Article

Reciprocal Regulation of Akt and Oct4 Promotes the Self-Renewal and Survival of Embryonal Carcinoma Cells

College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058, China.
Molecular cell (Impact Factor: 14.46). 10/2012; 17(4). DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2012.08.030
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Signaling via the Akt serine/threonine protein kinase plays critical roles in the self-renewal of embryonic stem cells and their malignant counterpart, embryonal carcinoma cells (ECCs). Here we show that in ECCs, Akt phosphorylated the master pluripotency factor Oct4 at threonine 235, and that the levels of phosphorylated Oct4 in ECCs correlated with resistance to apoptosis and tumorigenic potential. Phosphorylation of Oct4 increased its stability and facilitated its nuclear localization and its interaction with Sox2, which promoted the transcription of the core stemness genes POU5F1 and NANOG. Furthermore, in ECCs, unphosphorylated Oct4 bound to the AKT1 promoter and repressed its transcription. Phosphorylation of Oct4 by Akt resulted in dissociation of Oct4 from the AKT1 promoter, which activated AKT1 transcription and promoted cell survival. Therefore, a site-specific, posttranslational modification of the Oct4 protein orchestrates the regulation of its stability, subcellular localization, and transcriptional activities, which collectively promotes the survival and tumorigenicity of ECCs.

0 Followers
 · 
302 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The cancer stem cell hypothesis argues that cancers depend on a specific type of cells, representing usually a small percentage of the total cancer cell population, termed cancer stem cells (or tumor-initiating cells) for their development and propagation. In colorectal cancer these cells express specific surface proteins such as CD133 and CD44 and can recapitulate the whole tumor. Besides expression of these surface markers, stem cells are associated with a network of pluripotency transcription factors, such as Oct4 and Sox2, which is present in them. Pluripotency factors are normally active in early development and characterize primitive cells, able to give rise to all different cell and tissue types of the three embryonic layers. In this review I will discuss the relationship of these factors with pathogenic lesions in colorectal cancer and their prognostic implications.
    Biomarkers in Medicine 03/2015; 9(4):349-61. DOI:10.2217/bmm.15.4 · 2.86 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Up-regulated expression of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and subsequent maintenance of telomere length are essential in tumor development. Recent studies have implicated somatic gain-of-function mutations at the TERT promoter as one of the mechanisms that promote transcriptional activation of TERT; however, it remains unclear whether this genetic abnormality is prevalent in gynecologic neoplasms. We performed mutational analysis in a total of 525 gynecological cancers, and correlated TERT promoter mutations with clinicopathological features. With the exception of ovarian clear cell carcinomas, in which mutations were found in 37 (15.9%) of 233 cases, the majority of gynecologic malignancies were wild-type. TERT promoter mutation does not appear to be an early event during oncogenesis, as it was not detected in the contiguous endometriosis associated with ovarian clear cell carcinoma. Ovarian clear cell carcinoma cell lines with TERT promoter mutations exhibited higher TERT mRNA expression than those with wild-type sequences (p = 0.0238). TERT promoter mutation tended to be mutually exclusive with loss of ARID1A protein expression (p = 4.4x10(-9) ) and PIK3CA mutation (p = 0.0019) in ovarian clear cell carcinomas. No associations with disease-specific survival were observed for ovarian clear cell carcinoma. The above results, in conjunction with our previous report showing longer telomeres in ovarian clear cell carcinomas relative to other types of ovarian cancer, suggests that aberrations in telomere biology may play an important role in the pathogenesis of ovarian clear cell carcinoma.
    The Journal of Pathology 03/2014; 232(4). DOI:10.1002/path.4315 · 7.33 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Drug resistance is a major challenge in cancer therapeutics. Abundant evidence indicates that DNA repair systems are enhanced after repetitive chemotherapeutic treatments, rendering cancers cells drug-resistant. Flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1) plays critical roles in DNA replication and repair and in counteracting replication stress, which is a key mechanism for many chemotherapeutic drugs to kill cancer cells. FEN1 was previously shown to be upregulated in response to DNA damaging agents. However, it is unclear about the transcription factors that regulate FEN1 expression in human cancer. More importantly, it is unknown whether up-regulation of FEN1 has an adverse impact on the prognosis of chemotherapeutic treatments of human cancers. To reveal regulation mechanism of FEN1 expression, we search and identify FEN1 transcription factors or repressors and investigate their function on FEN1 expression by using a combination of biochemical, molecular, and cellular approaches. Furthermore, to gain insights into the impact of FEN1 levels on the response of human cancer to therapeutic treatments, we determine FEN1 levels in human breast cancer specimens and correlate them to the response to treatments and the survivorship of corresponding breast cancer patients. We observe that FEN1 is significantly up-regulated upon treatment of chemotherapeutic drugs such as mitomycin C (MMC) and Taxol in breast cancer cells. We identify that the transcription factor/repressor YY1 binds to the FEN1 promoter and suppresses the expression of FEN1 gene. In response to the drug treatments, YY1 is dissociated from the FEN1 promoter region leading over-expression of FEN1. Overexpression of YY1 in the cells results in down-regulation of FEN1 and sensitization of the cancer cells to MMC or taxol. Furthermore, we observe that the level of FEN1 is inversely correlated with cancer drug and radiation resistance and with survivorship in breast cancer patients. Altogether, our current data indicate that YY1 is a transcription repressor of FEN1 regulating FEN1 levels in response to DNA damaging agents. FEN1 is up-regulated in human breast cancer and its levels inversely correlated with cancer drug and radiation resistance and with survivorship in breast cancer patients.
    BMC Cancer 12/2015; 15(1):1043. DOI:10.1186/s12885-015-1043-1 · 3.32 Impact Factor