Loss of p16INK4A stimulates aberrant mitochondrial biogenesis through a CDK4/Rb-independent pathway.
ABSTRACT: The tumor suppressor p16INK4A (p16) inhibits cell cycle progression through the CDK4/Rb pathway. We have previously shown that p16 regulates cellular oxidative stress, independent of its role in cell cycle control. We investigated whether loss of p16 had a direct impact on the mitochondria. We found that p16-null primary mouse fibroblasts (PMFs) displayed increased mitochondrial mass and expression of mitochondrial respiratory subunit proteins compared to wild-type (WT) PMFs. These findings in p16-null PMFs were associated with increased expression of the mitochondrial biogenesis transcription factors PRC and TFAM. On the other hand, p16-deficient PMFs demonstrated reduced mitochondrial respiration capacity consistent with electron microscopy findings showing that mitochondria in p16-deficient PMFs have abnormal morphology. Consistent with increased mitochondrial mass and reduced respiratory capacity, p16-deficient PMFs generated increased mitochondrial superoxide. One biological consequence of elevated ROS in p16-deficient PMFs was enhanced migration, which was reduced by the ROS scavenger N-acetylcysteine. Finally, p16-deficient PMFs displayed increased mitochondrial membrane potential, which was also required for their enhanced migration. The mitochondrial and migration phenotype was restored in p16-deficient PMFs by forced expression of p16. Similarly, over-expression of p16 in human melanocytes and A375 melanoma cells led to decreased expression of some mitochondrial respiratory proteins, enhanced respiration, and decreased migration. Inhibition of Rb phosphorylation in melanocytes and melanoma cells, either by addition of chemical CDK4 inhibitors or RNAi-mediated knockdown of CDK4, did not mimic the effects of p16 loss. These results suggest that p16 regulates mitochondrial biogenesis and function, which is independent of the canonical CDK4/Rb pathway.
Project description:Mutations or deletions in the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p16(INK4A) are associated with multiple cancer types, but are more commonly found in melanoma tumors and associated with familial melanoma predisposition. Although p16 is thought to function as a tumor suppressor by negatively regulating the cell cycle, it remains unclear why the genetic compromise of p16 predisposes to melanoma over other cancers. Here we describe a novel role for p16 in regulating oxidative stress in several cell types, including melanocytes. Expression of p16 was rapidly upregulated following ultraviolet-irradiation and in response to H?O?-induced oxidative stress in a p38 stress-activated protein kinase-dependent manner. Knockdown of p16 using small interfering RNA increased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative (8-oxoguanine) DNA damage, which was further enhanced by H?O? treatment. Elevated ROS levels were also observed in p16-depleted human keratinocytes and in whole skin and dermal fibroblasts from Cdkn2a-deficient mice. Aberrant ROS and p38 signaling in Cdkn2a-deficient fibroblasts was normalized by expression of exogenous p16. The effect of p16 depletion on ROS was not recapitulated by the knockdown of retinoblastoma protein (Rb) and did not require Rb. Finally, p16-mediated suppression of ROS could not be attributed to the potential effects of p16 on cell cycle phase. These findings suggest a potential alternate Rb-independent tumor-suppressor function of p16 as an endogenous regulator of carcinogenic intracellular oxidative stress. Compared with keratinocytes and fibroblasts, we also found increased susceptibility of melanocytes to oxidative stress in the context of p16 depletion, which may explain why the compromise of p16 predisposes to melanoma over other cancers.
Project description:Deregulation of the p16(INK4a)-Cdk4/6-Rb pathway is commonly detected in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and is a rational therapeutic target. Here, we characterized the p16(INK4a)-Cdk4/6-Rb pathway in the Mayo panel of GBM xenografts, established from primary tissue samples from patients with GBM, and evaluated their response to PD0332991, a specific inhibitor of Cdk4/6. All GBM xenograft lines evaluated in this study had disruptions in the p16(INK4a)-Cdk4/6-Rb pathway. In vitro evaluation using short-term explant cultures from selected GBM xenograft lines showed that PD0332991 effectively arrested cell cycle in G1-phase and inhibited cell proliferation dose-dependently in lines deleted for CDKN2A/B-p16(INK4a) and either single-copy deletion of CDK4 (GBM22), high-level CDK6 amplification (GBM34), or deletion of CDKN2C/p18(INK4c) (GBM43). In contrast, 2 GBM lines with p16(INK4a) expression and either CDK4 amplification (GBM5) or RB mutation (GBM28) were completely resistant to PD0332991. Additional xenograft lines were screened, and GBM63 was identified to have p16(INK4a) expression and CDK4 amplification. Similar to the results with GBM5, GBM63 was resistant to PD0332991 treatment. In an orthotopic survival model, treatment of GBM6 xenografts (CDKN2A/B-deleted and CDK4 wild-type) with PD0332991 significantly suppressed tumor cell proliferation and prolonged survival. Collectively, these data support the concept that GBM tumors lacking p16(INK4a) expression and with nonamplified CDK4 and wild-type RB status may be more susceptible to Cdk4/6 inhibition using PD0332991.
Project description:PD-0332991 is a selective inhibitor of the CDK4/6 kinases with the ability to block retinoblastoma (Rb) phosphorylation in the low nanomolar range. Here we investigate the role of CDK4/6 inhibition in human ovarian cancer.We examined the effects of PD-0332991 on proliferation, cell-cycle, apoptosis, and Rb phosphorylation using a panel of 40 established human ovarian cancer cell lines. Molecular markers for response prediction, including p16 and Rb, were studied using gene expression profiling, Western blot, and array CGH. Multiple drug effect analysis was used to study interactions with chemotherapeutic drugs. Expression of p16 and Rb was studied using immunohistochemistry in a large clinical cohort of ovarian cancer patients.Concentration-dependent antiproliferative effects of PD-0332991 were seen in all ovarian cancer cell lines, but varied significantly between individual lines. Rb-proficient cell lines with low p16 expression were most responsive to CDK4/6 inhibition. Copy number variations of CDKN2A, RB, CCNE1, and CCND1 were associated with response to PD-0332991. CDK4/6 inhibition induced G0/G1 cell cycle arrest, blocked Rb phosphorylation in a concentration-and time-dependent manner, and enhanced the effects of chemotherapy. Rb-proficiency with low p16 expression was seen in 97/262 (37%) of ovarian cancer patients and was independently associated with poor progression-free survival (adjusted relative risk 1.49, 95% CI 1.00-2.24, P = 0.052).PD-0332991 shows promising biologic activity in ovarian cancer cell lines. Assessment of Rb and p16 expression may help select patients most likely to benefit from CDK4/6 inhibition in ovarian cancer.
Project description:The retinoblastoma (RB)/p16(INK4a) pathway regulates senescence of human melanocytes in culture and oncogene-induced senescence of melanocytic nevi in vivo. This senescence response is likely due to chromatin modifications because RB complexes from senescent melanocytes contain increased levels of histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity and tethered HDAC1. Here we show that HDAC1 is prominently detected in p16(INK4a)-positive, senescent intradermal melanocytic nevi but not in proliferating, recurrent nevus cells that localize to the epidermal/dermal junction. To assess the role of HDAC1 in the senescence of melanocytes and nevi, we used tetracycline-based inducible expression systems in cultured melanocytic cells. We found that HDAC1 drives a sequential and cooperative activity of chromatin remodeling effectors, including transient recruitment of Brahma (Brm1) into RB/HDAC1 mega-complexes, formation of heterochromatin protein 1 beta (HP1 beta)/SUV39H1 foci, methylation of H3-K9, stable association of RB with chromatin and significant global heterochromatinization. These chromatin changes coincide with expression of typical markers of senescence, including the senescent-associated beta-galactosidase marker. Notably, formation of RB/HP1 beta foci and early tethering of RB to chromatin depends on intact Brm1 ATPase activity. As cells reached senescence, ejection of Brm1 from chromatin coincided with its dissociation from HP1 beta/RB and relocalization to protein complexes of lower molecular weight. These results provide new insights into the role of the RB pathway in regulating cellular senescence and implicate HDAC1 as a likely mediator of early chromatin remodeling events.
Project description:Deregulation of the p16INK4a-cyclin D:cyclin-dependent kinases (cdk) 4/6-retinoblastoma (pRB) pathway is a common paradigm in the oncogenic transformation of human cells and suggests that this pathway functions linearly in malignant transformation. However, it is not understood why p16INK4a and cyclin D:cdk4/6 mutations are disproportionately more common than the rare genetic event of RB inactivation in human malignancies such as melanoma. To better understand how these complexes contribute to altered tissue homeostasis, we blocked cdk4/6 activation and acutely inactivated Rb by conditional mutagenesis during mouse hair follicle cycling. Inhibition of cdk4/6 in the skin by subcutaneous administration of a membrane-transducible TAT-p16INK4a protein completely blocked hair follicle growth and differentiation. In contrast, acute disruption of Rb in the skin of homozygous RbLoxP/LoxP mice via subcutaneous administration of TAT-Cre recombinase failed to affect hair growth. However, loss of Rb resulted in severe depigmentation of hair follicles. Further analysis of follicular melanocytes in vivo and in primary cell culture demonstrated that pRB plays a cell-autonomous role in melanocyte survival. Moreover, functional inactivation of all three Rb family members (Rb, p107, and p130) in primary melanocytes by treatment with a transducible TAT-E1A protein did not rescue the apoptotic phenotype. These findings suggest that deregulated cyclin D:cdk4/6 complexes and pRB perform nonoverlapping functions in vivo and provide a cellular mechanism that accounts for the low incidence of RB inactivation in cancers such as melanoma.
Project description:The KRAS gain-of-function mutation confers intrinsic resistance to targeted anti-cancer drugs and cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents, ultimately leading to treatment failure. KRAS mutation frequency in lung adenocarcinoma is ~15-30%. Novel therapeutic strategies should be developed to improve clinical outcomes in these cases. Deregulation of the p16/cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4/retinoblastoma (Rb) pathway is frequently observed in various cancers and it represents an attractive therapeutic target. We compared the anti-tumor efficacy of genetically knocked-down CDK4 and a pharmacological inhibitor of CDK4/6, CINK4, in KRAS mutation-positive lung adenocarcinoma cells. We also investigated changes in anti-proliferative activity and downstream molecules with these treatments in combination with paclitaxel. CDK4 short interfering RNA (siRNA) significantly increased paclitaxel sensitivity in KRAS mutation-positive H23 cells. CINK4 demonstrated concentration- and time-dependent anti-proliferative activity in 5 adenocarcinoma lines. CINK4 induced G 1 arrest by downregulating the p16/cyclin D1/Rb pathway, resulting in apoptotic induction via increased expression of cleaved caspase3, cleaved PARP and Bax. Combined CINK4 and paclitaxel produced synergistic anti-proliferative activity and increased apoptosis through reduced cyclin D1 and Bcl-2 in KRAS mutation-positive cancer cells. These data suggest CDK4 is a promising target for development of anti-cancer drugs and CINK4 combined with paclitaxel may be an effective therapeutic strategy for enhancing anti-tumor efficacy in KRAS mutation-positive lung adenocarcinoma.
Project description:The p16(INK4a)-Rb tumour suppressor pathway is required for the initiation and maintenance of cellular senescence, a state of permanent growth arrest that acts as a natural barrier against cancer progression. Senescence can be overcome if the pathway is not fully engaged, and this may occur when p16(INK4a) is inactivated. p16(INK4a) is frequently altered in human cancer and germline mutations affecting p16(INK4a) have been linked to melanoma susceptibility. To characterize the functions of melanoma-associated p16(INK4a) mutations, in terms of promoting proliferative arrest and initiating senescence, we utilized an inducible expression system in a melanoma cell model. We show that wild-type p16(INK4a) promotes rapid cell cycle arrest that leads to a senescence programme characterized by the appearance of chromatin foci, activation of acidic beta-galactosidase activity, p53 independence and Rb dependence. Accumulation of wild-type p16(INK4a) also promoted cell enlargement and extensive vacuolization independent of Rb status. In contrast, the highly penetrant p16(INK4a) variants, R24P and A36P failed to arrest cell proliferation and did not initiate senescence. We also show that overexpression of CDK4, or its homologue CDK6, but not the downstream kinase, CDK2, inhibited the ability of wild-type p16(INK4a) to promote cell cycle arrest and senescence. Our data provide the first evidence that p16(INK4a) can initiate a CDK4/6-dependent autonomous senescence programme that is disabled by inherited melanoma-associated mutations.
Project description:PD-0332991 is a selective inhibitor of the CDK4/6 kinases with the ability to block retinoblastoma (Rb) phosphorylation in the low nanomolar range. Here we investigate the role of CDK4/6 inhibition in human ovarian cancer. We examined the effects of PD-0332991 on proliferation, cell-cycle, apoptosis, and Rb phosphorylation using a panel of 40 established human ovarian cancer cell lines. Molecular markers for response prediction, including p16 and Rb, were studied using gene expression profiling, Western blot, and arrayCGH. Multiple drug effect analysis was used to study interactions with chemotherapeutic drugs. Expression of p16 and Rb was studied using immunohistochemistry in a large clinical cohort ovarian cancer patients. Concentration-dependent anti-proliferative effects of PD-0332991were seen in all ovarian cancer cell lines, but varied significantly between individual lines. Rb proficient cell lines with low p16 expression were most responsive to CDK4/6 inhibition. Copy number variations of CDKN2A, Rb, CCNE1, and CCND1 were associated with response to PD-0332991. CDK4/6 inhibition induced G0/G1 cell cycle arrest, blocked Rb phosphorylation in a concentration and time dependent manner, and enhanced the effects of chemotherapy. Rb proficiency with low p16 expression was seen in 97/262 (37%) of ovarian cancer patients and associated with adverse clinical outcome (progression free survival, adjusted relative risk 1.49, 95%CI 0.99-2.22, p =0.054). PD-0332991 shows promising biologic activity in ovarian cancer cell lines. Assessment of Rb and p16 expression may help select patients most likely to benefit from CDK4/6 inhibition in ovarian cancer. Gene expression of 40 individual ovarian cell lines relative to an ovarian cell line reference mix containing equal amounts of 41 ovarian cell lines (including OCC-1 which was later identified as originating from mouse). The expression data was correllated with cell line growth response to CDK 4/6 inhibitor PD-0332991 to identify genes associated with drug sensitivity and resistance.
Project description:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Tumor dissemination to the extra-hepatic region of the portal vein, lymph nodes, lungs or bones contributes to the high mortality seen in HCC; yet, the molecular mechanisms responsible for HCC metastasis remain unclear. Prior studies have suggested a potential link between accumulated cytoplasm-localized p16 and tumor progression. Here we report that p16 enhances metastasis-associated phenotypes in HCC cells - ectopic p16 expression increased cell migration in vitro, and lung colonization after intravenous injection, whereas knockdown of endogenous p16 reduced cell migration. Interestingly, analysis of p16 mutants indicated that the Cdk4 interaction domain is required for stimulation of HCC cell migration; however, knockdown of Cdk4 and Cdk6 showed that these proteins are dispensable for this phenomenon. Intriguingly, we found that in p16-positive HCC samples, p16 protein is predominantly localized in the cytoplasm. In addition, we identified a potential role for nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling in p16-stimulated migration, consistent with the predominantly cytoplasmic localization of p16 in IHC-positive HCC samples. Finally, we determined that p16-stimulated cell migration requires the Cdc42 GTPase. Our results demonstrate for the first time a pro-migratory role for p16, and suggest a potential mechanism for the observed association between cytoplasmic p16 and tumor progression in diverse tumor types.
Project description:Loss-of-function mutations in p16(INK4A) (CDKN2A) occur in approximately 80% of sporadic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), contributing to its early progression. Although this loss activates the cell-cycle-dependent kinases CDK4/6, which have been considered as drug targets for many years, p16(INK4A)-deficient PDAC cells are inherently resistant to CDK4/6 inhibitors. This study searched for targeted therapies that might synergize with CDK4/6 inhibition in this setting. We report that the IGF1R/IR inhibitor BMS-754807 cooperated with the CDK4/6 inhibitor PD-0332991 to strongly block proliferation of p16(INK4A)-deficient PDAC cells in vitro and in vivo. Sensitivity to this drug combination correlated with reduced activity of the master cell growth regulator mTORC1. Accordingly, replacing the IGF1R/IR inhibitor with the rapalog inhibitor temsirolimus broadened the sensitivity of PDAC cells to CDK4/6 inhibition. Our results establish targeted therapy combinations with robust cytostatic activity in p16(INK4A)-deficient PDAC cells and possible implications for improving treatment of a broad spectrum of human cancers characterized by p16(INK4A) loss.