Akt is the downstream target of GRP78 in mediating cisplatin resistance in ER stress-tolerant human lung cancer cells.
ABSTRACT Cisplatin [cis-diaminodichloroplatinum (II) (CDDP)] is the cornerstone of lung cancer chemotherapy. However, its efficacy is limited due to the development of drug resistance in cancer cells. This study was designed to uncover the mechanisms under CDDP resistance in lung cancer cells involving endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress tolerance-induced and GRP78-dependant Akt activation. In this study we established ER stress-tolerant (ERST) human lung cancer lines H460et and A549et. We found that the ERST Lung cancer cells are resistant to CDDP treatment. We further showed that, compared to the parental cell lines, H460et and A549et show significantly increased GRP78 and phospho(p)-Akt levels. And phosphorylation of Akt, which can be regulated by GRP78, is essential to the ERST-associated CDDP resistance. Our findings identify a new mechanism of regulating Akt activity and a new mechanism through which CDDP resistance is formed in lung cancer cells.
Article: GRP78 knockdown enhances apoptosis via the down-regulation of oxidative stress and Akt pathway after epirubicin treatment in colon cancer DLD-1 cells.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78) is induced in the cancer microenvironment and can be considered as a novel predictor of responsiveness to chemotherapy in many cancers. In this study, we found that intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) nuclear translocation were higher in GRP78 knockdown DLD-1 colon cancer cells compared with scrambled control cells. Treatment with epirubicin in GRP78 knockdown DLD-1 cells enhanced apoptosis and was associated with decreased production of intracellular ROS. In addition, apoptosis was increased by the antioxidants propyl gallate (PG) and dithiothreitol (DTT) in epirubicin-treated scrambled control cells. Epirubicin-treated GRP78 knockdown cells resulted in more inactivated Akt pathway members, such as phosphorylated Akt and GSK-3β, as well as downstream targets of β-catenin expression. Knockdown of Nrf2 with small interfering RNA (siRNA) increased apoptosis in epirubicin-treated GRP78 knockdown cells, which suggested that Nrf2 may be a primary defense mechanism in GRP78 knockdown cells. We also demonstrated that epirubicin-treated GRP78 knockdown cells could decrease survival pathway signaling through the redox activation of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), which is a serine/threonine phosphatase that negatively regulates the Akt pathway. Our results indicate that epirubicin decreased the intracellular ROS in GRP78 knockdown cells, which decreased survival signaling through both the Akt pathway and the activation of PP2A. Together, these mechanisms contributed to the enhanced level of epirubicin-induced apoptosis that was observed in the GRP78 knockdown cells.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e35123. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Elimination of head and neck cancer initiating cells through targeting glucose regulated protein78 signaling.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a highly lethal cancer that contains cellular and functional heterogeneity. Previously, we enriched a subpopulation of highly tumorigenic head and neck cancer initiating cells (HN-CICs) from HNSCC. However, the molecular mechanisms by which to govern the characteristics of HN-CICs remain unclear. GRP78, a stress-inducible endoplasmic reticulum chaperone, has been reported to play a crucial role in the maintenance of embryonic stem cells, but the role of GRP78 in CICs has not been elucidated. Initially, we recognized GRP78 as a putative candidate on mediating the stemness and tumorigenic properties of HN-CICs by differential systemic analyses. Subsequently, cells with GRP78 anchored at the plasma membrane (memGRP78+) exerted cancer stemness properties of self-renewal, differentiation and radioresistance. Of note, xenotransplantation assay indicated merely 100 memGRP78+ HNSCCs resulted in tumor growth. Moreover, knockdown of GRP78 significantly reduced the self-renewal ability, side population cells and expression of stemness genes, but inversely promoted cell differentiation and apoptosis in HN-CICs. Targeting GRP78 also lessened tumorigenicity of HN-CICs both in vitro and in vivo. Clinically, co-expression of GRP78 and Nanog predicted the worse survival prognosis of HNSCC patients by immunohistochemical analyses. Finally, depletion of GRP78 in HN-CICs induced the expression of Bax, Caspase 3, and PTEN. In summary, memGRP78 should be a novel surface marker for isolation of HN-CICs, and targeting GRP78 signaling might be a potential therapeutic strategy for HNSCC through eliminating HN-CICs.Molecular Cancer 10/2010; 9:283. · 3.99 Impact Factor
Article: Regulation of AKT phosphorylation at Ser473 and Thr308 by endoplasmic reticulum stress modulates substrate specificity in a severity dependent manner.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a common factor in the pathophysiology of diverse human diseases that are characterised by contrasting cellular behaviours, from proliferation in cancer to apoptosis in neurodegenerative disorders. Coincidently, dysregulation of AKT/PKB activity, which is the central regulator of cell growth, proliferation and survival, is often associated with the same diseases. Here, we demonstrate that ER stress modulates AKT substrate specificity in a severity-dependent manner, as shown by phospho-specific antibodies against known AKT targets. ER stress also reduces both total and phosphorylated AKT in a severity-dependent manner, without affecting activity of the upstream kinase PDK1. Normalisation to total AKT revealed that under ER stress phosphorylation of Thr308 is suppressed while that of Ser473 is increased. ER stress induces GRP78, and siRNA-mediated knock-down of GRP78 enhances phosphorylation at Ser473 by 3.6 fold, but not at Thr308. Substrate specificity is again altered. An in-situ proximity ligation assay revealed a physical interaction between GRP78 and AKT at the plasma membrane of cells following induction of ER stress. Staining was weak in cells with normal nuclear morphology but stronger in those displaying rounded, condensed nuclei. Co-immunoprecipitation of GRP78 and P-AKT(Ser473) confirmed the immuno-complex consists of non-phosphorylated AKT (Ser473 and Thr308). The interaction is likely specific as AKT did not bind to all molecular chaperones, and GRP78 did not bind to p70 S6 kinase. These findings provide one mechanistic explanation for how ER stress contributes to human pathologies demonstrating contrasting cell fates via modulation of AKT signalling.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(3):e17894. · 4.09 Impact Factor