FOXO3a mediates signaling crosstalk that coordinates ubiquitin and atrogin-1/MAFbx expression during glucocorticoid-induced skeletal muscle atrophy.
ABSTRACT: Muscle atrophy is a consequence of chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes) and glucocorticoid-induced insulin resistance that results from enhanced activity of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. The PI3K/Akt pathway inhibits the FOXO-mediated transcription of the muscle-specific E3 ligase atrogin-1/MAFbx (AT-1), whereas the MEK/ERK pathway increases Sp1 activity and ubiquitin (UbC) expression. The observations raise a question about how the transcription of these atrogenes is synchronized in atrophic muscle. We tested a signaling model in which FOXO3a mediates crosstalk between the PI3K/Akt and MEK/ERK pathways to coordinate AT-1 and UbC expression. In rat L6 myotubes, dexamethasone (> or = 24 h) reduced insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1 protein and PI3K/Akt signaling and increased AT-1 mRNA. IRS-2 protein, MEK/ERK signaling, Sp1 phosphorylation, and UbC transcription were simultaneously increased. Knockdown of IRS-1 using small interfering RNA or adenovirus-mediated expression of constitutively activated FOXO3a increased IRS-2 protein, MEK/ERK signaling, and UbC expression. Changes in PI3K/Akt and MEK/ERK signaling were recapitulated in rat muscles undergoing atrophy due to streptozotocin-induced insulin deficiency and concurrently elevated glucocorticoid production. IRS-1 and Akt phosphorylation were decreased, whereas MEK/ERK signaling and expression of IRS-2, UbC and AT-1 were increased. We conclude that FOXO3a mediates a reciprocal communication between the IRS-1/PI3K/Akt and IRS-2/MEK/ERK pathways that coordinates AT-1 and ubiquitin expression during muscle atrophy.
Project description:Erbin has been shown to have significant effects on the development of solid tumors. However, little is known about its function and regulatory mechanism in hematological malignancies. The biological function of Erbin on cell proliferation was measured in vitro and in vivo. The predicted target of Erbin was validated by dual-luciferase reporter assay and rescue experiment. We found that overexpression of Erbin could inhibit the cell proliferation and promote the cell differentiation of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells, whereas depletion of Erbin could enhance the cell proliferation and block the cell differentiation in AML cells in vitro and in vivo. Besides, miR-183-5p was identified as the upstream regulator that negatively regulated the Erbin expression. The results were confirmed by dual-luciferase reporter and RNA pull-down assay. Furthermore, we found that miR-183-5p negatively regulated Erbin, resulting in enhanced cell proliferation of AML cells via activation of RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT/FoxO3a pathways. The activation of RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT/FoxO3a pathways was mediated by Erbin interacting with Grb2. These results were also validated by rescue experiments in vitro and in vivo. All above-mentioned findings indicated that the miR-183-5p/Erbin signaling pathway might represent a novel prognostic biomarker or therapeutic target for treatment of AML.
Project description:EZH2 overexpression promotes cancer by increasing histone methylation to silence tumor suppressor genes, but how EZH2 levels become elevated in cancer is not understood. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms by which EZH2 expression is regulated in non-small cell lung carcinoma cells by oncogenic KRAS. In cells harboring KRAS(G12C) and KRAS(G12D) mutations, EZH2 expression was modulated by MEK-ERK and PI3K/AKT signaling, respectively. Accordingly, MEK-ERK depletion decreased EZH2 expression in cells harboring the KRAS(G12C) mutation, whereas PI3K/AKT depletion decreased EZH2 expression, EZH2 phosphorylation, and STAT3 activity in KRAS(G12D)-mutant cell lines. Combined inhibition of EZH2 and MEK-ERK or PI3K/AKT increased the sensitivity of cells with specific KRAS mutations to MEK-ERK and PI3K/AKT-targeted therapies. Our work defines EZH2 as a downstream effector of KRAS signaling and offers a rationale for combining EZH2 inhibitory strategies with MEK-ERK- or PI3K/AKT-targeted therapies to treat lung cancer patients, as stratified into distinct treatment groups based on specific KRAS mutations.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Changes in the vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) contractile phenotype occur in pathological states such as restenosis and atherosclerosis. Multiple cytokines, signaling through receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) and PI3K/Akt and MAPK/ERK pathways, regulate these phenotypic transitions. The Spry proteins are feedback modulators of RTK signaling, but their specific roles in VSMC have not been established.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Here, we report for the first time that Spry1, but not Spry4, is required for maintaining the differentiated state of human VSMC in vitro. While Spry1 is a known MAPK/ERK inhibitor in many cell types, we found that Spry1 has little effect on MAPK/ERK signaling but increases and maintains Akt activation in VSMC. Sustained Akt signaling is required for VSMC marker expression in vitro, while ERK signaling negatively modulates Akt activation and VSMC marker gene expression. Spry4, which antagonizes both MAPK/ERK and Akt signaling, suppresses VSMC differentiation marker gene expression. We show using siRNA knockdown and ChIP assays that FoxO3a, a downstream target of PI3K/Akt signaling, represses myocardin promoter activity, and that Spry1 increases, while Spry4 decreases myocardin mRNA levels.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Together, these data indicate that Spry1 and Spry4 have opposing roles in VSMC phenotypic modulation, and Spry1 maintains the VSMC differentiation phenotype in vitro in part through an Akt/FoxO/myocardin pathway.
Project description:Therapies inhibiting receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are effective against some human cancers when they lead to simultaneous downregulation of PI3K/AKT and MEK/ERK signaling. However, mutant KRAS has the capacity to directly activate ERK and PI3K signaling, and this is thought to underlie the resistance of KRAS mutant cancers to RTK inhibitors. Here, we have elucidated the molecular regulation of both the PI3K/AKT and MEK/ERK signaling pathways in KRAS mutant colorectal cancer cells and identified combination therapies that lead to robust cancer cell apoptosis. KRAS knockdown using shRNA suppressed ERK signaling in all of the human KRAS mutant colorectal cancer cell lines examined. However, no decrease, and actually a modest increase, in AKT phosphorylation was often seen. By performing PI3K immunoprecipitations, we determined that RTKs, often IGF-IR, regulated PI3K signaling in the KRAS mutant cell lines. This conclusion was also supported by the observation that specific RTK inhibition led to marked suppression of PI3K signaling and biochemical assessment of patient specimens. Interestingly, combination of RTK and MEK inhibitors led to concomitant inhibition of PI3K and MEK signaling, marked growth suppression, and robust apoptosis of human KRAS mutant colorectal cancer cell lines in vitro and upon xenografting in mice. These findings provide a framework for utilizing RTK inhibitors in the treatment of KRAS mutant colorectal cancers.
Project description:Skeletal muscle atrophy is a common clinical feature among patients with severe burns. Previous studies have shown that miRNAs play critical roles in the regulation of stress-induced skeletal muscle atrophy. Our previous study showed that burn-induced skeletal muscle atrophy is mediated by miR-628. In this study, compared with sham rats, rats subjected to burn injury exhibited skeletal muscle atrophy, as well as significantly decreased insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) protein expression and significantly increased skeletal muscle cell apoptosis. An miRNA array showed that the levels of miR-628, a potential regulator of IRS1 protein translation, were also clearly elevated. Second, L6 myocyte cell apoptosis increased after induction of miR-628 expression, and IRS1 and p-Akt protein expression decreased significantly. Expression of the cell apoptosis-related proteins FoxO3a and cleaved caspase 3 also increased after induction of miR-628 expression. Finally, forced miR-628 expression in normal rats resulted in increased cell apoptosis and skeletal muscle atrophy, as well as changes in IRS1/Akt/FoxO3a signaling pathway activity consistent with the changes in protein expression described above. Inhibiting cell apoptosis with Z-VAD-FMK resulted in alleviation of burn-induced skeletal muscle atrophy. In general, our results indicate that miR-628 mediates burn-induced skeletal muscle atrophy by regulating the IRS1/Akt/FoxO3a signaling pathway.
Project description:Mutation of KRAS is a common initiating event in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Yet, the specific roles of KRAS-stimulated signaling pathways in the transformation of pancreatic ductal epithelial cells (PDEC), putative cells of origin for PDAC, remain unclear. Here, we show that KRAS(G12D) and BRAF(V600E) enhance PDEC proliferation and increase survival after exposure to apoptotic stimuli in a manner dependent on MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT signaling. Interestingly, we find that activation of PI3K/AKT signaling occurs downstream of MAP-ERK kinase (MEK), and is dependent on the autocrine activation of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) receptor (IGF1R) by IGF2. Importantly, IGF1R inhibition impairs KRAS(G12D)- and BRAF(V600E)-induced survival, whereas ectopic IGF2 expression rescues KRAS(G12D)- and BRAF(V600E)-mediated survival downstream of MEK inhibition. Moreover, we show that KRAS(G12D)- and BRAF(V600E)-induced tumor formation in an orthotopic model requires IGF1R. Interestingly, we show that while individual inhibition of MEK or IGF1R does not sensitize PDAC cells to apoptosis, their concomitant inhibition reduces survival. Our findings identify a novel mechanism of PI3K/AKT activation downstream of activated KRAS, illustrate the importance of MEK/ERK, PI3K/AKT, and IGF1R signaling in pancreatic tumor initiation, and suggest potential therapeutic strategies for this malignancy.
Project description:The MAP kinase (Ras/MEK/ERK) and PI3K/Akt/mTOR oncogenic signaling pathways are central regulators of KRAS-mediated transformation. Molecular reciprocity between the Ras/MEK/ERK and PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathways provides cancer cells with the ability to evade treatment when targeting only one pathway with monotherapy. Multi-kinase targeting was explored through the development of a single bivalent chemical entity by covalent linking of high-affinity MEK and PI3K inhibitors. A prototype dual-acting agent (compound 8) designed using the PI3K inhibitor ZSTK474 and the Raf/MEK inhibitor RO5126766 as scaffolds displayed high in vitro inhibition of both PI3K (IC50=172nM) and MEK1 (IC50=473nM). Additionally, compound 8 demonstrated significant modulation of MEK and PI3K signaling pathway activity in human A549 human lung adenocarcinoma cells and pancreatic cancer cells (PANC-1) and also decreased cellular viability in these two cell lines.
Project description:We explored the crosstalk between cell survival (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt) and mitogenic (Ras/Raf/MEK/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)) signaling pathways activated by an epidermal growth factor (EGF) and analyzed their sensitivity to small molecule inhibitors in the PI3K-mutant estrogen receptor (ER)-positive MCF7 and T47D breast cancer cells. In contrast to MCF7 cells, ERK phosphorylation in T47D cells displayed resistance to MEK inhibition by several structurally different compounds, such as U0126, PD 098059 and PD 198306, MEK suppression by small interfering RNA (siRNA) and was also less sensitive to PI3K inhibition by wortmannin. Similar effect was observed in PI3K-wild type ER-positive BT-474 cells, albeit to a much lesser extent. MEK-independent ERK activation was induced only by ErbB receptor ligands and was resistant to inhibition of several kinases and phosphatases that are known to participate in the regulation of Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade. Although single agents against PDK1 or Akt did not affect EGF-induced ERK phosphorylation, a combination of PI3K/Akt and MEK inhibitors synergistically suppressed ERK activation and cellular growth. siRNA-mediated silencing of class I PI3K or Akt1/2 genes also significantly decreased U0126-resistant ERK phosphorylation. Our data suggest that in T47D cells ErbB family ligands induce a dynamic, PI3K/Akt-sensitive and MEK-independent compensatory ERK activation circuit that is absent in MCF7 cells. We discuss candidate proteins that can be involved in this activation circuitry and suggest that PDZ-Binding Kinase/T-LAK Cell-Originated Protein Kinase (PBK/TOPK) may play a role in mediating MEK-independent ERK activation.
Project description:Insulin signaling is coordinated by insulin receptor substrates (IRSs). Many insulin responses, especially for blood glucose metabolism, are mediated primarily through <i>Irs-1</i> and <i>Irs-2</i>. <i>Irs-1</i> knockout mice show growth retardation and insulin signaling defects, which can be compensated by other IRSs <i>in vivo</i>; however, the underlying mechanism is not clear. Here, we presented an <i>Irs-1</i> truncated mutated mouse (<i>Irs-1</i><sup>-/-</sup>) with growth retardation and subcutaneous adipocyte atrophy. <i>Irs-1</i><sup>-/-</sup> mice exhibited mild insulin resistance, as demonstrated by the insulin tolerance test. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) activity and phosphorylated Protein Kinase B (PKB/AKT) expression were elevated in liver, skeletal muscle, and subcutaneous adipocytes in <i>Irs-1</i> deficiency. In addition, the expression of IRS-2 and its phosphorylated version were clearly elevated in liver and skeletal muscle. With miRNA microarray analysis, we found miR-33 was down-regulated in bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) of <i>Irs-1</i><sup>-/-</sup> mice, while its target gene <i>Irs-2</i> was up-regulated <i>in vitro</i> studies. In addition, miR-33 was down-regulated in the presence of <i>Irs-1</i> and which was up-regulated in fasting status. What's more, miR-33 restored its expression in re-feeding status. Meanwhile, miR-33 levels decreased and <i>Irs-2</i> levels increased in liver, skeletal muscle, and subcutaneous adipocytes of <i>Irs-1</i><sup>-/-</sup> mice. In primary cultured liver cells transfected with an miR-33 inhibitor, the expression of IRS-2, PI3K, and phosphorylated-AKT (p-AKT) increased while the opposite results were observed in the presence of an miR-33 mimic. Therefore, decreased miR-33 levels can up-regulate IRS-2 expression, which appears to compensate for the defects of the insulin signaling pathway in <i>Irs-1</i> deficient mice.
Project description:The effects of selective phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and AKT inhibitors were compared in human tumor cell lines in which the pathway is dysregulated. Both caused inhibition of AKT, relief of feedback inhibition of receptor tyrosine kinases, and growth arrest. However, only the PI3K inhibitors caused rapid induction of cell death. In seeking a mechanism for this phenomenon, we found that PI3K inhibition, but not AKT inhibition, causes rapid inhibition of wild-type RAS and of RAF-MEK-ERK signaling. Inhibition of RAS-ERK signaling is transient, rebounding a few hours after drug addition, and is required for rapid induction of apoptosis. Combined MEK and AKT inhibition also promotes cell death, and in murine models of HER2(+) cancer, either pulsatile PI3K inhibition or combined MEK and AKT inhibition causes tumor regression. We conclude that PI3K is upstream of RAS and AKT and that pulsatile inhibition of both pathways is sufficient for effective antitumor activity.