STK33 participates to HSP90-supported angiogenic program in hypoxic tumors by regulating HIF-1?/VEGF signaling pathway.
ABSTRACT: Lately, the HSP90 client serine/threonine kinase STK33 emerged to be required by cancer cells for their viability and proliferation. However, its mechanistic contribution to carcinogenesis is not clearly understood. Here we report that elevated STK33 expression correlates with advanced stages of human pancreatic and colorectal carcinomas. Impaired proliferation and augmented apoptosis associated with genetic abrogation of STK33 were paralleled by decreased vascularization in tumor xenografts. In line with this, ectopic STK33 not only promoted tumor growth after pharmacologic inhibition of HSP90 using structurally divergent small molecules currently in clinical development, but also restored blood vessel formation in vivo. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that HSP90-stabilized STK33 interacts with and regulates hypoxia-driven accumulation and activation of HIF-1? as well as secretion of VEGF-A in hypoxic cancer cells. In addition, our study reveals a putative cooperation between STK33 and other HSP90 client protein kinases involved in molecular and cellular events through which cancer cells ensure their survival by securing the oxygen and nutrient supply. Altogether, our findings indicate that STK33 interferes with signals from hypoxia and HSP90 to promote tumor angiogenesis and tumor growth.
Project description:STK33 has been reported to play an important role in cancer cell proliferation. We investigated the role of STK33 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and its underlying mechanisms.251 patients with HCC were analysed for association between STK33 expression and clinical stage and survival rate. Tamoxifen (TAM)-inducible, hepatocyte-specific STK33 transgenic and knockout mice models were used to study the role of STK33 in liver tumorigenesis. HCC cell lines were used to study the role of STK33 in cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo.STK33 expression was found to be frequently upregulated in patients with HCC. Significant associations were found between increased expression of STK33 and advanced HCC staging and shorter disease-free survival of patients. Overexpression of STK33 increased HCC cell proliferation both in vitro and in vivo, whereas suppression of STK33 inhibited this effect. Using a TAM-inducible, hepatocyte-specific STK33 transgenic mouse model, we found that overexpression of STK33 resulted in increased hepatocyte proliferation, leading to tumour cell burst. Using a TAM-inducible, hepatocyte-specific STK33 knockout mouse model, we found that, when subjected to the diethylnitrosamine (DEN) liver cancer bioassay, STK33KO(flox/flox, Alb-ERT2-Cre) mice exhibited a markedly lower incidence of tumour formation compared with control mice. The underlying mechanism may be that STK33 binds directly to c-Myc and increases its transcriptional activity. In particular, the C-terminus of STK33 blocks STK33/c-Myc association, downregulates HCC cell proliferation, and reduces DEN-induced liver tumour cell number and tumour size.STK33 plays an essential role in hepatocellular proliferation and liver tumorigenesis. The C-terminus of STK33 could be a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of patients with STK33-overexpressed HCC.
Project description:The role of serine/threonine kinase 33 (STK33) gene in tumorigenesis is still controversial. This study was aimed to investigate whether STK33 had the effect on hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (HSCC) and relevant genes, as well as the potential relation to ERK1/2 pathway.Immunohistochemistry was performed to investigate STK33 expression in human HSCC specimens. MTT, immunofluorescence, clone formation and matrigel invasion assays were employed to detect the effects of STK33 knockdown (STK33-RNAi) and/or PD98059 on major oncogenic properties of a HSCC cell line (Fadu), while, real-time PCR and western blot were used to examine the expressions of relevant genes.STK33 was over-expressed in HSCC specimens, which was significantly associated with certain clinicopathological parameters. STK33-RNAi in Fadu cells resulted in inhibition of proliferation, induction of apoptosis, reduction of clone formation, and decline in the migration and invasion. These effects were potentiated by administration of PD98059. Mechanistic studies revealed that STK33-RNAi led to an increase in Caspse-3, Nm-23-H1 and E-Cadherin expressions and a reduction in Bcl-2, Ki-67 and Vimentin expressions. Moreover, PD98059 significantly reduced both ERK1/2 and STK33 expressions in Fadu cells.STK33 is a potential oncogene and a promising diagnostic marker for HSCC. STK33 may promote tumorigenesis and progression of HSCC, and serve as a valuable molecular target for treatment of HSCC.
Project description:The KRAS oncogene is found in up to 30% of all human tumors. In 2009, RNAi experiments revealed that lowering mRNA levels of a transcript encoding the serine/threonine kinase STK33 was selectively toxic to KRAS-dependent cancer cell lines, suggesting that small-molecule inhibitors of STK33 might selectively target KRAS-dependent cancers. To test this hypothesis, we initiated a high-throughput screen using compounds in the Molecular Libraries Small Molecule Repository (MLSMR). Several hits were identified, and one of these, a quinoxalinone derivative, was optimized. Extensive SAR studies were performed and led to the chemical probe ML281 that showed low nanomolar inhibition of purified recombinant STK33 and a distinct selectivity profile as compared to other STK33 inhibitors that were reported in the course of these studies. Even at the highest concentration tested (10 ?M), ML281 had no effect on the viability of KRAS-dependent cancer cells. These results are consistent with other recent reports using small-molecule STK33 inhibitors. Small molecules having different chemical structures and kinase-selectivity profiles are needed to fully understand the role of STK33 in KRAS-dependent cancers. In this regard, ML281 is a valuable addition to small-molecule probes of STK33.
Project description:Approximately 30% of human cancers harbor oncogenic gain-of-function mutations in KRAS. Despite interest in KRAS as a therapeutic target, direct blockade of KRAS function with small molecules has yet to be demonstrated. Based on experiments that lower mRNA levels of protein kinases, KRAS-dependent cancer cells were proposed to have a unique requirement for the serine/threonine kinase STK33. Thus, it was suggested that small-molecule inhibitors of STK33 might have therapeutic benefit in these cancers. Here, we describe the development of selective, low nanomolar inhibitors of STK33's kinase activity. The most potent and selective of these, BRD8899, failed to kill KRAS-dependent cells. While several explanations for this result exist, our data are most consistent with the view that inhibition of STK33's kinase activity does not represent a promising anti-KRAS therapeutic strategy.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Colocalization of Stk33 with vimentin by double immunofluorescence in certain cells indicated that vimentin might be a target for phosphorylation by the novel kinase Stk33. We therefore tested in vitro the ability of Stk33 to phosphorylate recombinant full length vimentin and amino-terminal truncated versions thereof. In order to prove that Stk33 and vimentin are also in vivo associated proteins co-immunoprecipitation experiments were carried out. For testing the enzymatic activity of immunoprecipitated Stk33 we incubated precipitated Stk33 with recombinant vimentin proteins. To investigate whether Stk33 binds directly to vimentin, an in vitro co-sedimentation assay was performed. RESULTS: The results of the kinase assays demonstrate that Stk33 is able to specifically phosphorylate the non-alpha-helical amino-terminal domain of vimentin in vitro. Furthermore, co-immunoprecipitation experiments employing cultured cell extracts indicate that Stk33 and vimentin are associated in vivo. Immunoprecipitated Stk33 has enzymatic activity as shown by successful phosphorylation of recombinant vimentin proteins. The results of the co-sedimentation assay suggest that vimentin binds directly to Stk33 and that no additional protein mediates the association. CONCLUSION: We hypothesize that Stk33 is involved in the in vivo dynamics of the intermediate filament cytoskeleton by phosphorylating vimentin.
Project description:The kinase PRKD2 (protein kinase D) is a crucial regulator of tumor cell-endothelial cell communication in gastrointestinal tumors and glioblastomas, but its mechanistic contributions to malignant development are not understood. Here, we report that the oncogenic chaperone HSP90 binds to and stabilizes PRKD2 in human cancer cells. Pharmacologic inhibition of HSP90 with structurally divergent small molecules currently in clinical development triggered proteasome-dependent degradation of PRKD2, augmenting apoptosis in human cancer cells of various tissue origins. Conversely, ectopic expression of PRKD2 protected cancer cells from the apoptotic effects of HSP90 abrogation, restoring blood vessel formation in two preclinical models of solid tumors. Mechanistic studies revealed that PRKD2 is essential for hypoxia-induced accumulation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1? (HIF1?) and activation of NF-?B in tumor cells. Notably, ectopic expression of PRKD2 was able to partially restore HIF1? and secreted VEGF-A levels in hypoxic cancer cells treated with HSP90 inhibitors. Taken together, our findings indicate that signals from hypoxia and HSP90 pathways are interconnected and funneled by PRKD2 into the NF-?B/VEGF-A signaling axis to promote tumor angiogenesis and tumor growth.
Project description:UNLABELLED: Hsp90 is an ATP-dependent molecular chaperone that regulates key signaling proteins and thereby impacts cell growth and development. Chaperone cycle of Hsp90 is regulated by ATP binding and hydrolysis through its intrinsic ATPase activities, which is in turn modulated by interaction with its co-chaperones. Hsp90 ATPase activity varies in different organisms and is known to be increased in tumor cells. In this study we have quantitatively analyzed the impact of increasing Hsp90 ATPase activity on the activities of its clients through a virtual prototyping technology, which comprises a dynamic model of Hsp90 interaction with clients involved in proliferation pathways. Our studies highlight the importance of increased ATPase activity of Hsp90 in cancer cells as the key modulator for increased proliferation and survival. A tenfold increase in ATPase activity of Hsp90 often seen in cancer cells increases the levels of active client proteins such as Akt-1, Raf-1 and Cyclin D1 amongst others to about 12-, 8- and 186-folds respectively. Additionally we studied the effect of a competitive inhibitor of Hsp90 activity on the reduction in the client protein levels. Virtual prototyping experiments corroborate with findings that the drug has almost 10- to 100-fold higher affinity as indicated by a lower IC(50) value (30-100 nM) in tumor cells with higher ATPase activity. The results also indicate a 15- to 25-fold higher efficacy of the inhibitor in reducing client levels in tumor cells. This analysis provides mechanistic insights into the links between increased Hsp90 ATPase activity, tumor phenotype and the hypersensitivity of tumor Hsp90 to inhibition by ATP analogs. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11693-009-9046-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Project description:Several Hsp90 (heat shock protein 90) inhibitors are currently under clinical evaluation as anticancer agents. However, the correlation between the duration and magnitude of Hsp90 inhibition and the downstream effects on client protein degradation and cancer cell growth inhibition has not been thoroughly investigated. To investigate the relationship between Hsp90 inhibition and cellular effects, we developed a method that measures drug occupancy on Hsp90 after treatment with the Hsp90 inhibitor IPI-504 in living cells and in tumor xenografts. In cells, we find the level of Hsp90 occupancy to be directly correlated with cell growth inhibition. At the molecular level, the relationship between Hsp90 occupancy and Hsp90 client protein degradation was examined for different client proteins. For sensitive Hsp90 clients (e.g. HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2), client protein levels directly mirror Hsp90 occupancy at all time points after IPI-504 administration. For insensitive client proteins, we find that protein abundance matches Hsp90 occupancy only after prolonged incubation with drug. Additionally, we investigate the correlation between plasma pharmacokinetics (PK), tumor PK, pharmacodynamics (PD) (client protein degradation), tumor growth inhibition, and Hsp90 occupancy in a xenograft model of human cancer. Our results indicate Hsp90 occupancy to be a better predictor of PD than either plasma PK or tumor PK. In the nonsmall cell lung cancer xenograft model studied, a linear correlation between Hsp90 occupancy and tumor growth inhibition was found. This novel binding assay was evaluated both in vitro and in vivo and could be used as a pharmacodynamic readout in the clinic.
Project description:Ionizing irradiation is a commonly accepted treatment modality for lung cancer patients. However, the clinical outcome is hampered by normal tissue toxicity and tumor hypoxia. Since tumors often have higher levels of active heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) than normal tissues, targeting of Hsp90 might provide a promising strategy to sensitize tumors towards irradiation. Hsp90 client proteins include oncogenic signaling proteins, cell cycle activators, growth factor receptors and hypoxia inducible factor-1? (HIF-1?). Overexpression of HIF-1? is assumed to promote malignant transformation and tumor progression and thus might reduce the accessibility to radiotherapy.Herein, we describe the effects of the novel Hsp90 inhibitor NVP-AUY922 and 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG), as a control, on HIF-1? levels and radiosensitivity of lung carcinoma cells under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. NVP-AUY922 exhibited a similar biological activity to that of 17-AAG, but at only 1/10 of the dose. As expected, both inhibitors reduced basal and hypoxia-induced HIF-1? levels in EPLC-272H lung carcinoma cells. However, despite a down-regulation of HIF-1? upon Hsp90 inhibition, sensitivity towards irradiation remained unaltered in EPLC-272H cells under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. In contrast, treatment of H1339 lung carcinoma cells with NVP-AUY922 and 17-AAG resulted in a significant up-regulation of their initially high HIF-1? levels and a concomitant increase in radiosensitivity.In summary, our data show a HIF-1?-independent radiosensitization of normoxic and hypoxic H1339 lung cancer cells by Hsp90 inhibition.
Project description:Decreased expression of 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvic acid dioxygenase (HPD), a key enzyme for tyrosine metabolism, is a cause of human tyrosinemia. However, the regulation of HPD expression remains largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that molecular chaperone TTC36, which is highly expressed in liver, is associated with HPD and reduces the binding of protein kinase STK33 to HPD, thereby inhibiting STK33-mediated HPD T382 phosphorylation. The reduction of HPD T382 phosphorylation results in impaired recruitment of FHA domain-containing PELI1 and PELI1-mediated HPD polyubiquitylation and degradation. Conversely, deficiency or depletion of TTC36 results in enhanced STK33-mediated HPD T382 phosphorylation and binding of PELI1 to HPD and subsequent PELI1-mediated HPD downregulation. Ttc36-/- mice have reduced HPD expression in the liver and exhibit tyrosinemia, damage to hippocampal neurons, and deficits of learning and memory. These findings reveal a previously unknown regulation of HPD expression and highlight the physiological significance of TTC36-STK33-PELI1-regulated HPD expression in tyrosinemia and tyrosinemia-associated neurological disorders.