26S proteasome is conserved, therapeutically relevant mediator of mutant p53 gain-of-function in cancer
ABSTRACT: Mutant p53 proteins, resulting form frequent TP53 tumor suppressor missense mutations, possess gain-of-function activities and are among the most widespread and robust oncoproteins in human tumors. They are potentially important but understudied therapeutic targets. No studies to date have distinguished common, therapeutically relevant mutant p53 gain-of-function effects, from effects specific to different mutant variants and cell backgrounds. Here we identify 26S proteasome machinery as the common downstream effector controlled by mutant p53s in Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC - aggressive carcinomas with TP53 as the most frequently mutated locus) and conserved in other human cancers. We have identified this pathway using a combination of single-model, multi-method vertical analysis (whole cell proteome, RNA sequencing an ChIP sequencing) and multi-cell line, horizontal analysis of transcriptiomes. We found that different missense mutant p53s regardless of the cell background transcriptionaly activate whole 26S proteasome machinery. Proteasome activity is significantly increased in p53 mutant versus wild-type or knockdown/null status - in cellular and mouse models as well as in human breast tumors. Increased proteasome activity leads to inhibition of tumor suppressive pathways. The control of mutant p53 over proteasome transcription and activity results in the increased resistance to proteasome inhibitors. By combining the mutant p53 targeting agents and proteasome inhibitor we were able to overcome the “bounce-back” proteasome inhibitor resistance mechanism in mutant p53 bearing TNBC cells and xenografts in vivo.
Project description:The tumour suppressor p53 is mutated in cancer, including over 96% of high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). Mutations cause loss of wild-type p53 function due to either gain of abnormal function of mutant p53 (mutp53), or absent to low mutp53. Massively parallel sequencing (MPS) enables increased accuracy of detection of somatic variants in heterogeneous tumours. We used MPS and immunohistochemistry (IHC) to characterise HGSOCs for TP53 mutation and p53 expression. TP53 mutation was identified in 94% (68/72) of HGSOCs, 62% of which were missense. Missense mutations demonstrated high p53 by IHC, as did 35% (9/26) of non-missense mutations. Low p53 was seen by IHC in 62% of HGSOC associated with non-missense mutations. Most wild-type TP53 tumours (75%, 6/8) displayed intermediate p53 levels. The overall sensitivity of detecting a TP53 mutation based on classification as 'Low', 'Intermediate' or 'High' for p53 IHC was 99%, with a specificity of 75%. We suggest p53 IHC can be used as a surrogate marker of TP53 mutation in HGSOC; however, this will result in misclassification of a proportion of TP53 wild-type and mutant tumours. Therapeutic targeting of mutp53 will require knowledge of both TP53 mutations and mutp53 expression.
Project description:Somatic APC (adenomatous polyposis coli), TP53, KRAS mutations are present in roughly 80%, 60%, and 40%, respectively, of human colorectal cancers (CRCs). Most TP53 mutant alleles in CRCs encode missense mutant proteins with loss-of-function (LOF) of p53's transcriptional activity and dominant negative (DN) effects on wild-type p53 function. Missense mutant p53 proteins have been reported to exert gain-of-function (GOF) effects in cancer. We compared the phenotypic effects of the common human cancer-associated TP53 R273H missense mutation to p53 null status in a genetically engineered mouse CRC model. Inactivation of one allele of Apc together with activation of a Kras mutant allele in mouse colon epithelium instigated development of serrated and hyperplastic epithelium and adenomas (AK mice). Addition of a Trp53R270H or Trp53null mutant allele to the model (AKP mice) led to markedly shortened survival and increased tumor burden relative to that of AK mice, including adenocarcinomas in AKP mice. Comparable life span and tumor burden were seen in AKP mice carrying Trp53R270H or Trp53null alleles, along with similar frequencies of spontaneous metastasis to lymph nodes, lung, and liver. The fraction of adenocarcinomas with submucosa or deeper invasion was higher in AKP270/fl mice than in AKPfl/fl mice, but the incidence of adenocarcinomas per mouse did not differ significantly between AKPfl/fl and AKP270/fl mice. In line with their comparable biological behaviors, mouse primary tumors and tumor-derived organoids with the Trp53R270H or Trp53null alleles had highly similar gene expression profiles. Human CRCs with TP53 R273 missense mutant or null alleles also had essentially homogeneous gene expression patterns. Our findings indicate the R270H/R273H p53 mutant protein does not manifest definite GOF biological effects in mouse and human CRCs, suggesting possible GOF effects of mutant p53 in cancer phenotypes are likely allele-specific and/or context-dependent.
Project description:Missense mutation of tumor suppressor p53, which exhibits oncogenic gain-of-function (GOF), not only promotes tumor progression, but also diminishes therapeutic efficacies of cancer treatments. However, it remains unclear how a p53 missense mutant contributes to induced pluripotency of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in tumors exposed to chemotherapeutic agents. More importantly, it may be possible to abrogate the GOF by restoring wild-type p53 activity, thereby overcoming the deleterious effects resulting from heterotetramer formation, which often compromises the efficacies of current approaches being used to reactivate p53 function. Herewith, we report that p53 R273H missense mutant urges cancer cells to spawn CSCs. SW48/TP53 cells, which heterozygously carry the p53 R273H hot-spot mutant (R273H/+, introduced by a CRISPR/Casp9 system), were subchronically exposed to doxorubicin in cell culture and in tumor-bearing mice. We found that p53-R273H (TP53-Dox) cells were drug-resistant and exhibited epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and increased numbers of CSCs (CD44v6+/CD133+), which resulted in enhanced wound healing and tumor formation. Inhibition of glucosylceramide synthase with d-threo-1-phenyl-2-decanoylamino-3-morpholino-1-propanol (PDMP) sensitized p53-R273H cancer cells and tumor xenografts to doxorubicin treatments. Intriguingly, PDMP treatments restored wild-type p53 expression in heterozygous R273H mutant cells and in tumors, decreasing CSCs and sensitizing cells and tumors to treatments. This study demonstrated that p53-R273H promotes EMT and induced pluripotency of CSCs in cancer cells exposed to doxorubicin, mainly through Zeb1 and ?-catenin transcription factors. Our results further indicate that restoration of p53 through inhibition of ceramide glycosylation might be an effective treatment approach for targeting cancers heterozygously harboring TP53 missense mutations.
Project description:Tumor protein p53 (TP53) is the most commonly mutated gene in human cancer. The majority of mutations are missense, and generate a defective protein that is druggable. Yet, for decades, the small-molecule restoration of wild-type (WT) p53 function in mutant p53 tumors (so-called p53 mutant 'reactivation') has been elusive to researchers. The p53 protein requires the binding of a single zinc ion for proper folding, and impairing zinc binding is a major mechanism for loss of function in missense mutant p53. Here, we describe recent work defining a new class of drugs termed zinc metallochaperones that restore WT p53 structure and function by restoring Zn(2+) to Zn(2+)-deficient mutant p53.
Project description:The TP53 tumor suppressor gene is frequently inactivated in human tumors by missense mutations in the DNA binding domain. TP53 mutations lead to protein unfolding, decreased thermostability and loss of DNA binding and transcription factor function. Pharmacological targeting of mutant p53 to restore its tumor suppressor function is a promising strategy for cancer therapy. The mutant p53 reactivating compound APR-246 (PRIMA-1Met) has been successfully tested in a phase I/IIa clinical trial. APR-246 is converted to the reactive electrophile methylene quinuclidinone (MQ), which binds covalently to p53 core domain. We identified cysteine 277 as a prime binding target for MQ in p53. Cys277 is also essential for MQ-mediated thermostabilization of wild-type, R175H and R273H mutant p53, while both Cys124 and Cys277 are required for APR-246-mediated functional restoration of R175H mutant p53 in living tumor cells. These findings may open opportunities for rational design of novel mutant p53-targeting compounds.
Project description:The TP53 tumor suppressor gene encodes a DNA-binding transcription factor that regulates multiple cellular processes including cell growth and cell death. The ability of p53 to bind to DNA and activate transcription is tightly regulated by post-translational modifications and is dependent on a reducing cellular environment. Some p53 transcriptional target genes are involved in regulation of the cellular redox homeostasis, e.g. TIGAR and GLS2. A large fraction of human tumors carry TP53 mutations, most commonly missense mutations that lead to single amino acid substitutions in the core domain. Mutant p53 proteins can acquire so called gain-of-function activities and influence the cellular redox balance in various ways, for instance by binding of the Nrf2 transcription factor, a major regulator of cellular redox state. The DNA-binding core domain of p53 has 10 cysteine residues, three of which participate in holding a zinc atom that is critical for p53 structure and function. Several novel compounds that refold and reactivate missense mutant p53 bind to specific p53 cysteine residues. These compounds can also react with other thiols and target components of the cellular redox system, such as glutathione. Dual targeting of mutant p53 and redox homeostasis may allow more efficient treatment of cancer.
Project description:Despite the propensity for gastric and esophageal adenocarcinomas to select for recurrent missense mutations in TP53, the precise functional consequence of these mutations remains unclear. Here we report that endogenous mRNA and protein levels of mutant p53 were elevated in cell lines and patients with gastric and esophageal cancer. Functional studies showed that mutant p53 was sufficient, but not necessary, for enhancing primary tumor growth in vivo. Unbiased genome-wide transcriptome analysis revealed that hypoxia signaling was induced by mutant p53 in 2 gastric cancer cell lines. Using real-time in vivo imaging, we confirmed that hypoxia reporter activity was elevated during the initiation of mutant p53 gastric cancer xenografts. Unlike HIF co-factor ARNT, HIF1? was required for primary tumor growth in mutant p53 gastric cancer. These findings elucidate the contribution of missense p53 mutations in gastroesophageal malignancy and indicate that hypoxia signaling rather than mutant p53 itself may serve as a therapeutic vulnerability in these deadly set of cancers.
Project description:The tumor suppressor gene TP53 is inactivated by mutation in a large fraction of human tumors. Around 10% of TP53 mutations are nonsense mutations that lead to premature termination of translation and expression of truncated unstable and non-functional p53 protein. Aminoglycosides G418 (geneticin) and gentamicin have been shown to induce translational readthrough and expression of full-length p53. However, aminoglycosides have severe side effects that limit their clinical use. Here, we show that combination treatment with a proteasome inhibitor or compounds that disrupt p53-Mdm2 binding can synergistically enhance levels of full-length p53 upon aminoglycoside-induced readthrough of R213X nonsense mutant p53. Full-length p53 expressed upon combination treatment is functionally active as assessed by upregulation of p53 target genes, suppression of cell growth, and induction of cell death. Thus, our results demonstrate that combination treatment with aminoglycosides and compounds that inhibit p53 degradation is synergistic and can provide significantly improved efficacy of readthrough when compared with aminoglycosides alone. This may have implications for future cancer therapy based on reactivation of nonsense mutant TP53.
Project description:Forty years of research have established that the p53 tumor suppressor provides a major barrier to neoplastic transformation and tumor progression by its unique ability to act as an extremely sensitive collector of stress inputs, and to coordinate a complex framework of diverse effector pathways and processes that protect cellular homeostasis and genome stability. Missense mutations in the TP53 gene are extremely widespread in human cancers and give rise to mutant p53 proteins that lose tumor suppressive activities, and some of which exert trans-dominant repression over the wild-type counterpart. Cancer cells acquire selective advantages by retaining mutant forms of the protein, which radically subvert the nature of the p53 pathway by promoting invasion, metastasis and chemoresistance. In this review, we consider available evidence suggesting that mutant p53 proteins can favor cancer cell survival and tumor progression by acting as homeostatic factors that sense and protect cancer cells from transformation-related stress stimuli, including DNA lesions, oxidative and proteotoxic stress, metabolic inbalance, interaction with the tumor microenvironment, and the immune system. These activities of mutant p53 may explain cancer cell addiction to this particular oncogene, and their study may disclose tumor vulnerabilities and synthetic lethalities that could be exploited for hitting tumors bearing missense TP53 mutations.
Project description:TP53 is associated with the resistance of cytotoxic treatment and patient prognosis, and the mutation rate of TP53 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is extraordinarily high, at over 90%. PRIMA-1 (p53 re-activation and induction of massive apoptosis) has recently been reported to restore the function of mutant TP53; however, its antitumor effect and mechanism in ESCC remain unclear. After evaluating the TP53 mutation status of a panel of 11 ESCC cell lines by Sanger sequencing, we assessed the in vitro effect of PRIMA-1 administration on cells with different TP53 status by conducting cell viability and apoptosis assays. The expression levels of proteins in p53-related pathways were examined by Western blotting, while knockdown studies were conducted to investigate the mechanism underlying PRIMA-1's function. An ESCC xenograft model was further used to evaluate the therapeutic effect of PRIMA-1 in vivo. PRIMA-1 markedly inhibited cell growth and induced apoptosis by upregulating Noxa expression in ESCC cell lines with TP53 missense mutations, whereas no apoptosis was induced in ESCC with wild-type TP53 and TP53 with frameshift and nonsense mutations. Importantly, the knockdown of Noxa canceled the apoptosis induced by PRIMA treatment in ESCC cell lines with TP53 missense mutations. PRIMA-1 administration, compared with placebo, showed a significant antitumor effect by inducing Noxa in the xenograft model of an ESCC cell line with a TP53 missense mutation. PRIMA-1 exhibits a significant antitumor effect, inducing massive apoptosis through the upregulation of Noxa in ESCC with TP53 missense mutations.