TAK1 inhibition promotes apoptosis in KRAS-dependent colon cancers.
ABSTRACT Colon cancers frequently harbor KRAS mutations, yet only a subset of KRAS mutant colon cancer cell lines are dependent upon KRAS signaling for survival. In a screen for kinases that promote survival of KRAS-dependent colon cancer cells, we found that the TAK1 kinase (MAP3K7) is required for tumor cell viability. The induction of apoptosis by RNAi-mediated depletion or pharmacologic inhibition of TAK1 is linked to its suppression of hyperactivated Wnt signaling, evident in both endogenous and genetically reconstituted cells. In APC mutant/KRAS-dependent cells, KRAS stimulates BMP-7 secretion and BMP signaling, leading to TAK1 activation and enhancement of Wnt-dependent transcription. An in vitro-derived "TAK1 dependency signature" is enriched in primary human colon cancers with mutations in both APC and KRAS, suggesting potential clinical utility in stratifying patient populations. Together, these findings identify TAK1 inhibition as a potential therapeutic strategy for a treatment-refractory subset of colon cancers exhibiting aberrant KRAS and Wnt pathway activation.
Article: Roles of the kinase TAK1 in TRAF6-dependent signaling by CD40 and its oncogenic viral mimic, LMP1.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded protein latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) is essential for EBV-mediated B cell transformation and plays a critical role in the development of post-transplant B cell lymphomas. LMP1 also contributes to the exacerbation of autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). LMP1 is a functional mimic of the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) superfamily member CD40, and relies on TNFR-associated factor (TRAF) adaptor proteins to mediate signaling. However, LMP1 activation signals to the B cell are amplified and sustained compared to CD40 signals. We previously demonstrated that LMP1 and CD40 use TRAF molecules differently. Although associating with CD40 and LMP1 via separate mechanisms, TRAF6 plays a significant role in signal transduction by both. It is unknown whether TRAF6 mediates CD40 versus LMP1 functions via distinct or shared pathways. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that TRAF6 uses the kinase TAK1 to trigger important signaling pathways following both CD40 and LMP1 stimulation. We determined that TAK1 was required for JNK activation and interleukin-6 (IL-6) production mediated by CD40 and LMP1, in both mouse and human B cells. Additionally, TRAF3 negatively regulated TRAF6-dependent, CD40-mediated TAK1 activation by limiting TRAF6 recruitment. This mode of regulation was not observed for LMP1 and may contribute to the dysregulation of LMP1 compared to CD40 signals.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(7):e42478. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Activation of Wnt signalling due to inability to degrade β-catenin is found in >85% of colorectal cancers. Approximately half of colon cancers express a constitutively active KRAS protein. A significant fraction of patients show both abnormalities. We previously reported that simultaneous down-regulation of both β-catenin and KRAS was necessary to induce significant cell death and tumor growth inhibition of colorectal cancer cells. Although attractive, an RNAi-based therapeutic approach is still far from being employed in the clinical setting. Therefore, we sought to recapitulate our previous findings by the use of small-molecule inhibitors of β-catenin and KRAS. We show here that the β-catenin inhibitors PKF115-584 and pyrvinium pamoate block β-catenin-dependent transcriptional activity and synergize with the KRAS inhibitor S-trans, trans-farnesylthiosalicylic acid (FTS, salirasib) in colon cancer cells driven by Wnt and KRAS oncogenic signals, but not in cells carrying BRAF mutations. The combined use of these compounds was superior to the use of any drug alone in inducing cell growth arrest, cell death, MYC and survivin down-modulation, and inhibition of anchorage-independent growth. Expression analysis of selected cancer-relevant genes revealed down-regulation of CD44 as a common response to the combined treatments. These data provide a proof of principle for a combination therapeutic strategy in colorectal cancer.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(12):e51449. · 4.09 Impact Factor