Role of mTOR, Bad, and Survivin in RasGAP Fragment N-Mediated Cell Protection.
ABSTRACT: Partial cleavage of p120 RasGAP by caspase-3 in stressed cells generates an N-terminal fragment, called fragment N, which activates an anti-apoptotic Akt-dependent survival response. Akt regulates several effectors but which of these mediate fragment N-dependent cell protection has not been defined yet. Here we have investigated the role of mTORC1, Bad, and survivin in the capacity of fragment N to protect cells from apoptosis. Neither rapamycin, an inhibitor of mTORC1, nor silencing of raptor, a subunit of the mTORC1 complex, altered the ability of fragment N from inhibiting cisplatin- and Fas ligand-induced death. Cells lacking Bad, despite displaying a stronger resistance to apoptosis, were still protected by fragment N against cisplatin-induced death. Fragment N was also able to protect cells from Fas ligand-induced death in conditions where Bad plays no role in apoptosis regulation. Fragment N expression in cells did neither modulate survivin mRNA nor its protein expression. Moreover, the expression of cytoplasmic survivin, known to exert anti-apoptotic actions in cells, still occurred in UV-B-irradiated epidermis of mouse expressing a caspase-3-resistant RasGAP mutant that cannot produce fragment N. Additionally, survivin function in cell cycle progression was not affected by fragment N. These results indicate that, taken individually, mTOR, Bad, or Survivin are not required for fragment N to protect cells from cell death. We conclude that downstream targets of Akt other than mTORC1, Bad, or survivin mediate fragment N-induced protection or that several Akt effectors can compensate for each other to induce the pro-survival fragment N-dependent response.
Project description:Tight control of apoptosis is required for proper development and maintenance of homeostasis in multicellular organisms. Cells can protect themselves from potentially lethal stimuli by expressing antiapoptotic factors, such as inhibitors of apoptosis, FLICE (caspase 8)-inhibitory proteins, and members of the Bcl2 family. Here, we describe a mechanism that allows cells to survive once executioner caspases have been activated. This mechanism relies on the partial cleavage of RasGAP by caspase 3 into an amino-terminal fragment called fragment N. Generation of this fragment leads to the activation of the antiapoptotic Akt kinase, preventing further amplification of caspase activity. Partial cleavage of RasGAP is required for cell survival under stress conditions because cells expressing an uncleavable RasGAP mutant cannot activate Akt, cannot prevent amplification of caspase 3 activity, and eventually undergo apoptosis. Executioner caspases therefore control the extent of their own activation by a feedback regulatory mechanism initiated by the partial cleavage of RasGAP that is crucial for cell survival under adverse conditions.
Project description:Fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) are involved in proliferative and differentiation physiological responses. Deregulation of FGFR-mediated signaling involving the Ras/PI3K/Akt and the Ras/Raf/ERK MAPK pathways is causally involved in the development of several cancers. The caspase-3/p120 RasGAP module is a stress sensor switch. Under mild stress conditions, RasGAP is cleaved by caspase-3 at position 455. The resulting N-terminal fragment, called fragment N, stimulates anti-death signaling. When caspase-3 activity further increases, fragment N is cleaved at position 157. This generates a fragment, called N2, that no longer protects cells. Here, we investigated in Xenopus oocytes the impact of RasGAP and its fragments on FGF1-mediated signaling during G2/M cell cycle transition. RasGAP used its N-terminal Src homology 2 domain to bind FGFR once stimulated by FGF1, and this was necessary for the recruitment of Akt to the FGFR complex. Fragment N, which did not associate with the FGFR complex, favored FGF1-induced ERK stimulation, leading to accelerated G2/M transition. In contrast, fragment N2 bound the FGFR, and this inhibited mTORC2-dependent Akt Ser-473 phosphorylation and ERK2 phosphorylation but not phosphorylation of Akt on Thr-308. This also blocked cell cycle progression. Inhibition of Akt Ser-473 phosphorylation and entry into G2/M was relieved by PHLPP phosphatase inhibition. Hence, full-length RasGAP favors Akt activity by shielding it from deactivating phosphatases. This shielding was abrogated by fragment N2. These results highlight the role played by RasGAP in FGFR signaling and how graded stress intensities, by generating different RasGAP fragments, can positively or negatively impact this signaling.
Project description:Survivin has gained attention as a tumor-specific marker which is upregulated in a variety of neoplasms. Although the survivin protein is implicated in anti-apoptotic tumor pathways, little is known about the function of the survivin promoter. In this study, we constructed a conditionally replicative adenoviral vector (CRAd) that utilizes the survivin promoter and examined the mechanism of CRAd induced cell death in malignant glioma. Our results indicate that CRAd vectors which utilize the survivin promoter effectively replicate in glioma cells and exhibit a high oncolytic effect. The survivin-mediated CRAd appeared to induce apoptosis as measured by Annexin/7-AAD. Caspase-3 and BAX mRNAs were upregulated based on microarray data, however, Western blot analysis of infected cells showed no evidence of elevated caspase-3, BAX, or p53 protein expression. Of note, at each time point infected glioma cells showed no evidence of activated BAD or AKT. The inhibition of AKT signaling led us to examine autophagy in infected cells. Electron micrographs of virally infected glioma cells suggested auto-phagosomal-mediated cell death and selective blocking of beclin with siRNA prevented autophagy. These results indicate that the survivin promoter enhances viral replication and induces autophagy of infected glioma cells via a beclin-dependent mechanism.
Project description:Insulin inhibits ischemia/reperfusion-induced myocardial apoptosis through the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. Survivin is a key regulator of anti-apoptosis against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity. Insulin increases survivin expression in cardiac myocytes to mediate cytoprotection. However, the mechanism by which survivin mediates the protective effect of insulin against doxorubicin-associated injury remains to be determined. In this study, we demonstrated that pretreatment of H9c2 cardiac myocytes with insulin resulted in a significant decrease in doxorubicin-induced apoptotic cell death by reducing cytochrome c release and caspase-3 activation. Doxorubicin-induced reduction of survivin mRNA and protein levels was also significantly perturbed by insulin pretreatment. Reducing survivin expression with survivin siRNA abrogated insulin-mediated inhibition of caspase-3 activation, suggesting that insulin signals to survivin inhibited caspase-3 activation. Interestingly, pretreatment of H9c2 cells with insulin or MG132, a proteasome inhibitor, inhibited doxorubicin-induced degradation of the transcription factor Sp1. ChIP assay showed that pretreatment with insulin inhibited doxorubicin-stimulated Sp1 dissociation from the survivin promoter. Finally using pharmacological inhibitors of the PI3K pathway, we showed that insulin-mediated activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 pathway prevented doxorubicin-induced proteasome-mediated degradation of Sp1. Taken together, insulin pretreatment confers a protective effect against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity by promoting Sp1-mediated transactivation of survivin to inhibit apoptosis. Our study is the first to define a role for survivin in cellular protection by insulin against doxorubicin-associated injury and show that Sp1 is a critical factor in the transcriptional regulation of survivin.
Project description:Doxorubicin (DOX) is a widely used anti-cancer drug; however, it has limited application due to cardiotoxicity. Extracorporeal shock waves (ESW) have been suggested to treat inflammatory and ischemic diseases, but the concrete effect of ESW in DOX-induced cardiomyopathy remain obscure. After H9c2 cells were subjected to ESW (0.04 mJ/cm2), they were treated with 1 μM DOX. As a result, ESW protected cardiomyocytes from DOX-induced cell death. H9c2 cells treated with DOX downregulated p-Akt and survivin expression, whereas the ESW treatment recovered both, suggesting its anti-apoptotic effect. ESW activated integrin αvβ3 and αvβ5, cardiomyocyte mechanosensors, followed by upregulation of ILK, p-Akt and survivin levels. Further, Sp1 and p53 were determined as key transcriptional factors mediating survivin expression via Akt phosphorylation by ESW. In in vivo acute DOX-induced cardiomyopathy model, the echocardiographic results showed that group subjected to ESW recovered from acute DOX-induced cardiomyopathy; left ventricular function was improved. The immunohistochemical staining results showed increased survivin and Bcl2 expression in ESW + DOX group compared to those in the DOX-injected group. In conclusion, non-invasive shockwaves protect cardiomyocytes from DOX-induced cardiomyopathy by upregulating survivin via integrin-ILK-Akt-Sp1/p53 pathway. In vivo study proposed ESW as a new kind of specific and safe therapy against acute DOX-induced cardiomyopathy.
Project description:Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common form of cancer worldwide. We previously documented an anti-apoptotic role for CDC25A in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), an activity dependent on its association with 14-3-3 proteins. We hypothesized that targeting CDC25A-14-3-3? interactions may be an effective strategy for inducing skin cancer cell apoptosis. Co-immunoprecipitation revealed that CDC25A associated with 14-3-3?, 14-3-3? and 14-3-3? in SCC cells but not normal keratinocytes. 14-3-3? and CDC25A activated Akt/BAD/Survivin pro-survival signaling. To target the interaction of 14-3-3? with CDC25A for cancer therapy, we developed two novel phospho-peptides, pS and pT, corresponding to each of the 14-3-3 binding sites of CDC25A, to specifically interfere with 14-3-3? binding to CDC25A. Peptides pT (IC50 = 22.1 ?M), and pS (IC50 = 29 ?M) induced SCC cell death and blocked 14-3-3? binding to CDC25A. pS or pT treatment of SCC xenografts increased apoptotic cell death and decreased pro-survival P-Akt (S473) and Survivin, demonstrating the effectiveness of the peptides in vivo. These findings lay a framework for the further development of peptides to target 14-3-3?-CDC25A interactions for skin cancer treatment.
Project description:Hepatitis B spliced protein (HBSP) is known to associate with viral persistence and pathogenesis; however, its biological and clinical significance remains poorly defined. Acquired resistance to Fas-mediated apoptosis is thought to be one of the major promotors for hepatitis B virus (HBV) chronicity and malignancy. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether HBSP could protect hepatocytes against Fas-initiated apoptosis. We showed here that HBSP mediated resistance of hepatoma cells or primary human hepatocytes (PHH) to agonistic anti-Fas antibody (CH11)- or FasL-induced apoptosis. Under Fas signaling stimulation, expression of HBSP inhibited Fas aggregation and prevented recruitment of the adaptor molecule Fas-associated death domain (FADD) and procaspase-8 (or FADD-like interleukin-1?-converting enzyme [FLICE]) into the death-inducing signaling complex (DISC) while increasing recruitment of cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein L (FLIPL) into the DISC. Those effects may be mediated through activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway as evidenced by increased cellular phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate (PIP3) content and PI3K activity and enhanced phosphorylation of mTORC2 and PDPK1 as well as Akt itself. Confirmedly, inhibition of PI3K by LY294002 reversed the effect of HBSP on Fas aggregation, FLIPL expression, and cellular apoptosis. These results indicate that HBSP functions to prevent hepatocytes from Fas-induced apoptosis by enhancing PI3K/Akt activity, which may contribute to the survival and persistence of infected hepatocytes during chronic infection.IMPORTANCE Our study revealed a previously unappreciated role of HBSP in Fas-mediated apoptosis. The antiapoptotic activity of HBSP is important for understanding hepatitis B virus pathogenesis. In particular, HBV variants associated with hepatoma carcinoma may downregulate apoptosis of hepatocytes through enhanced HBSP expression. Our study also found that Akt is centrally involved in Fas-induced hepatocyte apoptosis and revealed that interventions directed at inhibiting the activation or functional activity of Akt may be of therapeutic value in this process.
Project description:BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:Reducing the number of adipocytes by inducing apoptosis of mature adipocytes as well as suppressing differentiation of preadipocytes plays an important role in preventing obesity. This study examines the anti-adipogenic and pro-apoptotic effect of red pepper seed water extract (RPS) prepared at 4? (RPS4) in 3T3-L1 cells. MATERIALS/METHODS:Effect of RPS4 or its fractions on lipid accumulation was determined in 3T3-L1 cells using oil red O (ORO) staining. The expressions of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and adipogenic associated proteins [peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-? (PPAR-?), CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins ? (C/EBP ?), sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c), fatty acid synthase (FAS), and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC)] were measured in 3T3-L1 cells treated with RPS4. Apoptosis and the expression of Akt and Bcl-2 family proteins [B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), Bcl-2-associated death promoter (Bad), Bcl-2 like protein 4 (Bax), Bal-2 homologous antagonist/killer (Bak)] were measured in mature 3T3-L1 cells treated with RPS4. RESULTS:Treatment of RPS4 (0-75 µg/mL) or its fractions (0-50 µg/mL) for 24 h did not have an apparent cytotoxicity on pre and mature 3T3-L1 cells. RPS4 significantly suppressed differentiation and cellular lipid accumulation by increasing the phosphorylation of AMPK and reducing the expression of PPAR-?, C/EBP ?, SREBP-1c, FAS, and ACC. In addition, all fractions except ethyl acetate fraction significantly suppressed cellular lipid accumulation. RPS4 induced the apoptosis of mature adipocytes by hypophosphorylating Akt, increasing the expression of the pro-apoptotic proteins, Bak, Bax, and Bad, and reducing the expression of the anti-apoptotic proteins, Bcl-2 and p-Bad. CONCLUSIONS:These finding suggest that RPS4 can reduce the numbers as well as the size of adipocytes and might useful for preventing and treating obesity.
Project description:TNF-α related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) selectively kills tumor cells, without damaging normal cells. TRAIL receptors facilitate induction of apoptosis for selective elimination of malignant cells. However, some cancer cells have developed resistances to TRAIL which limits anticancer potential. Gelsolin, a multifunctional actin-binding protein, mediates cell death involving the TRAIL receptors in the hepatic stellate cell line, LX2. Here, we have shown that conditioned medium (CM) containing gelsolin fragments or an N-terminal gelsolin fragment (amino acid residues 1-70) in the presence of TRAIL impairs cell viability of TRAIL resistant transformed human hepatocytes (HepG2). Cell growth regulation by CM and TRAIL was associated with the modulation of p53/Mdm2, Erk and Akt phosphorylation status. The use of N-terminal gelsolin peptide1-70 alone or in combination with TRAIL, induced inhibition of Akt phosphorylation and key survival factors, Mdm2 and Survivin. Treatment of cells with an Akt activator SC79 or p53 siRNA reduced the effects of the N-terminal gelsolin fragment and TRAIL. Together, our study suggests that the N-terminal gelsolin fragment enhances TRAIL-induced loss of cell viability by inhibiting phosphorylation of Akt and promoting p53 function, effecting cell survival.
Project description:Diets rich in saturated fats may contribute to the loss of pancreatic ?-cells in type 2 diabetes. JunB, a member of the activating protein 1 (AP-1) transcription factor family, promotes ?-cell survival and mediates part of the beneficial effects of GLP-1 agonists. In this study we interrogated the molecular mechanisms involved in JunB-mediated ?-cell protection from lipotoxicity. The saturated fatty acid palmitate decreased JunB expression, and this loss may contribute to ?-cell apoptosis, as overexpression of JunB protected cells from lipotoxicity. Array analysis of JunB-deficient ?-cells identified a gene expression signature of a downregulated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response and inhibited AKT signaling. JunB stimulates XBP1 expression via the transcription factor c/EBP? during ER stress, and forced expression of XBP1s rescued the viability of JunB-deficient cells, constituting an important antiapoptotic mechanism. JunB silencing inhibited AKT activation and activated the proapoptotic Bcl-2 protein BAD via its dephosphorylation. BAD knockdown reversed lipotoxic ?-cell death potentiated by JunB siRNA. Interestingly, XBP1s links JunB and AKT signaling as XBP1 knockdown also reduced AKT phosphorylation. GLP-1 agonists induced cAMP-dependent AKT phosphorylation leading to ?-cell protection against palmitate-induced apoptosis. JunB and XBP1 knockdown or IRE1 inhibition decreased AKT activation by cAMP, leading to ?-cell apoptosis. In conclusion, JunB modulates the ?-cell ER stress response and AKT signaling via the induction of XBP1s. The activation of the JunB gene network and the crosstalk between the ER stress and AKT pathway constitute a crucial defense mechanism by which GLP-1 agonists protect against lipotoxic ?-cell death. These findings elucidate novel ?-cell-protective signal transduction in type 2 diabetes.