Nuclear FOXO3 predicts adverse clinical outcome and promotes tumor angiogenesis in neuroblastoma.
ABSTRACT: Neuroblastoma is the most frequent, extracranial solid tumor in children with still poor prognosis in stage IV disease. In this study, we analyzed FOXO3-phosphorylation and cellular localization in tumor biopsies and determined the function of this homeostasis regulator in vitro and in vivo. FOXO3-phosphorylation at threonine-32 (T32) and nuclear localization in biopsies significantly correlated with stage IV disease. DNA-damaging drugs induced nuclear accumulation of FOXO3, which was associated with elevated T32-phosphorylation in stage IV-derived neuroblastoma cells, thereby reflecting the in situ results. In contrast, hypoxic conditions repressed PKB-activity and caused dephosphorylation of FOXO3 in both, stroma-like SH-EP and high-stage-derived STA-NB15 cells. The activation of an ectopically-expressed FOXO3 in these cells reduced viability at normoxia, but promoted growth at hypoxic conditions and elevated VEGF-C-expression. In chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assays STA-NB15 tumors with ectopic FOXO3 showed increased micro-vessel formation and, when xenografted into nude mice, a gene-dosage-dependent effect of FOXO3 in high-stage STA-NB15 cells became evident: low-level activation increased tumor-vascularization, whereas hyper-activation repressed tumor growth.The combined data suggest that, depending on the mode and intensity of activation, cellular FOXO3 acts as a homeostasis regulator promoting tumor growth at hypoxic conditions and tumor angiogenesis in high-stage neuroblastoma.
Project description:The biological mechanisms underlying early- and advanced-stage epithelial ovarian cancers (EOCs) are still poorly understood. This study explored kinase-driven metabolic signalling in early and advanced EOCs, and its role in tumour progression and response to carboplatin-paclitaxel treatment.Tumour epithelia were isolated from two independent sets of primary EOC (n=72 and 30 for the discovery and the validation sets, respectively) via laser capture microdissection. Reverse phase protein microarrays were used to broadly profile the kinase-driven metabolic signalling of EOC with particular emphasis on the LBK1-AMPK and AKT-mTOR axes. Signalling activation was compared between early and advanced lesions, and carboplatin-paclitaxel-sensitive and -resistant tumours.Advanced EOCs were characterised by a heterogeneous kinase-driven metabolic signature and decreased phosphorylation of the AMPK-AKT-mTOR axis compared to early EOC (P<0.05 for AMPK? T172, AMPK?1 S485, AMPK?1 S108, AKT S473 and T308, mTOR S2448, p70S6 S371, 4EBP1 S65, GSK-3 ?/? S21/9, FOXO1 T24/FOXO3 T32, and FOXO1 S256). Advanced tumours with low relative activation of the metabolic signature and increased FOXO1 T24/FOXO3 T32 phosphorylation (P=0.041) were associated with carboplatin-paclitaxel resistance.If validated in a larger cohort of patients, the decreased AMPK-AKT-mTOR activation and phosphorylation of FOXO1 T24/FOXO3 T32 may help identify carboplatin-paclitaxel-resistant EOC patients.
Project description:Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors control diverse cellular functions, such as cell death, metabolism, and longevity. We analyzed FOXO3/FKHRL1 expression and subcellular localization in tumor sections of neuroblastoma patients and observed a correlation between nuclear FOXO3 and high caspase-8 expression. In neuroblastoma caspase-8 is frequently silenced by DNA methylation. Conditional FOXO3 activated caspase-8 gene expression but did not change the DNA-methylation pattern of regulatory sequences in the caspase-8 gene. Instead, FOXO3 induced phosphorylation of its binding partner ATM and of the ATM downstream target cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB), which was critical for FOXO3-mediated caspase-8 expression. Caspase-8 levels above a critical threshold sensitized neuroblastoma cells to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand-induced cell death. The DNA-demethylating drug 5-Aza-2-deoxycytidine (5-azadC) induced rapid nuclear accumulation of FOXO3, ATM-dependent CREB phosphorylation, and caspase-8 expression in a FOXO3-dependent manner. This indicates that 5-azadC activates the FOXO3-ATM-CREB signaling pathway, which contributes to caspase-8 expression. The combined data suggest that FOXO3 is activated by 5-azadC treatment and triggers expression of caspase-8 in caspase-8-negative neuroblastoma, which may have important implication for metastasis, therapy, and death resistance of this childhood malignancy.
Project description:Precision in redox signaling is attained through posttranslational protein modifications such as oxidation of protein thiols. The peroxidase peroxiredoxin 1 (PRDX1) regulates signal transduction through changes in thiol oxidation of its cysteines. We demonstrate here that PRDX1 is a binding partner for the tumor suppressive transcription factor FOXO3 that directly regulates the FOXO3 stress response. Heightened oxidative stress evokes formation of disulfide-bound heterotrimers linking dimeric PRDX1 to monomeric FOXO3. Absence of PRDX1 enhances FOXO3 nuclear localization and transcription that are dependent on the presence of Cys31 or Cys150 within FOXO3. Notably, FOXO3-T32 phosphorylation is constitutively enhanced in these mutants, but nuclear translocation of mutant FOXO3 is restored with PI3K inhibition. Here we show that on H2O2 exposure, transcription of tumor suppressive miRNAs let-7b and let-7c is regulated by FOXO3 or PRDX1 expression levels and that let-7c is a novel target for FOXO3. Conjointly, inhibition of let-7 microRNAs increases let-7-phenotypes in PRDX1-deficient breast cancer cells. Altogether, these data ascertain the existence of an H2O2-sensitive PRDX1-FOXO3 signaling axis that fine tunes FOXO3 activity toward the transcription of gene targets in response to oxidative stress. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 28, 62-77.
Project description:Neuroblastoma is the most frequent extra-cranial solid tumor in children with still high mortality in stage M. Here we studied the tubulin-inhibitor MG-2477 as a possible therapeutic agent for neuroblastoma therapy and uncovered that MG-2477 induces death in neuroblastoma cells independent of PKB-activation status and stage. MG-2477 triggers within 30 minutes extensive autophagosome-formation that finally leads to cell death associated with mitotic catastrophe. Autophagy is critical for MG-2477-induced death and is regulated by the BH3-only protein PMAIP1/NOXA which sequesters the anti-apoptotic BCL2-protein BCLXL and thereby displaces and activates the autophagy-regulator BECN1/beclin1. Knockdown of NOXA or overexpression of its pro-survival binding partners MCL1 and BCLXL counteracts MG-2477-induced cell death. MG-2477 also rapidly induces the repression of the anti-apoptotic protein Survivin, which promotes autophagy and cell death. We further observed the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that triggers autophagy induction suggesting a change of the PI3 kinase-III/BECN1 complex and activates the transcription factor FOXO3, which contributes to final cell death induction. The combined data suggest that MG-2477 induces a sequential process of ROS-accumulation, autophagy and FOXO3-activation that leads to cell death in neuroblastoma cells.
Project description:The transcription factor FOXO3 has been associated in different tumor entities with hallmarks of cancer, including metastasis, tumor angiogenesis, maintenance of tumor-initiating stem cells, and drug resistance. In neuroblastoma (NB), we recently demonstrated that nuclear FOXO3 promotes tumor angiogenesis in vivo and chemoresistance in vitro. Hence, inhibiting the transcriptional activity of FOXO3 is a promising therapeutic strategy. However, as no FOXO3 inhibitor is clinically available to date, we used a medium-throughput fluorescence polarization assay (FPA) screening in a drug-repositioning approach to identify compounds that bind to the FOXO3-DNA-binding-domain (DBD). Carbenoxolone (CBX), a glycyrrhetinic acid derivative, was identified as a potential FOXO3-inhibitory compound that binds to the FOXO3-DBD with a binding affinity of 19?µM. Specific interaction of CBX with the FOXO3-DBD was validated by fluorescence-based electrophoretic mobility shift assay (FAM-EMSA). CBX inhibits the transcriptional activity of FOXO3 target genes, as determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), DEPP-, and BIM promoter reporter assays, and real-time RT-PCR analyses. In high-stage NB cells with functional TP53, FOXO3 triggers the expression of SESN3, which increases chemoprotection and cell survival. Importantly, FOXO3 inhibition by CBX treatment at pharmacologically relevant concentrations efficiently repressed FOXO3-mediated SESN3 expression and clonogenic survival and sensitized high-stage NB cells to chemotherapy in a 2D and 3D culture model. Thus, CBX might be a promising novel candidate for the treatment of therapy-resistant high-stage NB and other "FOXO-resistant" cancers.
Project description:Forkhead box O class transcription factors are homeostasis regulators that control cell death, longevity and therapy-resistance. In neuroblastoma (NB), nuclear FOXO3 correlates with stage M disease and poor prognosis. To analyze whether FOXO3 contributes to drug-resistance in this childhood cancer, we investigated how different high-stage-derived NB cells respond to the activation of an ectopic FOXO3 allele. We found endogenous FOXO3 mostly localized to the nucleus-upon activation of an ectopic, 4OHT-activated FOXO3(A3)ER fusion protein two of the cell lines underwent apoptosis, whereas in the others FOXO3-activation even increased survival during drug-treatment. In the latter cell type, FOXO3 did not induce the BH3-only protein BCL2L11/BIM due to impaired binding of FOXO3 to the BIM-promoter, but still activated other FOXO3 targets. It was shown before that FOXO3 and TP53 physically interact with each other at two different regions-the TP53-N-terminus binds to the FOXO3-DNA binding domain (DBD) and the FOXO3-C-terminus interacts with the TP53-DBD. Interestingly, cell lines that undergo FOXO3-induced cell death carry homozygous point mutations in the TP53-DBD near the structural hotspot-mutation-site R175H, which abrogated FOXO3-TP53 interaction. In contrast, in FOXO3-death-resistant cells no point mutations in the TP53-DBD were found-in these cells FOXO3-TP53 complexes are formed and FOXO3-binding to the BIM-promoter, but not the induction of the detoxifying protein SESN3, were prevented, which in turn increased chemo-protection in this type of high-stage-derived NB cells. Our combined data suggest that FOXO3 steps in as a death inducer in case of TP53-mutation, whereas functional TP53 alters FOXO3-target-promoter-recognition, which prevents death induction by FOXO3 and instead increases chemo-protection and survival of NB cells. This novel mechanism may explain the low incidence of TP53 mutation in high-stage NB at diagnosis and suggests FOXO3 as a therapeutic target for this childhood malignancy.
Project description:The transcription factor FOXO3 is associated with poor outcome in high-stage neuroblastoma (NB), as it facilitates chemoprotection and tumor angiogenesis. In other tumor entities, FOXO3 stimulates metastasis formation, one of the biggest challenges in the treatment of aggressive NB. However, the impact of FOXO3 on the metastatic potential of neuronal tumor cells remains largely unknown. In the present study, we uncover the small leucine-rich proteoglycan family member lumican (LUM) as a FOXO3-regulated gene that stimulates cellular migration in NB. By a drug-library screen we identified the small molecular weight compound repaglinide (RPG) as a putative FOXO3 inhibitor. Here, we verify that RPG binds to the FOXO3-DNA-binding-domain (DBD) and thereby silences the transcriptional activity of FOXO3. Consistent with the concept that the FOXO3/LUM axis enhances the migratory capacity of aggressive NB cells, we demonstrate that stable knockdown of LUM abrogates the FOXO3-mediated increase in cellular migration. Importantly, FOXO3 inhibition by RPG represses the binding of FOXO3 to the LUM promoter, inhibits FOXO3-mediated LUM RNA and protein expression, and efficiently abrogates FOXO3-triggered cellular "wound healing" as well as spheroid-based 3D-migration. Thus, silencing the FOXO3/LUM axis by the FDA-approved compound RPG represents a promising strategy for novel therapeutic interventions in NB and other FOXO3-dependent tumors.
Project description:Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, with a 5-year survival of only ~16%. Potential strategies to address NSCLC mortality include improvements in early detection and prevention, and development of new therapies suitable for use in patients with early and late stage diagnoses. Controlling the growth of early stage tumors could yield significant clinical benefits for patients with comorbidities that make them poor candidates for surgery: however, many drugs that limit cancer growth are not useful in the setting of long-term use or in comorbid patients, because of associated toxicities. In this study, we explored the use of a recently described small molecule agent, STA-8666, as a potential agent for controlling early stage tumor growth. STA-8666 uses a cleavable linker to merge a tumor-targeting moiety that binds heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) with the cytotoxic chemical SN38, and has been shown to have high efficacy and low toxicity, associated with efficient tumor targeting, in preclinical studies using patient-derived and other xenograft models for pancreatic, bladder, and small cell lung cancer. Using a genetically engineered model of NSCLC arising from induced mutation of KRas and knockout of Trp53, we continuously dosed mice with STA-8666 from immediately after tumor induction for 15 weeks. STA-8666 significantly slowed the rate of tumor growth, and was well tolerated over this extended dosing period. STA-8666 induced DNA damage and apoptosis, and reduced proliferation and phosphorylation of the proliferation-associated protein ERK1/2, selectively in tumor tissue. In contrast, STA-8666 did not affect tumor features, such as degree of vimentin staining, associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), or downregulate tumor expression of HSP90. These data suggest STA-8666 and other similar targeted compounds may be useful additions to control the growth of early stage NSCLC in patient populations.
Project description:Acute kidney injury (AKI) can lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD) if injury is severe and/or repair is incomplete. However, the pathogenesis of CKD following renal ischemic injury is not fully understood. Capillary rarefaction and tubular hypoxia are common findings during the AKI to CKD transition. We investigated the tubular stress response to hypoxia and demonstrated that a stress responsive transcription factor, FoxO3, was regulated by prolyl hydroxylase. Hypoxia inhibited FoxO3 prolyl hydroxylation and FoxO3 degradation, thus leading to FoxO3 accumulation and activation in tubular cells. Hypoxia-activated Hif-1α contributed to FoxO3 activation and functioned to protect kidneys, as tubular deletion of Hif-1α decreased hypoxia-induced FoxO3 activation, and resulted in more severe tubular injury and interstitial fibrosis following ischemic injury. Strikingly, tubular deletion of FoxO3 during the AKI to CKD transition aggravated renal structural and functional damage leading to a more profound CKD phenotype. We showed that tubular deletion of FoxO3 resulted in decreased autophagic response and increased oxidative injury, which may explain renal protection by FoxO3. Our study indicates that in the hypoxic kidney, stress responsive transcription factors can be activated for adaptions to counteract hypoxic insults, thus attenuating CKD development.
Project description:Neuroblastoma is the most common solid tumor in childhood and develops from undifferentiated progenitor cells of the sympathetic nervous system. In neuronal tumor cells DNA-damaging chemotherapeutic agents activate the transcription factor FOXO3 which regulates the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and cell death as well as a longevity program associated with therapy resistance. We demonstrated before that C10ORF10/DEPP, a transcriptional target of FOXO3, localizes to peroxisomes and mitochondria and impairs cellular ROS detoxification. In the present study, we investigated the impact of FOXO3 and DEPP on the regulation of autophagy. Autophagy serves to reduce oxidative damage as it triggers a self-degradative process for the removal of aggregated or misfolded proteins and damaged organelles.The effect of FOXO3 and DEPP on autophagy induction was analyzed using live cell fluorescence microscopy and immunoblot analyses of SH-EP cells transfected with a plasmid for EYFP-LC3 and with siRNAs specific for LC3, respectively. ROS steady-state levels were measured with reduced MitoTrackerRed CM-H2XROS. Cellular apoptosis was analyzed by flow cytometry and the caspase 3/7 assay.We report for the first time that DEPP induces ROS accumulation and thereby mediates the formation of autophagosomes as inhibition of ROS formation by N-acetyl-cysteine completely blocks autophagy. We further demonstrate that H2O2-treatment triggers autophagy-induction by FOXO3-mediated DEPP expression. Importantly, knockdown of DEPP was sufficient to efficiently inhibit autophagy-induction under different stress conditions such as serum starvation and genotoxic stress, suggesting that DEPP expression is critical for the initiation of autophagy in neuroblastoma. FOXO3-triggered autophagy partially protects neuroblastoma cells from cell death. Consistent with this concept, we demonstrate that inhibition of autophagy by LC3-knockdown significantly increased etoposide- and doxorubicin-induced apoptosis. These results were also confirmed by the use of the autophagy-inhibitor chloroquine that significantly enhanced the chemotherapeutic effect of etoposide and doxorubicin in neuronal tumor cells.Targeting FOXO3/DEPP-triggered autophagy is a promising strategy to sensitize neuroblastoma cells to chemotherapy.