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author:("casted, Maria")
1.  Synergistic interaction between cisplatin and PARP inhibitors in non-small cell lung cancer 
Cell Cycle  2013;12(6):877-883.
The antineoplastic agent cis-diammineplatinum(II) dichloride (cisplatin, CDDP) is part of the poorly effective standard treatment of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Here, we report a novel strategy to improve the efficacy of CDDP. In conditions in which CDDP alone or either of two PARP inhibitors, PJ34 hydrochloride hydrate or CEP 8983, used as standalone treatments were inefficient in killing NSCLC cells, the combination of CDDP plus PJ34 or that of CDDP plus CEP 8983 were found to kill a substantial fraction of the cells. This cytotoxic synergy could be recapitulated by combining CDDP and the siRNA-mediated depletion of the principal PARP isoform, PARP1, indicating that it is mediated by on-target effects of PJ34 or CEP 8983. CDDP and PARP inhibitors synergized in inducing DNA damage foci, mitochondrial membrane permeabilization leading to cytochrome c release, and dissipation of the inner transmembrane potential, caspase activation, plasma membrane rupture and loss of clonogenic potential in NSCLC cells. Collectively, our results indicate that CDDP can be advantageously combined with PARP inhibitors to kill several NSCLC cell lines, independently from their p53 status. Combined treatment with CDDP and PARP inhibitors elicits the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis.
doi:10.4161/cc.24034
PMCID: PMC3637345  PMID: 23428903
apoptosis; CEP 8983; DNA damage response; A549 cells; PJ34 hydrochloride; small-interfering RNA
2.  Vitamin B6 metabolism influences the intracellular accumulation of cisplatin 
Cell Cycle  2013;12(3):417-421.
Vitamin B6 metabolism influences the adaptive response of non-small lung carcinoma (NSCLC) cells to distinct, potentially lethal perturbations in homeostasis, encompassing nutrient deprivation, hyperthermia, hypoxia, irradiation as well as the exposure to cytotoxic chemicals, including the DNA-damaging agent cisplatin (CDDP). Thus, the siRNA-mediated downregulation of pyridoxal kinase (PDXK), the enzyme that generates the bioactive form of vitamin B6, protects NSCLC cells (as well as a large collection of human and murine malignant cells of distinct histological derivation) from the cytotoxic effects of CDDP. Accordingly, the administration of pyridoxine, one of the inactive precursors of vitamin B6, exacerbates cisplatin-induced cell death, in vitro and in vivo, but only when PDXK is expressed. Conversely, antioxidants such as non-oxidized glutathione (GSH) are known to protect cancer cells from CDDP toxicity. Pyridoxine increases the amount of CDDP-DNA adducts formed upon the exposure of NSCLC cells to CDDP and aggravates the consequent DNA damage response. On the contrary, in the presence of GSH, NSCLC cells exhibit near-to-undetectable levels of CDDP-DNA adducts and a small fraction of the cell population activates the DNA damage response. We therefore wondered whether vitamin B6 metabolism and GSH might interact with CDDP in a pharmacokinetic fashion. In this short communication, we demonstrate that GSH inhibits the intracellular accumulation of CDDP, while pyridoxine potentiates it in a PDXK-dependent fashion. Importantly, such pharmacokinetic effects do not involve plasma membrane transporters that mediate a prominent fraction of CDDP influx, i.e., solute carrier family 31, member 1 (SLC31A1, best known as copper transporter 1, CTR1) and efflux, i.e., ATPase, Cu2+ transporting, β polypeptide (ATP7B).
doi:10.4161/cc.23275
PMCID: PMC3587442  PMID: 23287530
A549; apoptosis; N-acetyl-cysteine; PDXP; reactive oxygen species; Wilson disease
3.  Immunosurveillance against tetraploidization-induced colon tumorigenesis 
Cell Cycle  2013;12(3):473-479.
Circumstantial evidence suggests that colon carcinogenesis can ensue the transient tetraploidization of (pre-)malignant cells. In line with this notion, the tumor suppressors APC and TP53, both of which are frequently inactivated in colon cancer, inhibit tetraploidization in vitro and in vivo. Here, we show that—contrarily to their wild-type counterparts—Tp53−/− colonocytes are susceptible to drug-induced or spontaneous tetraploidization in vitro. Colon organoids generated from tetraploid Tp53−/− cells exhibit a close-to-normal morphology as compared to their diploid Tp53−/− counterparts, yet the colonocytes constituting these organoids are characterized by an increased cell size and an elevated expression of the immunostimulatory protein calreticulin on the cell surface. The subcutaneous injection of tetraploid Tp53−/− colon organoids led to the generation of proliferating tumors in immunodeficient, but not immunocompetent, mice. Thus, tetraploid Tp53−/− colonocytes fail to survive in immunocompetent mice and develop neoplastic lesions in immunocompromised settings only. These results suggest that tetraploidy is particularly oncogenic in the context of deficient immunosurveillance.
doi:10.4161/cc.23369
PMCID: PMC3587448  PMID: 23324343
apoptosis; cell cycle; cytochalasin D; mitotic catastrophe; nocodazole; p53
4.  Functions of BCL-XL at the Interface between Cell Death and Metabolism 
The BCL-2 homolog BCL-XL, one of the two protein products of BCL2L1, has originally been characterized for its prominent prosurvival functions. Similar to BCL-2, BCL-XL binds to its multidomain proapoptotic counterparts BAX and BAK, hence preventing the formation of lethal pores in the mitochondrial outer membrane, as well as to multiple BH3-only proteins, thus interrupting apical proapoptotic signals. In addition, BCL-XL has been suggested to exert cytoprotective functions by sequestering a cytosolic pool of the pro-apoptotic transcription factor p53 and by binding to the voltage-dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC1), thereby inhibiting the so-called mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT). Thus, BCL-XL appears to play a prominent role in the regulation of multiple distinct types of cell death, including apoptosis and regulated necrosis. More recently, great attention has been given to the cell death-unrelated functions of BCL-2-like proteins. In particular, BCL-XL has been shown to modulate a number of pathophysiological processes, including—but not limited to—mitochondrial ATP synthesis, protein acetylation, autophagy and mitosis. In this short review article, we will discuss the functions of BCL-XL at the interface between cell death and metabolism.
doi:10.1155/2013/705294
PMCID: PMC3603586  PMID: 23533418
5.  Transgenerational cell fate profiling 
Cell Cycle  2013;12(1):183-190.
The illicit generation of tetraploid cells constitutes a prominent driver of oncogenesis, as it often precedes the development of aneuploidy and genomic instability. In addition, tetraploid (pre-)malignant cells display an elevated resistance against radio- and chemotherapy. Here, we report a strategy to preferentially kill tetraploid tumor cells based on the broad-spectrum kinase inhibitor SP600125. Live videomicroscopy revealed that SP600125 affects the execution of mitosis, impedes proper cell division and/or activates apoptosis in near-to-tetraploid, though less so in parental, cancer cells. We propose a novel graphical model to quantify the differential response of diploid and tetraploid cells to mitotic perturbators, including SP600125, which we baptized “transgenerational cell fate profiling.” We speculate that this representation constitutes a valid alternative to classical “single-cell fate” and “genealogical” profiling and, hence, may facilitate the analysis of cell fate within a heterogeneous population as well as the visual examination of cell cycle alterations.
doi:10.4161/cc.23046
PMCID: PMC3570510  PMID: 23255111
cell death; cytokinesis failure; mitotic catastrophe; microtubules; polyploidy; time-lapse microscopy
6.  An anticancer therapy-elicited immunosurveillance system that eliminates tetraploid cells 
Oncoimmunology  2013;2(1):e22409.
One of the driving forces of oncogenesis is tetraploidy, a duplication of the DNA content that, upon asymmetric cell division or progressive chromosome loss, can originate aneuploidy. Recent findings from our group indicate the existence of an immunosurveillance system that eliminates tetraploid cancer cells. We surmise that tetraploidy-inducing chemotherapeutic agents may elicit potent anticancer responses by re-activating this immunosurveillance system.
doi:10.4161/onci.22409
PMCID: PMC3583917  PMID: 23482968
breast carcinoma; calreticulin; HMGB1; hyperploidy; immunogenic cell death; mitotic catastrophe
8.  Tetraploid cancer cell precursors in ovarian carcinoma 
Cell Cycle  2012;11(17):3157-3158.
doi:10.4161/cc.21722
PMCID: PMC3466513  PMID: 22895170
aneuploidy; depolyploidization; tetraploidy; oncogenesis; polyploidy
9.  Selective killing of p53-deficient cancer cells by SP600125 
EMBO Molecular Medicine  2012;4(6):500-514.
The genetic or functional inactivation of p53 is highly prevalent in human cancers. Using high-content videomicroscopy based on fluorescent TP53+/+ and TP53−/− human colon carcinoma cells, we discovered that SP600125, a broad-spectrum serine/threonine kinase inhibitor, kills p53-deficient cells more efficiently than their p53-proficient counterparts, in vitro. Similar observations were obtained in vivo, in mice carrying p53-deficient and -proficient human xenografts. Such a preferential cytotoxicity could be attributed to the failure of p53-deficient cells to undergo cell cycle arrest in response to SP600125. TP53−/− (but not TP53+/+) cells treated with SP600125 became polyploid upon mitotic abortion and progressively succumbed to mitochondrial apoptosis. The expression of an SP600125-resistant variant of the mitotic kinase MPS1 in TP53−/− cells reduced SP600125-induced polyploidization. Thus, by targeting MPS1, SP600125 triggers a polyploidization program that cannot be sustained by TP53−/− cells, resulting in the activation of mitotic catastrophe, an oncosuppressive mechanism for the eradication of mitosis-incompetent cells.
doi:10.1002/emmm.201200228
PMCID: PMC3443949  PMID: 22438244
caspases; HCT 116; high-throughput screening; mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization; MPS1
10.  Inhibition of Chk1 Kills Tetraploid Tumor Cells through a p53-Dependent Pathway 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(12):e1337.
Tetraploidy constitutes an adaptation to stress and an intermediate step between euploidy and aneuploidy in oncogenesis. Tetraploid cells are particularly resistant against genotoxic stress including radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Here, we designed a strategy to preferentially kill tetraploid tumor cells. Depletion of checkpoint kinase-1 (Chk1) by siRNAs, transfection with dominant-negative Chk1 mutants or pharmacological Chk1 inhibition killed tetraploid colon cancer cells yet had minor effects on their diploid counterparts. Chk1 inhibition abolished the spindle assembly checkpoint and caused premature and abnormal mitoses that led to p53 activation and cell death at a higher frequency in tetraploid than in diploid cells. Similarly, abolition of the spindle checkpoint by knockdown of Bub1, BubR1 or Mad2 induced p53-dependent apoptosis of tetraploid cells. Chk1 inhibition reversed the cisplatin resistance of tetraploid cells in vitro and in vivo, in xenografted human cancers. Chk1 inhibition activated p53-regulated transcripts including Puma/BBC3 in tetraploid but not in diploid tumor cells. Altogether, our results demonstrate that, in tetraploid tumor cells, the inhibition of Chk1 sequentially triggers aberrant mitosis, p53 activation and Puma/BBC3-dependent mitochondrial apoptosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001337
PMCID: PMC2131784  PMID: 18159231
11.  Essential role of p53 phosphorylation by p38 MAPK in apoptosis induction by the HIV-1 envelope 
The proapoptotic activity of the transcription factor p53 critically depends on the phosphorylation of serine 46 (p53S46P). Here, we show that syncytia containing p53S46P could be detected in lymph node biopsies from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 carriers, in the brain of patients with HIV-1–associated dementia and in cocultures of HeLa expressing the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein complex (Env) with HeLa cells expressing CD4. In this latter model, cell death was the result of a sequential process involving cell fusion, nuclear fusion (karyogamy), phosphorylation of serine 15 (p53S15P), later on serine 46 (p53S46P), and transcription of p53 target genes. Cytoplasmic p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) was found to undergo an activating phosphorylation (p38T180/Y182P [p38 with phosphorylated threonine 180 and tyrosine 182]) before karyogamy and to translocate into karyogamic nuclei. p38T180/Y182P colocalized and coimmunoprecipitated with p53S46P. Recombinant p38 phosphorylated recombinant p53 on serine 46 in vitro. Inhibition of p38 MAPK by pharmacological inhibitors, dominant-negative p38, or small interfering RNA, suppressed p53S46P (but not p53S15P), the expression of p53-inducible genes, the conformational activation of proapoptotic Bax and Bak, the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria, and consequent apoptosis. p38T180/Y182P was also detected in HIV-1–induced syncytia, in vivo, in patients' lymph nodes and brains. Dominant-negative MKK3 or MKK6 inhibited syncytial activation of p38, p53S46P, and apoptosis. Altogether, these findings indicate that p38 MAPK-mediated p53 phosphorylation constitutes a critical step of Env-induced apoptosis.
doi:10.1084/jem.20041502
PMCID: PMC2212781  PMID: 15642743
12.  NF-κB and p53 Are the Dominant Apoptosis-inducing Transcription Factors Elicited by the HIV-1 Envelope 
The coculture of cells expressing the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein complex (Env) with cells expressing CD4 results into cell fusion, deregulated mitosis, and subsequent cell death. Here, we show that NF-κB, p53, and AP1 are activated in Env-elicited apoptosis. The nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) super repressor had an antimitotic and antiapoptotic effect and prevented the Env-elicited phosphorylation of p53 on serine 15 and 46, as well as the activation of AP1. Transfection with dominant-negative p53 abolished apoptosis and AP1 activation. Signs of NF-κB and p53 activation were also detected in lymph node biopsies from HIV-1–infected individuals. Microarrays revealed that most (85%) of the transcriptional effects of HIV-1 Env were blocked by the p53 inhibitor pifithrin-α. Macroarrays led to the identification of several Env-elicited, p53-dependent proapoptotic transcripts, in particular Puma, a proapoptotic “BH3-only” protein from the Bcl-2 family known to activate Bax/Bak. Down modulation of Puma by antisense oligonucleotides, as well as RNA interference of Bax and Bak, prevented Env-induced apoptosis. HIV-1–infected primary lymphoblasts up-regulated Puma in vitro. Moreover, circulating CD4+ lymphocytes from untreated, HIV-1–infected donors contained enhanced amounts of Puma protein, and these elevated Puma levels dropped upon antiretroviral therapy. Altogether, these data indicate that NF-κB and p53 cooperate as the dominant proapoptotic transcription factors participating in HIV-1 infection.
doi:10.1084/jem.20031216
PMCID: PMC2213296  PMID: 14993250
Bax; mitochondria; NF-κB; Puma; Bak
13.  Mutant MyoD Lacking Cdc2 Phosphorylation Sites Delays M-Phase Entry 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2004;24(4):1809-1821.
The transcription factors MyoD and Myf-5 control myoblast identity and differentiation. MyoD and Myf-5 manifest opposite cell cycle-specific expression patterns. Here, we provide evidence that MyoD plays a pivotal role at the G2/M transition by controlling the expression of p21Waf1/Cip1 (p21), which is believed to regulate cyclin B-Cdc2 kinase activity in G2. In growing myoblasts, MyoD reaccumulates during G2 concomitantly with p21 before entry into mitosis; MyoD is phosphorylated on Ser5 and Ser200 by cyclin B-Cdc2, resulting in a decrease of its stability and down-regulation of both MyoD and p21. Inducible expression of a nonphosphorylable MyoD A5/A200 enhances the MyoD interaction with the coactivator P/CAF, thereby stimulating the transcriptional activation of a luciferase reporter gene placed under the control of the p21 promoter. MyoD A5/A200 causes sustained p21 expression, which inhibits cyclin B-Cdc2 kinase activity in G2 and delays M-phase entry. This G2 arrest is not observed in p21−/− cells. These results show that in cycling cells MyoD functions as a transcriptional activator of p21 and that MyoD phosphorylation is required for G2/M transition.
doi:10.1128/MCB.24.4.1809-1821.2004
PMCID: PMC344165  PMID: 14749395
15.  Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 Envelope Glycoprotein Complex-Induced Apoptosis Involves Mammalian Target of Rapamycin/Fkbp12-Rapamycin–Associated Protein–Mediated P53 Phosphorylation 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2001;194(8):1097-1110.
Syncytia arising from the fusion of cells expressing a lymphotropic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1–encoded envelope glycoprotein complex (Env) gene with cells expressing the CD4/CXCR4 complex undergo apoptosis through a mitochondrion-controlled pathway initiated by the upregulation of Bax. In syncytial apoptosis, phosphorylation of p53 on serine 15 (p53S15) precedes Bax upregulation, the apoptosis-linked conformational change of Bax, the insertion of Bax in mitochondrial membranes, subsequent release of cytochrome c, caspase activation, and apoptosis. p53S15 phosphorylation also occurs in vivo, in HIV-1+ donors, where it can be detected in preapoptotic and apoptotic syncytia in lymph nodes, as well as in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, correlating with viral load. Syncytium-induced p53S15 phosphorylation is mediated by the upregulation/activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), also called FKBP12-rapamycin-associated protein (FRAP), which coimmunoprecipitates with p53. Inhibition of mTOR/FRAP by rapamycin reduces apoptosis in several paradigms of syncytium-dependent death, including in primary CD4+ lymphoblasts infected by HIV-1. Concomitantly, rapamycin inhibits p53S15 phosphorylation, mitochondrial translocation of Bax, loss of the mitochondrial transmembrane potential, mitochondrial release of cytochrome c, and nuclear chromatin condensation. Transfection with dominant negative p53 has a similar antiapoptotic action as rapamycin, upstream of the Bax upregulation/translocation. In summary, we demonstrate that phosphorylation of p53S15 by mTOR/FRAP plays a critical role in syncytial apoptosis driven by HIV-1 Env.
PMCID: PMC2193513  PMID: 11602639
cell death; envelope glycoprotein complex; human immunodeficiency virus; mitochondria; rapamycin
16.  The Central Executioner of Apoptosis: Multiple Connections between Protease Activation and Mitochondria in Fas/APO-1/CD95- and Ceramide-induced Apoptosis 
According to current understanding, cytoplasmic events including activation of protease cascades and mitochondrial permeability transition (PT) participate in the control of nuclear apoptosis. However, the relationship between protease activation and PT has remained elusive. When apoptosis is induced by cross-linking of the Fas/APO-1/CD95 receptor, activation of interleukin-1β converting enzyme (ICE; caspase 1) or ICE-like enzymes precedes the disruption of the mitochondrial inner transmembrane potential (ΔΨm). In contrast, cytosolic CPP32/ Yama/Apopain/caspase 3 activation, plasma membrane phosphatidyl serine exposure, and nuclear apoptosis only occur in cells in which the ΔΨm is fully disrupted. Transfection with the cowpox protease inhibitor crmA or culture in the presence of the synthetic ICE-specific inhibitor Ac-YVAD.cmk both prevent the ΔΨm collapse and subsequent apoptosis. Cytosols from anti-Fas–treated human lymphoma cells accumulate an activity that induces PT in isolated mitochondria in vitro and that is neutralized by crmA or Ac-YVAD.cmk. Recombinant purified ICE suffices to cause isolated mitochondria to undergo PT-like large amplitude swelling and to disrupt their ΔΨm. In addition, ICE-treated mitochondria release an apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) that induces apoptotic changes (chromatin condensation and oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation) in isolated nuclei in vitro. AIF is a protease (or protease activator) that can be inhibited by the broad spectrum apoptosis inhibitor Z-VAD.fmk and that causes the proteolytical activation of CPP32. Although Bcl-2 is a highly efficient inhibitor of mitochondrial alterations (large amplitude swelling + ΔΨm collapse + release of AIF) induced by prooxidants or cytosols from ceramide-treated cells, it has no effect on the ICE-induced mitochondrial PT and AIF release. These data connect a protease activation pathway with the mitochondrial phase of apoptosis regulation. In addition, they provide a plausible explanation of why Bcl-2 fails to interfere with Fas-triggered apoptosis in most cell types, yet prevents ceramide- and prooxidant-induced apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC2198951  PMID: 9206994

Results 1-16 (16)