In several cell types tumour suppressor p53 induces apoptosis largely via Puma but Noxa can contribute.
ABSTRACT: The ability of p53 to induce apoptosis in cells with damaged DNA is thought to contribute greatly to its tumour suppressor function. P53 has been proposed to induce apoptosis via numerous transcriptional targets or even by direct cytoplasmic action. Two transcriptional targets shown to mediate its apoptotic role in several cell types encode Noxa and Puma, BH3-only members of the Bcl-2 family. To test if their functions in p53-dependent apoptosis overlap, we generated mice lacking both. These mice develop normally and no tumours have yet arisen. In embryonic fibroblasts, the absence of both Noxa and Puma prevented induction of apoptosis by etoposide. Moreover, following whole body gamma-irradiation, the loss of both proteins protected thymocytes better than loss of Puma alone. Indeed, their combined deficiency protected thymocytes as strongly as loss of p53 itself. These results indicate that, at least in fibroblasts and thymocytes, p53-induced apoptosis proceeds principally via Noxa and Puma, with Puma having the predominant role in diverse cell types. The absence of tumours in the mice suggests that tumour suppression by p53 requires functions in addition to induction of apoptosis.
Project description:Numerous p53 target genes have been implicated in DNA damage-induced apoptosis signaling, but proapoptotic Bcl-2 (B-cell leukemia 2) family members of the BH3 (Bcl-2 homolog region [BH] 3)-only subgroup appear to play the critical initiating role. In various types of cultured cells, 3 BH3-only proteins, namely Puma (p53 up-regulated modulator of apoptosis), Noxa, and Bim (Bcl-2 interacting mediator of cell death), have been shown to initiate p53-dependent as well as p53-independent apoptosis in response to DNA damage and treatment with anticancer drugs or glucocorticoids. In particular, the absence of Puma or Bim renders thymocytes and mature lymphocytes refractory to varying degrees to death induced in vitro by growth factor withdrawal, DNA damage, or glucocorticoids. To assess the in vivo relevance of these findings, we subjected mice lacking Puma, Noxa, or Bim to whole-body gamma-radiation or the glucocorticoid dexamethasone and compared lymphocyte survival with that in wild-type and BCL2-transgenic mice. Absence of Puma or Bcl-2 overexpression efficiently protected diverse types of lymphocytes from the effects of gamma-radiation in vivo, and loss of Bim provided lower but significant protection in most lymphocytes, whereas Noxa deficiency had no impact. Furthermore, both Puma and Bim were found to contribute significantly to glucocorticoid-induced killing. Our results thus establish that Puma and Bim are key initiators of gamma-radiation- and glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis in lymphoid cells in vivo.
Project description:Evasion of apoptosis contributes importantly to c-Myc-induced tumorigenesis. The BH3-only Bcl-2 family members Puma and Noxa are critical pro-apoptotic transcriptional targets of p53, a major mediator of Myc-induced apoptosis and suppressor of Myc-induced tumorigenesis. Hence, we have explored the impact of their individual or combined loss on myc-driven lymphomagenesis. Notably, Puma deficiency both increased B-lineage cells and accelerated the development of B lymphoma, accompanied by leukaemia, but not of pre-B lymphoma. Noxa deficiency alone also increased B-lineage cells but did not accelerate lymphomagenesis. However, its deficiency combined with loss of one puma allele produced more rapid onset of both pre-B and B lymphomas than did loss of a single puma allele alone. Nevertheless, the acceleration evoked by loss of both genes was not as marked as that caused by p53 heterozygosity. These results show that Puma imposes a significant, and Noxa a minor barrier to c-Myc-driven lymphomagenesis. They also indicate that additional BH3-only proteins probably also drive Myc-induced apoptosis and that non-apoptotic functions of p53 may contribute substantially to its tumour suppressor role.
Project description:In response to a number of genotoxic stimuli that induce DNA damage in cells, the tumour suppressor p53 is activated resulting in cell cycle arrest or apoptosis. In this study, we have identified stimulated with retinoic acid 13 (Stra13), a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, as a regulator of ionizing-radiation-induced apoptosis. We show that Stra13 is induced in response to several DNA-damaging agents in a p53-independent manner. Stra13-/- thymocytes show impaired apoptosis in response to ionizing radiation, and consistently, p53 levels and also expression of its key transcriptional targets Puma and Noxa are reduced in the mutant thymocytes. In vitro, Stra13 regulates p53 levels in a mouse double mutant 2 (Mdm2)-dependent manner by physically interacting with p53 and preventing Mdm2-mediated ubiquitination and nuclear export. Together, our studies provide evidence that Stra13 is involved in DNA-damage-induced apoptosis and indicate its role in tumorigenesis.
Project description:To identify the mechanisms of ultraviolet radiation (UVR)-induced cell death, for which the tumor suppressor p53 is essential, we have analyzed mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and keratinocytes in mouse skin that have specific apoptotic pathways blocked genetically. Blocking the death receptor pathway provided no protection to MEFs, whereas UVR-induced apoptosis was potently inhibited by Bcl-2 overexpression, implicating the mitochondrial pathway. Indeed, Bcl-2 overexpression boosted cell survival more than p53 loss, revealing a p53-independent pathway controlled by the Bcl-2 family. Analysis of primary MEFs lacking individual members of its BH3-only subfamily identified major initiating roles for the p53 targets Noxa and Puma. In the transformed derivatives, where Puma, unexpectedly, was not induced by UVR, Noxa had the dominant role and Bim a minor role. Furthermore, loss of Noxa suppressed the formation of apoptotic keratinocytes in the skin of UV-irradiated mice. Collectively, these results demonstrate that UVR activates the Bcl-2-regulated apoptotic pathway predominantly through activation of Noxa and, depending on cellular context, Puma.
Project description:Trp63, a transcription factor related to the tumor suppressor p53, is activated by diverse stimuli and can initiate a range of cellular responses. TAp63 is the predominant Trp53 family member in primordial follicle oocyte nuclei and is essential for their apoptosis triggered by DNA damage in vivo. After ?-irradiation, induction of the proapoptotic BH3-only members Puma and Noxa was observed in primordial follicle oocytes from WT and Trp53(-/-) mice but not in those from TAp63-deficient mice. Primordial follicle oocytes from mice lacking Puma or both Puma and Noxa were protected from ?-irradiation-induced apoptosis and, remarkably, could produce healthy offspring. Hence, PUMA and NOXA are critical for DNA damage-induced, TAp63-mediated primordial follicle oocyte apoptosis. Thus, blockade of PUMA may protect fertility during cancer therapy and prevent premature menopause, improving women's health.
Project description:Loss of function mutations in the Prkar1a gene are the cause of most cases of Carney complex disorder. Defects in Prkar1a are thought to cause hyper-activation of PKA signalling, which drives neoplastic transformation, and Prkar1a is therefore considered to be a tumour suppressor. Here we show that loss of Prkar1a in genetically modified mice caused transcriptional activation of several proapoptotic Bcl-2 family members and thereby caused cell death. Interestingly, combined loss of Bim and Prkar1a increased colony formation of fibroblasts in culture and promoted their growth as tumours in immune-deficient mice. Apart from inducing apoptosis, systemic deletion of Prkar1a caused cachexia with muscle loss, macrophage activation and increased lipolysis as well as serum triglyceride levels. Loss of single allele of Prkar1a did not enhance tumour development in a skin cancer model, but surprisingly, when combined with the loss of Bim, caused a significant delay in tumorigenesis and this was associated with upregulation of other BH3-only proteins, PUMA and NOXA. These results show that loss of Prkar1a can only promote tumorigenesis when Prkar1a-mediated apoptosis is somehow countered.
Project description:Oxaliplatin and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) currently form the backbone of conservative treatment in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Tumour responses to these agents are highly variable, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Our previous results have indicated that oncogenic KRAS in colorectal tumour cells sensitises these cells to chemotherapy.FACS analysis was used to determine cell-cycle distribution and the percentage of apoptotic and mitotic cells. A multiplexed RT-PCR assay was used to identify KRAS-controlled apoptosis regulators after exposure to 5-FU or oxaliplatin. Lentiviral expression of short-hairpin RNAs was used to suppress p53 or Noxa.Oncogenic KRAS sensitised colorectal tumour cells to oxaliplatin and 5-FU in a p53-dependent manner and promoted p53 phosphorylation at Ser37 and Ser392, without affecting p53 stabilisation, p21 induction, or cell-cycle arrest. Chemotherapy-induced expression of the p53 target gene Noxa was selectively enhanced by oncogenic KRAS. Suppression of Noxa did not affect p21 induction or cell-cycle arrest, but reduced KRAS/p53-dependent apoptosis after exposure to chemotherapy in vitro and in tumour xenografts. Noxa suppression did not affect tumour growth per se, but strongly reduced the response of these tumours to chemotherapy.Oncogenic KRAS determines the cellular response to p53 activation by oxaliplatin or 5-FU, by facilitating apoptosis induction through Noxa.
Project description:DNA-damaging chemotherapy is the backbone of cancer treatment, although it is not clear how such treatments kill tumor cells. In nontransformed lymphoid cells, the combined loss of 2 proapoptotic p53 target genes, Puma and Noxa, induces as much resistance to DNA damage as loss of p53 itself. In E?-Myc lymphomas, however, lack of both Puma and Noxa resulted in no greater drug resistance than lack of Puma alone. A third B-cell lymphoma-2 homology domain (BH)3-only gene, Bim, although not a direct p53 target, was up-regulated in E?-Myc lymphomas incurring DNA damage, and knockdown of Bim levels markedly increased the drug resistance of E?-Myc/Puma(-/-)Noxa(-/-) lymphomas both in vitro and in vivo. Remarkably, c-MYC-driven lymphoma cell lines from Noxa(-/-)Puma(-/-)Bim(-/-) mice were as resistant as those lacking p53. Thus, the combinatorial action of Puma, Noxa, and Bim is critical for optimal apoptotic responses of lymphoma cells to 2 commonly used DNA-damaging chemotherapeutic agents, identifying Bim as an additional biomarker for treatment outcome in the clinic.
Project description:Genotoxic stress triggers the p53 tumor suppressor network to activate cellular responses that lead to cell cycle arrest, DNA repair, apoptosis or senescence. This network functions mainly through transactivation of different downstream targets, including cell cycle inhibitor p21, which is required for short-term cell cycle arrest or long-term cellular senescence, or proapoptotic genes such as p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA) and Noxa. However, the mechanism that switches from cell cycle arrest to apoptosis is still unknown. In this study, we found that mice harboring a hypomorphic mutant p53, R172P, a mutation that abrogates p53-mediated apoptosis while keeping cell cycle control mostly intact, are more susceptible to ultraviolet-B (UVB)-induced skin damage, inflammation and immunosuppression than wild-type mice. p53(R172P) embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) are hypersensitive to UVB and prematurely senesce after UVB exposure, in stark contrast to wild-type MEFs, which undergo apoptosis. However, these mutant cells are able to repair UV-induced DNA lesions, indicating that the UV hypersensitive phenotype results from the subsequent damage response. Mutant MEFs show an induction of p53 and p21 after UVR, while wild-type MEFs additionally induce PUMA and Noxa. Importantly, p53(R172P) MEFs failed to downregulate anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2, which has been shown to play an important role in p53-dependent apoptosis. Taken together, these data demonstrate that in the absence of p53-mediated apoptosis, cells undergo cellular senescence to prevent genomic instability. Our results also indicate that p53-dependent apoptosis may play an active role in balancing cellular growth.
Project description:Though p53 mutations are rare in ES, there is a strong indication that p53 mutant tumours form a particularly bad prognostic group. As such, novel treatment strategies are warranted that would specifically target and eradicate tumour cells containing mutant p53 in this subset of ES patients.PRIMA-1(Met), also known as APR-246, is a small organic molecule that has been shown to restore tumour-suppressor function primarily to mutant p53 and also to induce cell death in various cancer types. In this study, we interrogated the ability of APR-246 to induce apoptosis and inhibit tumour growth in ES cells with different p53 mutations.APR-246 variably induced apoptosis, associated with Noxa, Puma or p21(WAF1) upregulation, in both mutant and wild-type p53 harbouring cells. The apoptosis-inducing capability of APR-246 was markedly reduced in ES cell lines transfected with p53 siRNA. Three ES cell lines established from the same patient at different stages of the disease and two cell lines of different patients with identical p53 mutations all exhibited different sensitivities to APR-246, indicating cellular context dependency. Comparative transcriptome analysis on the three cell lines established from the same patient identified differential expression levels of several TP53 and apoptosis-associated genes such as APOL6, PENK, PCDH7 and MST4 in the APR-246-sensitive cell line relative to the less APR-246-sensitive cell lines.This is the first study reporting the biological response of Ewing sarcoma cells to APR-246 exposure and shows gross variability in responses. Our study also proposes candidate genes whose expression might be associated with ES cells' sensitivity to APR-246. With APR-246 currently in early-phase clinical trials, our findings call for caution in considering it as a potential adjuvant to conventional ES-specific chemotherapeutics.