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Prostate apoptosis response 4 (Par-4), a novel substrate of caspase-3 during apoptosis activation.

Molecular and Cellular Biology (Impact Factor: 5.04). 02/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: The tumor suppressor protein prostate apoptosis response-4 (PAR-4) is silenced in a subset of human cancers and its down-regulation serves as a mechanism for cancer cell survival following chemotherapy. PAR-4 re-expression selectively causes apoptosis in cancer cells but how its pro-apoptotic functions are controlled and executed precisely is currently unknown. We demonstrate here that UV-induced apoptosis results in a rapid caspase-dependent PAR-4 cleavage at EEPD131¯G, a sequence that was preferentially recognized by caspase-8. To investigate the effect on cell growth for this cleavage event we established stable cell lines that express wild-type-PAR-4 or the caspase cleavage resistant mutant PAR-4 D131G under the control of a doxycycline-inducible promoter. Induction of the wild-type protein but not the mutant interfered with cell proliferation, predominantly through induction of apoptosis. We further demonstrate that TNFα-induced apoptosis leads to caspase-8-dependent PAR-4-cleavage followed by nuclear accumulation of the C-terminal PAR-4 (132-340) fragment, which then induces apoptosis. Taken together, our results indicate that the mechanism by which PAR-4 orchestrates the apoptotic process requires cleavage by caspase-8.
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    ABSTRACT: Gliomas are the most common and aggressive of brain tumors in adults. Cancer stem cells (CSC) contribute to chemoresistance in many solid tumors including gliomas. The function of prostate apoptosis response-4 (Par-4) as a pro-apoptotic protein is well documented in many cancers; however, its role in CSC remains obscure. In this study, we aimed to explore the role of Par-4 in drug-induced cytotoxicity using human glioma stem cell line - HNGC-2 and primary culture (G1) derived from high grade glioma. We show that among the panel of drugs- lomustine, carmustine, UCN-01, oxaliplatin, temozolomide and tamoxifen (TAM) screened, only TAM induced cell death and up-regulated Par-4 levels significantly. TAM-induced apoptosis was confirmed by PARP cleavage, Annexin V and propidium iodide staining and caspase-3 activity. Knock down of Par-4 by siRNA inhibited cell death by TAM, suggesting the role of Par-4 in induction of apoptosis. We also demonstrate that the mechanism involves break down of mitochondrial membrane potential, down regulation of Bcl-2 and reduced activation of Akt and ERK 42/44. Secretory Par-4 and GRP-78 were significantly expressed in HNGC-2 cells on exposure to TAM and specific antibodies to these molecules inhibited cell death suggesting that extrinsic Par-4 is important in TAM-induced apoptosis. Interestingly, TAM decreased the expression of neural stem cell markers - Nestin, Bmi1, Vimentin, Sox2, and Musashi in HNGC-2 cell line and G1 cells implicating its potential as a stemness inhibiting drug. Based on these data and our findings that enhanced levels of Par-4 sensitize the resistant glioma stem cells to drug-induced apoptosis, we propose that Par-4 may be explored for evaluating anti-tumor agents in CSC.
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    ABSTRACT: A growing body of evidence supports that the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which occurs during cancer development and progression, has a crucial role in metastasis by enhancing the motility of tumor cells. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is known to induce EMT in a number of cancer cell types; however, the mechanism underlying this transition process is not fully understood. In this study we have demonstrated that TGF-β upregulates the expression of tumor suppressor protein Par-4 (prostate apoptosis response-4) concomitant with the induction of EMT. Mechanistic investigations revealed that exogenous treatment with each TGF-β isoform upregulates Par-4 mRNA and protein levels in parallel levels of phosphorylated Smad2 and IκB-α increase. Disruption of TGF-β signaling by using ALK5 inhibitor, neutralizing TGF-β antibody or phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor reduces endogenous Par-4 levels, suggesting that both Smad and NF-κB pathways are involved in TGF-β-mediated Par-4 upregulation. NF-κB-binding sites in Par-4 promoter have previously been reported; however, using chromatin immunoprecipitation assay we showed that Par-4 promoter region also contains Smad4-binding site. Furthermore, TGF-β promotes nuclear localization of Par-4. Prolonged TGF-β3 treatment disrupts epithelial cell morphology, promotes cell motility and induces upregulation of Snail, vimentin, zinc-finger E-box binding homeobox 1 and N-Cadherin and downregulation of Claudin-1 and E-Cadherin. Forced expression of Par-4, results in the upregulation of vimentin and Snail expression together with increase in cell migration. In contrast, small interfering RNA-mediated silencing of Par-4 expression results in decrease of vimentin and Snail expression and prevents TGF-β-induced EMT. We have also uncovered a role of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein in the regulation of endogenous Par-4 levels through inhibition of caspase-mediated cleavage. In conclusion, our findings suggest that Par-4 is a novel and essential downstream target of TGF-β signaling and acts as an important factor during TGF-β-induced EMT.
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