primary human glioblastoma cells. Multiple MEK1/2 inhibitors (CI-1040 (PD184352); AZD6244 (ARRY-142886)) interacted with multiple CHK1 inhibitors (UCN-01, AZD7762) to kill multiple primary human glioma cell isolates that have a diverse set of genetic alterations typically found in the disease. Inhibition of SRC family proteins also enhanced CHK1 inhibitor lethality. Combined treatment of glioma cells with (MEK1/2 + CHK1) inhibitors enhanced radiosensitivity. Combined (MEK1/2 + CHK1) inhibitor treatment led to dephosphorylation of ERK1/2 and S6 ribosomal protein, whereas the phosphorylation of JNK and p38 was increased. MEK1/2 + CHK1 inhibitor-stimulated cell death was associated with the cleavage of pro-caspases 3 and 7 as well as the caspase substrate (PARP). We also observed activation of pro-apoptotic BCL-2 effector proteins BAK and BAX and reduced levels of pro-survival BCL-2 family protein BCL-XL. Overexpression of BCL-XL alleviated but did not completely abolish MEK1/2 + CHK1 inhibitor cytotoxicity in GBM cells. These findings argue that multiple inhibitors of the SRC-MEK pathway have the potential to interact with multiple CHK1 inhibitors to kill glioma cells.
Apoptosis; CHK 1 inhibitor; glioma; MEK1/2 inhibitors
We have further defined mechanism(s) by which the drug OSU-03012 (OSU) kills tumor cells. OSU lethality was suppressed by knock down of PERK and enhanced by knock down of ATF6 and IRE1α. OSU treatment suppressed expression of the chaperone, BiP/GRP78, and did so through reduced stability of the protein. Knock down of BiP/GRP78 further enhanced OSU lethality. Overexpression of BiP/GRP78 abolished OSU toxicity. Pre-treatment of cells with OSU enhanced radiosensitivity to a greater extent than concomitant or sequential drug treatment with radiation exposure. Expression of a mutant active p110 PI3K, or mutant active forms of the EGFR in GBM cells did not differentially suppress OSU killing. In contrast loss of PTEN function reduced OSU lethality, without altering AKT, p70 S6K or mTOR activity, or the drug's ability to radiosensitize GBM cells. Knock down of PTEN protected cells from OSU and radiation treatment whereas re-expression of PTEN facilitated drug lethality and radiosensitization. In a dose-dependent fashion OSU prolonged the survival of mice carrying GBM tumors and interacted with radiotherapy to further prolong survival. Collectively, our data show that reduced BiP/GRP78 levels play a key role in OSU-3012 toxicity in GBM cells, and that this drug has in vivo activity against an invasive primary human GBM isolate.
OSU-03012; BiP/GRP78; ER stress; PERK; ionizing radiation; ceramide
Bile acids have been shown to be important regulatory molecules for cells in the liver and gastrointestinal tract. They can activate various cell signaling pathways including the extracellular regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 and AKT as well as the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR), TGR5/M-BAR. Activation of the ERK1/2 and AKT signaling pathways by conjugated bile acids has been reported to be pertussis toxin (PTX) and dominant negative Gαi sensitive in primary rodent hepatocytes. However, the GPCRs responsible for activation of these pathways have not been identified. Screening GPCRs in the lipid activated phylogenetic family, expressed in HEK293 cells, identified sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 2 (S1P2) as being activated by taurocholate (TCA). TCA, taurodeoxycholic acid (TDCA), tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA), glycocholic acid (GCA), glycodeoxycholic acid (GDCA), and S1P-induced activation of ERK1/2 and AKT were significantly inhibited by JTE-013, a S1P2 antagonist, in primary rat hepatocytes. JTE-013 significantly inhibited hepatic ERK1/2 and AKT activation as well as short heterodimeric partner (SHP) mRNA induction by TCA in the chronic bile fistula rat. Knock down of the expression of S1P2 by a recombinant lentivirus encoding S1P2 shRNA, markedly inhibited the activation of ERK1/2 and AKT by TCA and S1P in rat primary hepatocytes. Primary hepatocytes prepared from S1P2 knock out (S1P2−/−) mice were significantly blunted in the activation of the ERK1/2 and AKT pathways by TCA. Structural modeling of the S1P receptors indicated that only S1P2 can accommodate TCA binding. In summary, all these data support the hypothesis that conjugated bile acids activate the ERK1/2 and AKT signaling pathways primarily via S1P2 in primary rodent hepatocytes.
G protein coupled receptor; homology modeling; S1P receptor 2 knockout mice; cell signaling
Human cancers are genetically and epigenetically heterogeneous and have the capacity to commandeer a variety of cellular processes to aid in their survival, growth and resistance to therapy. One strategy is to overexpress proteins that suppress apoptosis, such as the Bcl-2 family protein Mcl-1. The Mcl-1 protein plays a pivotal role in protecting cells from apoptosis and is overexpressed in a variety of human cancers.
Targeting Mcl-1 for extinction in these cancers, using genetic and pharmacological approaches, represents a potentially effectual means of developing new efficacious cancer therapeutics. Here we review the multiple strategies that have been employed in targeting this fundamental protein, as well as the significant potential these targeting agents provide in not only suppressing cancer growth, but also in reversing resistance to conventional cancer treatments.
We discuss the potential issues that arise in targeting Mcl-1 and other Bcl-2 anti-apoptotic proteins, as well problems with acquired resistance. The application of combinatorial approaches that involve inhibiting Mcl-1 and manipulation of additional signaling pathways to enhance therapeutic outcomes is also highlighted. The ability to specifically inhibit key genetic/epigenetic elements and biochemical pathways that maintain the tumor state represent a viable approach for developing rationally based, effective cancer therapies.
Interactions between the proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib and the HDAC inhibitors vorinostat and SNDX-275 were examined in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) cells in vitro and in vivo. Co-administration of very low, marginally toxic carfilzomib concentrations (e.g., 3–4 nM) with minimally lethal vorinostat or SNDX-275 concentrations induced sharp increases in mitochondrial injury and apoptosis in multiple MCL cell lines and primary MCL cells. Enhanced lethalitly was associated with JNK1/2 activation, increased DNA damage (induction of λH2A.X), and ERK1/2 and AKT1/2 inactivation. Co-administration of carfilzomib and HDACIs induced a marked increase in ROS generation, and G2M arrest. Significantly, the free radical scavenger TBAP blocked carfilzomib/HDACI-mediated ROS generation, λH2A.X formation, JNK1/2 activation, and lethality. Genetic (shRNA) knock down of JNK1/2 significantly attenuated carfilzomib/HDACI-induced apoptosis, but did not prevent ROS generation or DNA damage. Carfilzomib/HDACI regimens were also active against bortezomib-resistant MCL cells. Finally, carfilzomib/vorinostat co-administrationo resulted in a pronounced reduction in tumor growth compared to single agent treatment in a MCL xenograft model associated with enhanced apoptosis, λH2A.X formation, and JNK activation. Collectively, these findings suggest that carfilzomib/HDACI regimens warrants attention in MCL.
Carfilzomib; vorinostat; Mantle cell; NHL
The present studies were initiated to determine in greater molecular detail the regulation of CHK1 inhibitor lethality in transfected and infected breast cancer cells and using genetic models of transformed fibrobalsts. Multiple MEK1/2 inhibitors (PD184352, AZD6244 [ARRY-142886]) interacted with multiple CHK1 inhibitors (UCN-01 [7-hydroxystaurosporine], AZD7762) to kill mammary carcinoma cells and transformed fibroblasts. In transformed cells, CHK1 inhibitor-induced activation of ERK1/2 was dependent upon activation of SRC family non-receptor tyrosine kinases as judged by use of multiple SRC kinase inhibitors (PP 2, Dasatinib; AZD0530), use of SRC/FYN/YES deleted transformed fibroblasts or by expression of dominant negative SRC. Cell killing by SRC family kinase inhibitors and CHK1 inhibitors was abolished in BAX/BAK−/− transformed fibroblasts and suppressed by overexpression of BCL-XL. Treatment of cells with BCL-2/BCL-XL antagonists promoted SRC inhibitor + CHK1 inhibitor-induced lethality in a BAX/BAK-dependent fashion. Treatment of cells with [SRC + CHK1] inhibitors radio-sensitized tumor cells. These findings argue that multiple inhibitors of the SRC-RAS-MEK pathway interact with multiple CHK1 inhibitors to kill transformed cells.
CHK1; SRC; apoptosis; breast cancer; kinase; therapeutics; intrinsic; caspase
Pemetrexed (ALIMTA) is a folate anti-metabolite that has been approved for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, and has been shown to stimulate autophagy. In the present study, we sought to further understand the role of autophagy in the response to pemetrexed and to test if combination therapy could enhance the level of toxicity through altered autophagy in tumor cells. The multi-kinase inhibitor sorafenib (NEXAVAR), used in the treatment of renal and hepatocellular carcinoma, suppresses tumor angiogenesis and promotes autophagy in tumor cells. We found that sorafenib interacted in a greater than additive fashion with pemetrexed to increase autophagy and to kill a diverse array of tumor cell types. Tumor cell types that displayed high levels of cell killing after combination treatment showed elevated levels of AKT, p70 S6K and/or phosphorylated mTOR, in addition to Class III RTKs such as PDGFRβ and VEGFR1, known in vivo targets of sorafenib. In xenograft and in syngeneic animal models of mammary carcinoma and glioblastoma, the combination of sorafenib and pemetrexed suppressed tumor growth without deleterious effects on normal tissues or animal body mass. Taken together, the data suggest that premexetred and sorafenib act synergistically to enhance tumor killing via the promotion of a toxic form of autophagy that leads to activation of the intrinsic apoptosis pathway, and predict that combination treatment represents a future therapeutic option in the treatment of solid tumors.
Interactions between the HDACI inhibitor belinostat and the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib were investigated in AML and ALL cells. Co-administration of sub-micromolar concentrations of belinostat with low nanomolar concentrations of bortezomib sharply increased apoptosis in both AML and ALL cell lines and primary blasts. Synergistic interactions were associated with interruption of both canonical and non-canonical NF-κB signaling pathways, e.g., accumulation of the phosphorylated (S32/S36) form of IκBα, diminished belinostat-mediated RelA/p65 hyperacetylation (K310), and reduced processing of p100 into p52. These events were accompanied by downregulation of NF-κB-dependent pro-survival proteins (e.g., XIAP, Bcl-xL). Moreover, belinostat/bortezomib co-exposure induced up-regulation of the BH3-only prodeath protein Bim. Significantly, shRNA knock-down of Bim substantially reduced the lethality of belinostat/bortezomib regimens. Administration of belinostat ± bortezomib also induced hyperacetylation (K40) of α-tubulin, indicating HDAC6 inhibition. Finally, in contrast to the pronounced lethality of belinostat/bortezomib toward primary leukemia blasts, equivalent treatment was relatively non-toxic to normal CD34+ cells. Together, these findings indicate that belinostat and bortezomib interact synergistically in both cultured and primary AML and ALL cells, and raise the possibilities that up-regulation of Bim and interference with NF-κB pathways contribute to this phenomenon. They also suggest that combined belinostat/bortezomib regimens warrant further attention in acute leukemias.
AML; ALL; belinostat; bortezomib; NF-κB; Bim
The manuscripts by Park et al.1 and Zhang et al.2 were initially planned as studies to understand the regulation of cell survival in transformed cells treated with sorafenib and vorinostat, and in primary hepatocytes treated with a bile acid+MEK1/2 inhibitor. In both cell systems we discovered that the toxicity of sorafenib and vorinostat or bile acid+MEK1/2 inhibitor exposure depended on the generation of ceramide and the ligand-independent activation of the CD95 death receptor, with subsequent activation of pro-caspase 8. We noted, however, in these systems that, in parallel with death receptor–induced activation of the extrinsic pathway, CD95 signaling also promoted increased phosphorylation of PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) and eIF2α, increased expression of ATG5, and increased processing of LC3 and vesicularization of a GFP-LC3 construct. The knockdown of ATG5 expression blocked GFP-LC3 vesicularization and enhanced cell killing. Thus ceramide-CD95 signaling promoted cell death via activation of pro-caspase 8 and cell survival via autophagy. PERK was shown to signal in a switch-hitting fashion; PERK promoted CD95-DISC formation and an eIF2α-dependent reduction in c-FLIP-s levels that were essential for cell killing to proceed, but in parallel it also promoted autophagy that was protective. The death receptor-induced apoptosis and autophagy occur proximal to the receptor rather than the mitochondrion, and the relative flow of death receptor signaling into either pathway may determine cell fate. Finally, death receptor induced apoptosis and autophagy could be potential targets for therapeutic intervention.
Vorinostat; Sorafenib; bile acid; CD95; autophagy; ceramide; cell death; ASMase
The regulation of glycogen synthase activity by bile acids in primary hepatocytes and in the intact liver was investigated. Bile acids (deoxycholic acid, DCA; taurocholic acid, TCA) activated AKT and glycogen synthase (GS) in primary rat hepatocytes. Incubation with a phosphatidyl inositol-3 kinase inhibitor or expression of dominant-negative AKT in primary rat hepatocytes abolished activation of AKT and GS by DCA and TCA. TCA, but not DCA, activated Gαi proteins in primary rat hepatocytes. Treatment of cells with pertussis toxin or expression of dominant-negative Gαi blocked TCA-induced activation of AKT and of GS but did not alter AKT or GS activation caused by DCA. TCA caused activation of AKT and GS in intact rat liver. Expression of dominant-negative Gαi reduced TCA-induced activation of AKT and of GS in intact rat liver. Together, our findings demonstrate that bile acids are physiological regulators of glycogen synthase in rat liver and that conjugated bile acids use a Gαi-coupled G protein-coupled receptor to regulate GS activity in vitro and in vivo.
Estrogen independence and progression to a metastatic phenotype are hallmarks of therapeutic resistance and mortality in breast cancer patients. Metastasis has been associated with chemokine signaling through the SDF-1–CXCR4 axis. Thus, the development of estrogen independence and endocrine therapy resistance in breast cancer patients may be driven by SDF-1–CXCR4 signaling. Here we report that CXCR4 overexpression is indeed correlated with worse prognosis and decreased patient survival irrespective of the status of the estrogen receptor (ER). Constitutive activation of CXCR4 in poorly metastatic MCF-7 cells led to enhanced tumor growth and metastases that could be reversed by CXCR4 inhibition. CXCR4 overexpression in MCF-7 cells promoted estrogen independence in vivo, whereas exogenous SDF-1 treatment negated the inhibitory effects of treatment with the anti-estrogen ICI 182,780 on CXCR4-mediated tumor growth. The effects of CXCR4 overexpression were correlated with SDF-1–mediated activation of downstream signaling via ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK (mitogen activated protein kinase) and with an enhancement of ER-mediated gene expression. Together, these results show that enhanced CXCR4 signaling is sufficient to drive ER-positive breast cancers to a metastatic and endocrine therapy-resistant phenotype via increased MAPK signaling. Our findings highlight CXCR4 signaling as a rational therapeutic target for the treatment of ER-positive, estrogen-independent breast carcinomas needing improved clinical management.
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
The cytokine melanoma differentiation associated gene 7 (mda-7) was identified by subtractive hybridization as a protein whose expression increased during the induction of terminal differentiation, and that was either not expressed or was present at low levels in tumor cells compared to non-transformed cells. Based on conserved structure, chromosomal location and cytokine-like properties, MDA-7, was classified as a member of the interleukin (IL)-10 gene family and designated as MDA-7/IL-24. Multiple studies have demonstrated that expression of MDA-7/IL-24 in a wide variety of tumor cell types, but not in corresponding equivalent non-transformed cells, causes their growth arrest and rapid cell death. In addition, MDA-7/IL-24 has been noted to radiosensitize tumor cells which in part is due to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ceramide that cause endoplasmic reticulum stress and suppress protein translation. Phase I clinical trial data has shown that a recombinant adenovirus expressing MDA-7/IL-24 (Ad.mda-7 (INGN-241)) was safe and had measurable tumoricidal effects in over 40% of patients, strongly arguing that MDA-7/IL-24 could have significant therapeutic value. This review describes what is presently known about the impact of MDA-7/IL-24 on tumor cell biology and its potential therapeutic applications.
MDA-7; IL-24; Apoptosis; Autophagy; Ceramide; ROS; Ca2+; Clinical trial; Signal transduction; PERK; ER stress; MCL-1
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.
Interactions between the nuclear factor (NF)-κB inhibitor parthenolide and the pan-histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) vorinostat and LBH589 were investigated in human acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) cells, including primary AML blasts. Co-administration of parthenolide blocked HDACI-mediated phosphorylation/activation of IKK and RelA/p65 in association with increased JNK1 activation in various AML cell types. These events were accompanied by an increase in apoptosis in multiple AML cell lines (e.g. U937, HL-60, NB4, MV-4-11, and MOLM-13). Significantly, parthenolide also increased HDACI-mediated cell death in haematopoietic cells transduced with the MLL-MLLT1 fusion gene, which exhibit certain leukaemia-initiating cell characteristics, as well as primary AML blasts. Exposure to parthenolide/HDACI regimens clearly inhibited the growth of AML-colony-forming units but was relatively sparing toward normal haematopoietic progenitors. Notably, blockade of JNK signaling by either pharmacological inhibitors or genetic means (e.g., dominant-negative JNK1 or JNK1 shRNA) diminished parthenolide/HDACI-mediated lethality. Moreover, dominant-negative MKK7, but not dominant-negative MKK4/SEK1, blocked JNK1 activation and apoptosis induced by parthenolide/HDACI regimens. Together, these findings indicate that parthenolide potentiates HDACI lethality in human AML cells through a process involving NF-κB inhibition and subsequent MKK7-dependent activation of the SAPK/JNK pathway. They also raise the possibility that this strategy may target leukaemic progenitor cells.
AML; NF-κB; JNK; histone deacetylase inhibitor; parthenolide
Melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) is a unique member of the IL-10 gene family that displays nearly ubiquitous cancer-specific toxicity, with no harmful effects toward normal cells or tissues. mda-7/IL-24 was cloned from human melanoma cells by differentiation induction subtraction hybridization (DISH) and promotes endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress culminating in apoptosis or toxic autophagy in a broad-spectrum of human cancers, when assayed in cell culture, in vivo in human tumor xenograft mouse models and in a Phase I clinical trial in patients with advanced cancers. This therapeutically active cytokine also induces indirect anti-tumor activity through inhibition of angiogenesis, stimulation of an anti-tumor immune response, and sensitization of cancer cells to radiation-, chemotherapy- and antibody-induced killing.
mda-7/IL-24; apoptosis; autophagy; bystander antitumor activity; cancer terminator virus
Pemetrexed (ALIMTA) is a folate anti-metabolite that has been approved for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, and has been shown to stimulate autophagy. In the present study, we sought to further understand the role of autophagy in the response to pemetrexed and to test if combination therapy could enhance the level of toxicity through altered autophagy in tumor cells. The multikinase inhibitor sorafenib (NEXAVAR), used in the treatment of renal and hepatocellular carcinoma, suppresses tumor angiogenesis and promotes autophagy in tumor cells. We found that sorafenib interacted in a greater than additive fashion with pemetrexed to increase autophagy and to kill a diverse array of tumor cell types. Tumor cell types that displayed high levels of cell killing after combination treatment showed elevated levels of AKT, p70 S6K and/or phosphorylated mTOR, in addition to class III RTKs such as PDGFRβ and VEGFR1, known in vivo targets of sorafenib. In xenograft and in syngeneic animal models of mammary carcinoma and glioblastoma, the combination of sorafenib and pemetrexed suppressed tumor growth without deleterious effects on normal tissues or animal body mass. Taken together, the data suggest that premexetred and sorafenib act synergistically to enhance tumor killing via the promotion of a toxic form of autophagy that leads to activation of the intrinsic apoptosis pathway, and predict that combination treatment represents a future therapeutic option in the treatment of solid tumors.
pemetrexed; sorafenib; autophagy; apoptosis; PDGFR; ZMP; AMP; thymidylate synthase
Melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24), a cytokine belonging to the IL-10 family, selectively induces apoptosis in cancer cells without harming normal cells by promoting an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response. The precise molecular mechanism by which the ER stress response culminates in cell death requires further clarification. The present study shows that in prostate carcinoma cells, the mda-7/IL-24-induced ER stress response causes apoptosis by translational inhibition of the antiapoptotic protein myeloid cell leukemia-1 (Mcl-1). Forced expression of Mcl-1 blocked mda-7/IL-24 lethality, whereas RNA interference or gene knockout of Mcl-1 markedly sensitized transformed cells to mda-7/IL-24. Mcl-1 downregulation by mda-7/IL-24 relieved its association with the proapoptotic protein Bak, causing oligomerization of Bak and leading to cell death. These observations show the profound role of the Bcl-2 protein family member Mcl-1 in regulating cancer-specific apoptosis induced by this cytokine. Thus, our studies provide further insights into the molecular mechanism of ER stress-induced cancer-selective apoptosis by mda-7/IL-24. As Mcl-1 is overexpressed in the majority of prostate cancers, mda-7/IL-24 might provide an effective therapeutic for this disease.