Ferroptosis as a p53-mediated activity during tumour suppression.
ABSTRACT: Although p53-mediated cell-cycle arrest, senescence and apoptosis serve as critical barriers to cancer development, emerging evidence suggests that the metabolic activities of p53 are also important. Here we show that p53 inhibits cystine uptake and sensitizes cells to ferroptosis, a non-apoptotic form of cell death, by repressing expression of SLC7A11, a key component of the cystine/glutamate antiporter. Notably, p53(3KR), an acetylation-defective mutant that fails to induce cell-cycle arrest, senescence and apoptosis, fully retains the ability to regulate SLC7A11 expression and induce ferroptosis upon reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced stress. Analysis of mutant mice shows that these non-canonical p53 activities contribute to embryonic development and the lethality associated with loss of Mdm2. Moreover, SLC7A11 is highly expressed in human tumours, and its overexpression inhibits ROS-induced ferroptosis and abrogates p53(3KR)-mediated tumour growth suppression in xenograft models. Our findings uncover a new mode of tumour suppression based on p53 regulation of cystine metabolism, ROS responses and ferroptosis.
Project description:Although p53-mediated cell cycle arrest, senescence and apoptosis are well accepted as major tumor suppression mechanisms, the loss of these functions does not directly lead to tumorigenesis, suggesting that the precise roles of these canonical activities of p53 need to be redefined. Here, we report that the cells derived from the mutant mice expressing p533KR, an acetylation-defective mutant that fails to induce cell-cycle arrest, senescence and apoptosis, exhibit high levels of aneuploidy upon DNA damage. Moreover, the embryonic lethality caused by the deficiency of XRCC4, a key DNA double strand break repair factor, can be fully rescued in the p533KR/3KR background. Notably, despite high levels of genomic instability, p533KR/3KRXRCC4-/- mice, unlike p53-/- XRCC4-/- mice, are not succumbed to pro-B-cell lymphomas. Nevertheless, p533KR/3KR XRCC4-/- mice display aging-like phenotypes including testicular atrophy, kyphosis, and premature death. Further analyses demonstrate that SLC7A11 is downregulated and that p53-mediated ferroptosis is significantly induced in spleens and testis of p533KR/3KRXRCC4-/- mice. These results demonstrate that the direct role of p53-mediated cell cycle arrest, senescence and apoptosis is to control genomic stability in vivo. Our study not only validates the importance of ferroptosis in p53-mediated tumor suppression in vivo but also reveals that the combination of genomic instability and activation of ferroptosis may promote aging-associated phenotypes.
Project description:The roles and regulatory mechanisms of ferroptosis (a non-apoptotic form of cell death) in cancer remain unclear. The tumour suppressor BRCA1-associated protein 1 (BAP1) encodes a nuclear deubiquitinating enzyme to reduce histone 2A ubiquitination (H2Aub) on chromatin. Here, integrated transcriptomic, epigenomic and cancer genomic analyses link BAP1 to metabolism-related biological processes, and identify cystine transporter SLC7A11 as a key BAP1 target gene in human cancers. Functional studies reveal that BAP1 decreases H2Aub occupancy on the SLC7A11 promoter and represses SLC7A11 expression in a deubiquitinating-dependent manner, and that BAP1 inhibits cystine uptake by repressing SLC7A11 expression, leading to elevated lipid peroxidation and ferroptosis. Furthermore, we show that BAP1 inhibits tumour development partly through SLC7A11 and ferroptosis, and that cancer-associated BAP1 mutants lose their abilities to repress SLC7A11 and to promote ferroptosis. Together, our results uncover a previously unappreciated epigenetic mechanism coupling ferroptosis to tumour suppression.
Project description:Cell-cycle arrest, apoptosis, and senescence are widely accepted as the major mechanisms by which p53 inhibits tumor formation. Nevertheless, it remains unclear whether they are the rate-limiting steps in tumor suppression. Here, we have generated mice bearing lysine to arginine mutations at one (p53(K117R)) or three (p53(3KR); K117R+K161R+K162R) of p53 acetylation sites. Although p53(K117R/K117R) cells are competent for p53-mediated cell-cycle arrest and senescence, but not apoptosis, all three of these processes are ablated in p53(3KR/3KR) cells. Surprisingly, unlike p53 null mice, which rapidly succumb to spontaneous thymic lymphomas, early-onset tumor formation does not occur in either p53(K117R/K117R) or p53(3KR/3KR) animals. Notably, p53(3KR) retains the ability to regulate energy metabolism and reactive oxygen species production. These findings underscore the crucial role of acetylation in differentially modulating p53 responses and suggest that unconventional activities of p53, such as metabolic regulation and antioxidant function, are critical for suppression of early-onset spontaneous tumorigenesis.
Project description:Recent evidence indicates that canonical functions of p53 (i.e., apoptosis and growth arrest) are dispensable for p53-mediated tumor suppression. We have uncovered a novel function of p53 that contributes to tumor suppression through regulation of cystine metabolism, reactive oxygen species responses, and ferroptosis. The p53-mediated ferroptotic response via SLC7A11 denotes an extra layer of defense against tumorigenesis in conjunction with other p53 functions.
Project description:The mechanism by which p53 suppresses tumorigenesis remains poorly understood. In the context of aberrant activation of the JAK/STAT5 pathway, SOCS1 is required for p53 activation and the regulation of cellular senescence. In order to identify p53 target genes acting during the senescence response to oncogenic STAT5A, we characterized the transcriptome of STAT5A-expressing cells after SOCS1 inhibition. We identified a set of SOCS1-dependent p53 target genes that include several secreted proteins and genes regulating oxidative metabolism and ferroptosis. Exogenous SOCS1 was sufficient to regulate the expression of p53 target genes and sensitized cells to ferroptosis. This effect correlated with the ability of SOCS1 to reduce the expression of the cystine transporter SLC7A11 and the levels of glutathione. SOCS1 and SOCS1-dependent p53 target genes were induced during the senescence response to oncogenic STAT5A, RasV12 or the tumor suppressor PML. However, while SOCS1 sensitized cells to ferroptosis neither RasV12 nor STAT5A mimicked the effect. Intriguingly, PML turned cells highly resistant to ferroptosis. The results indicate different susceptibilities to ferroptosis in senescent cells depending on the trigger and suggest the possibility of killing senescent cells by inhibiting pathways that mediate ferroptosis resistance.
Project description:Although ARF can suppress tumor growth by activating p53 function, the mechanisms by which it suppresses tumor growth independently of p53 are not well understood. Here, we identified ARF as a key regulator of nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (NRF2) through complex purification. ARF inhibits the ability of NRF2 to transcriptionally activate its target genes, including SLC7A11, a component of the cystine/glutamate antiporter that regulates reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced ferroptosis. As a consequence, ARF expression sensitizes cells to ferroptosis in a p53-independent manner while ARF depletion induces NRF2 activation and promotes cancer cell survival in response to oxidative stress. Moreover, the ability of ARF to induce p53-independent tumor growth suppression in mouse xenograft models is significantly abrogated upon NRF2 overexpression. These results demonstrate that NRF2 is a major target of p53-independent tumor suppression by ARF and also suggest that the ARF-NRF2 interaction acts as a new checkpoint for oxidative stress responses.
Project description:Although cell-cycle arrest, senescence, and apoptosis are established mechanisms of tumor suppression, accumulating evidence reveals that ferroptosis, an iron-dependent, nonapoptotic form of cell death, represents a new regulatory pathway in suppressing tumor development. Ferroptosis is triggered by lipid peroxidation and is tightly regulated by SLC7A11, a key component of the cystine-glutamate antiporter. Although many studies demonstrate the importance of transcriptional regulation of SLC7A11 in ferroptotic responses, it remains largely unknown how the stability of SLC7A11 is controlled in human cancers. In this study, we utilized biochemial purification to identify the ubiquitin hydrolase OTUB1 as a key factor in modulating SLC7A11 stability. OTUB1 directly interacted with and stabilized SLC7A11; conversely, OTUB1 knockdown diminished SLC7A11 levels in cancer cells. OTUB1 was overexpressed in human cancers, and inactivation of OTUB1 destabilized SLC7A11 and led to growth suppression of tumor xenografts in mice, which was associated with reduced activation of ferroptosis. Notably, overexpression of the cancer stem cell marker CD44 enhanced the stability of SLC7A11 by promoting the interaction between SLC7A11 and OTUB1; depletion of CD44 partially abrogated this interaction. CD44 expression suppressed ferroptosis in cancer cells in an OTUB1-dependent manner. Together, these results show that OTUB1 plays an essential role in controlling the stability of SLC7A11 and the CD44-mediated effects on ferroptosis in human cancers. SIGNIFICANCE: This study identifies OTUB1 as a key regulator of ferroptosis and implicates it as a potential target in cancer therapy.See related commentary by Gan, p. 1749.
Project description:Monoubiquitination of histone H2B on lysine 120 (H2Bub1) is an epigenetic mark generally associated with transcriptional activation, yet the global functions of H2Bub1 remain poorly understood. Ferroptosis is a form of non-apoptotic cell death characterized by the iron-dependent overproduction of lipid hydroperoxides, which can be inhibited by the antioxidant activity of the solute carrier family member 11 (SLC7A11/xCT), a component of the cystine/glutamate antiporter. Whether nuclear events participate in the regulation of ferroptosis is largely unknown. Here, we show that the levels of H2Bub1 are decreased during erastin-induced ferroptosis and that loss of H2Bub1 increases the cellular sensitivity to ferroptosis. H2Bub1 epigenetically activates the expression of SLC7A11. Additionally, we show that the tumor suppressor p53 negatively regulates H2Bub1 levels independently of p53's transcription factor activity by promoting the nuclear translocation of the deubiquitinase USP7. Moreover, our studies reveal that p53 decreases H2Bub1 occupancy on the SLC7A11 gene regulatory region and represses the expression of SLC7A11 during erastin treatment. These data not only suggest a noncanonical role of p53 in chromatin regulation but also link p53 to ferroptosis via an H2Bub1-mediated epigenetic pathway. Overall, our work uncovers a previously unappreciated epigenetic mechanism for the regulation of ferroptosis.
Project description:Compared to the well-established roles of apoptosis in tumor suppression, the roles and regulatory mechanisms of ferroptosis, a non-apoptotic form of cell death, in tumor biology remain much less understood. BRCA1-associated protein 1 (BAP1) encodes a nuclear de-ubiquitinating (DUB) enzyme to reduce histone 2A ubiquitination (H2Aub) on chromatin, and is a tumor suppressor in several human cancers. Here, integrated transcriptomic, epigenomic, and cancer genomic analyses link BAP1 to metabolism-related biological processes, including oxidative stress response, and identify cystine transporter SLC7A11 as a BAP1-repressed target gene with high relevance to BAP1-mediated tumor suppression in human cancers. Functional studies reveal that BAP1, in a DUB-dependent manner, decreases H2Aub occupancy on the SLC7A11 promoter and represses SLC7A11 expression, and that BAP1 inhibits cystine uptake and promotes ferroptosis through repressing SLC7A11 expression. Finally, we show that BAP1 inhibits tumor development partly through SLC7A11, and that cancer-associated BAP1 mutants lose their abilities to repress SLC7A11 and to promote ferroptosis. Together, the results of our study show that BAP1 executes its tumor suppression function at least partly through its regulation of SLC7A11 and ferroptosis, and uncover a previously unappreciated mechanism coupling ferroptosis to tumor suppression. Overall design: ChIP-seq of H2AK119ub was applied in UMRC6 EV, BAP1 WT and C91A cells
Project description:Although previous studies indicate that loss of p53-mediated cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and senescence does not completely abrogate its tumor suppression function, it is unclear how the remaining activities of p53 are regulated. Here, we have identified an acetylation site at lysine K98 in mouse p53 (or K101 for human p53). Whereas the loss of K98 acetylation (p53K98R) alone has very modest effects on p53-mediated transactivation, simultaneous mutations at all four acetylation sites (p534KR: K98R+ 3KR[K117R+K161R+K162R]) completely abolish its ability to regulate metabolic targets, such as TIGAR and SLC7A11. Notably, in contrast to p533KR, p534KR is severely defective in suppressing tumor growth in mouse xenograft models. Moreover, p534KR is still capable of inducing the p53-Mdm2 feedback loop, but p53-dependent ferroptotic responses are markedly abrogated. Together, these data indicate the critical role of p53 acetylation in ferroptotic responses and its remaining tumor suppression activity.