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1.  Caspase-, cathepsin-, and PERK-dependent regulation of MDA-7/IL-24-induced cell killing in primary human glioma cells 
Molecular cancer therapeutics  2008;7(2):297-313.
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.
doi:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-07-2166
PMCID: PMC3204355  PMID: 18281515
2.  MDA-7/IL-24–induced cell killing in malignant renal carcinoma cells occurs by a ceramide/CD95/PERK–dependent mechanism 
Molecular cancer therapeutics  2009;8(5):1280-1291.
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 clarifying the mechanism(s) by which glutathione S-transferase (GST)-MDA-7 altered cell survival of human renal carcinoma cells in vitro. GST-MDA-7 caused plasma membrane clustering of CD95 and the association of CD95 with procaspase-8. GST-MDA-7 lethality was suppressed by inhibition of caspase-8 or by overexpression of short-form cellular FLICE inhibitory protein, but only weakly by inhibition of cathepsin proteases. GST-MDA-7–induced CD95 clustering (and apoptosis) was blocked by knockdown of acidic sphingomyelinase or, to a greater extent, ceramide synthase-6 expression. GST-MDA-7 killing was, in parallel, dependent on inactivation of extracellular signal–regulated kinase 1/2 and on CD95-induced p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and c-jun NH2-terminal kinase-1/2 signaling. Knockdown of CD95 expression abolished GST-MDA-7–induced phosphorylation of protein kinase R–like endoplasmic reticulum kinase. GST-MDA-7 lethality was suppressed by knockout or expression of a dominant negative protein kinase R–like endoplasmic reticulum kinase that correlated with reduced c-jun NH2-terminal kinase-1/2 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling and maintained extracellular signal–regulated kinase-1/2 phosphorylation. GST-MDA-7 caused vacuolization of LC3 through a mechanism that was largely CD95 dependent and whose formation was suppressed by knockdown of ATG5 expression. Knockdown of ATG5 suppressed GST-MDA-7 toxicity. Our data show that in kidney cancer cells GST-MDA-7 induces ceramide-dependent activation of CD95, which is causal in promoting an endoplasmic reticulum stress response that activates multiple proapoptotic pathways to decrease survival.
doi:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-09-0073
PMCID: PMC2889018  PMID: 19417161
3.  PERK-dependent regulation of MDA-7/IL-24-induced autophagy in primary human glioma cells 
Autophagy  2008;4(4):513-515.
Melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin 24 (mda-7/IL-24) is a novel cytokine displaying selective apoptosis-inducing activity in transformed cells without harming normal cells. The studies by further defines the mechanism(s) by which a GST-MDA-7 fusion protein inhibits cell survival of primary human glioma cells in vitro. GST-MDA-7 killed glioma cells with diverse genetic characteristics that were dependent on activation of JNK1-3 with subsequent activation of BAX and the induction of mitochondrial dysfunction. Activation of JNK1-3 was dependent upon protein kinase R-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) and GST-MDA-7 lethality was suppressed in PERK-/- cells. GST-MDA-7 caused PERK-dependent vacuolization of LC3-expressing endosomes whose formation was suppressed by incubation with 3-methyladenine, expression of HSP70 or of BiP/GRP78, or by knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin 1 expression, but not by inhibition of the JNK1-3 pathway. Knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin 1 expression or overexpression of HSP70 reduced GST-MDA-7 lethality. Our data demonstrate that GST-MDA-7 induces an ER stress response that, via the induction of autophagy, is causal in the activation of pro-apoptotic pathways that converge on the mitochondrion and ultimately culminate in decreased glioma cell survival.
PMCID: PMC2674579  PMID: 18299661
autophagy; caspase; ER stress; cell death
4.  OSU-03012 Stimulates PKR-Like Endoplasmic Reticulum-Dependent Increases in 70-kDa Heat Shock Protein Expression, Attenuating Its Lethal Actions in Transformed Cells 
Molecular pharmacology  2008;73(4):1168-1184.
We have further defined mechanism(s) by which 2-amino-N-{4-[5-(2-phenanthrenyl)-3-(trifluoromethyl)-1H-pyrazol-1-yl]-phenyl}acetamide [OSU-03012 (OSU)], a derivative of the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) inhibitor celecoxib but lacking COX2 inhibitory activity, kills transformed cells. In cells lacking expression of protein kinase R-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK-/-), the lethality of OSU was attenuated. OSU enhanced the expression of Beclin 1 and ATG5 and cleavage of pro-caspase 4 in a PERK-dependent fashion and promoted the Beclin 1- and ATG5-dependent formation of vacuoles containing LC3, followed by a subsequent caspase 4-dependent cleavage of cathepsin B and a cathepsin B-dependent formation of low pH intracellular vesicles; cathepsin B was activated and released into the cytosol and genetic suppression of caspase 4, cathepsin B, or apoptosis-inducing factor function significantly suppressed cell killing. In parallel, OSU caused PERK-dependent increases in 70-kDa heat shock protein (HSP70) expression and decreases in 90-kDa heat shock protein (HSP90) and Grp78/BiP expression. Changes in HSP70 expression were post-transcriptional. Knockdown or small-molecule inhibition of HSP70 expression enhanced OSU toxicity, and overexpression of HSP70 suppressed OSU-induced low pH vesicle formation and lethality. Our data demonstrate that OSU-03012 causes cell killing that is dependent on PERK-induced activation of multiple toxic proteases. OSU-03012 also increased expression of HSP70 in a PERK-dependent fashion, providing support for the contention that OSU-03012-induced PERK signaling promotes both cell survival and cell death processes.
doi:10.1124/mol.107.042697
PMCID: PMC2674576  PMID: 18182481
5.  Perk-Dependent Translational Regulation Promotes Tumor Cell Adaptation and Angiogenesis in Response to Hypoxic Stress▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;26(24):9517-9532.
It has been well established that the tumor microenvironment can promote tumor cell adaptation and survival. However, the mechanisms that influence malignant progression have not been clearly elucidated. We have previously demonstrated that cells cultured under hypoxic/anoxic conditions and transformed cells in hypoxic areas of tumors activate a translational control program known as the integrated stress response (ISR). Here, we show that tumors derived from K-Ras-transformed Perk−/− mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) are smaller and exhibit less angiogenesis than tumors with an intact ISR. Furthermore, Perk promotes a tumor microenvironment that favors the formation of functional microvessels. These observations were corroborated by a microarray analysis of polysome-bound RNA in aerobic and hypoxic Perk+/+ and Perk−/− MEFs. This analysis revealed that a subset of proangiogenic transcripts is preferentially translated in a Perk-dependent manner; these transcripts include VCIP, an adhesion molecule that promotes cellular adhesion, integrin binding, and capillary morphogenesis. Taken with the concomitant Perk-dependent translational induction of additional proangiogenic genes identified by our microarray analysis, this study suggests that Perk plays a role in tumor cell adaptation to hypoxic stress by regulating the translation of angiogenic factors necessary for the development of functional microvessels and further supports the contention that the Perk pathway could be an attractive target for novel antitumor modalities.
doi:10.1128/MCB.01145-06
PMCID: PMC1698539  PMID: 17030613
6.  Replication and Cytopathic Effect of Oncolytic Vesicular Stomatitis Virus in Hypoxic Tumor Cells In Vitro and In Vivo 
Journal of Virology  2004;78(17):8960-8970.
Tumor hypoxia presents an obstacle to the effectiveness of most antitumor therapies, including treatment with oncolytic viruses. In particular, an oncolytic virus must be resistant to the inhibition of DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis that occurs during hypoxic stress. Here we show that vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), an oncolytic RNA virus, is capable of replication under hypoxic conditions. In cells undergoing hypoxic stress, VSV infection produced larger amounts of mRNA than under normoxic conditions. However, translation of these mRNAs was reduced at earlier times postinfection in hypoxia-adapted cells than in normoxic cells. At later times postinfection, VSV overcame a hypoxia-associated increase in α subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF-2α) phosphorylation and initial suppression of viral protein synthesis in hypoxic cells to produce large amounts of viral protein. VSV infection caused the dephosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF-4E and inhibited host translation similarly under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. VSV produced progeny virus to similar levels in hypoxic and normoxic cells and showed the ability to expand from an initial infection of 1% of hypoxic cells to spread through an entire population. In all cases, virus infection induced classical cytopathic effects and apoptotic cell death. When VSV was used to treat tumors established in nude mice, we found VSV replication in hypoxic areas of these tumors. This occurred whether the virus was administered intratumorally or intravenously. These results show for the first time that VSV has an inherent capacity for infecting and killing hypoxic cancer cells. This ability could represent a critical advantage over existing therapies in treating established tumors.
doi:10.1128/JVI.78.17.8960-8970.2004
PMCID: PMC506958  PMID: 15308693
7.  Activating Transcription Factor 4 Is Translationally Regulated by Hypoxic Stress 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2004;24(17):7469-7482.
Hypoxic stress results in a rapid and sustained inhibition of protein synthesis that is at least partially mediated by eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) phosphorylation by the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) kinase PERK. Here we show through microarray analysis of polysome-bound RNA in aerobic and hypoxic HeLa cells that a subset of transcripts are preferentially translated during hypoxia, including activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), an important mediator of the unfolded protein response. Changes in mRNA translation during the unfolded protein response are mediated by PERK phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2α at Ser-51. Similarly, PERK is activated and is responsible for translational regulation under hypoxic conditions, while inducing the translation of ATF4. The overexpression of a C-terminal fragment of GADD34 that constitutively dephosphorylates eIF2α was able to attenuate the phosphorylation of eIF2α and severely inhibit the induction of ATF4 in response to hypoxic stress. These studies demonstrate the essential role of ATF4 in the response to hypoxic stress, define the pathway for its induction, and reveal that GADD34, a target of ATF4 activation, negatively regulates the eIF2α-mediated inhibition of translation. Taken with the concomitant induction of additional ER-resident proteins identified by our microarray analysis, this study suggests an important integrated response between ER signaling and the cellular adaptation to hypoxic stress.
doi:10.1128/MCB.24.17.7469-7482.2004
PMCID: PMC506979  PMID: 15314157

Results 1-7 (7)