The two faces of FBW7 in cancer drug resistance

Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
BioEssays (Impact Factor: 4.84). 11/2011; 33(11):851-9. DOI: 10.1002/bies.201100101
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Chemotherapy is an important therapeutic approach for cancer treatment. However, drug resistance is an obstacle that often impairs the successful use of chemotherapies. Therefore, overcoming drug resistance would lead to better therapeutic outcomes for cancer patients. Recently, studies by our own and other groups have demonstrated that there is an intimate correlation between the loss of the F-box and WD repeat domain-containing 7 (FBW7) tumor suppressor and the incurring drug resistance. While loss of FBW7 sensitizes cancer cells to certain drugs, FBW7-/- cells are more resistant to other types of chemotherapies. FBW7 exerts its tumor suppressor function by promoting the degradation of various oncoproteins that regulate many cellular processes, including cell cycle progression, cellular metabolism, differentiation, and apoptosis. Since loss of the FBW7 tumor suppressor is linked to drug resistance, FBW7 may represent a novel therapeutic target to increase drug sensitivity of cancer cells to conventional chemotherapeutics. This paper thus focuses on the new functional aspects of FBW7 in drug resistance.

Download full-text


Available from: Fukushima Hidefumi, Jul 09, 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Effective targeted therapeutics for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are lacking. Here we uncover Mcl-1 as a dominant and tissue-specific survival factor in SCC, providing a roadmap for a new therapeutic approach. Treatment with the HDAC inhibitor vorinostat regulates Bcl-2 family member expression to disable the Mcl-1 axis and thereby induce apoptosis in SCC cells. Although Mcl-1 dominance renders SCC cells resistant to the BH3 mimetic ABT-737, vorinostat primes them for sensitivity to ABT-737 by shuttling Bim from Mcl-1 to Bcl-2/Bcl-xl, resulting in dramatic synergy for this combination and sustained tumor regression in vivo. Moreover, somatic FBW7 mutation in SCC is associated with stabilized Mcl-1 and high Bim levels, resulting in a poor response to standard chemotherapy but a robust response to HDAC inhibitors and enhanced synergy with combination vorinostat/ABT-737. Collectively, our findings provide a biochemical rationale and predictive markers for the application of this therapeutic combination in SCC.
    Cancer Discovery 12/2012; 3(3). DOI:10.1158/2159-8290.CD-12-0417
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Endometrial carcinoma (EC) is one of the main gynecologic malignancies affecting women, but effective treatments are currently lacking. In the present study, we investigated the effect of sorafenib, a general kinase inhibitor, on several EC cell lines (HEC1A, HEC1B, and RL95-2). Sorafenib induced cell death in EC cells with the following order of sensitivity: HEC1A > HEC1B > RL95-2. Sorafenib suppressed several anti-apoptotic proteins in HEC1A cells, including myeloid cell leukemia 1 (Mcl-1). Ectopic overexpression of Mcl-1 prevented the cell killing effect of sorafenib. Sorafenib suppressed Mcl-1 at the gene transactivation level by inactivating the ERK/Elk-1 pathway. Accordingly, the inhibitory effect of sorafenib on Mcl-1 expression decreased following knockdown of Elk-1 using short-hairpin RNA (shRNA). Elk-1 overexpression rescued both the inhibitory effect of sorafenib on Mcl-1 expression and the cell killing effect of sorafenib. Furthermore, sorafenib reduced the stability of the Mcl-1 protein by enhancing its ubiquitination and degradation by the proteasome via the AKT/GSK3β and the ERK pathways. Similar results were detected in other EC cell lines. These results indicate that sorafenib induces apoptosis in EC cells by down-regulating the anti-apoptotic protein Mcl-1 via transcriptional inhibition and protein degradation. Our results thus support the notion that sorafenib may be used in endometrial cancer therapy. J. Cell. Biochem. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 03/2013; DOI:10.1002/jcb.24530
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: F-box and WD repeat domain-containing 7 (Fbxw7/hAgo/hCdc4/Fbw7) is a p53-dependent tumor suppressor and leads to ubiquitination-mediated suppression of several oncoproteins including c-Myc, cyclin E, Notch, c-Jun and others. Our previous study has indicated that low expression of Fbxw7 was negatively correlated with c-Myc, cyclin E and mutant-p53 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues. But the role and mechanisms of Fbxw7 in HCC are still unknown. Here, we investigated the function of Fbxw7 in HCC cell lines and the anti-tumor activity of recombinant human adenovirus-p53 injection (rAd-p53, Gendicine) administration in vitro and in vivo. Fbxw7-specific siRNA enhanced expression of c-Myc and cyclin E proteins and increased proliferation in cell culture. rAd-p53 inhibited tumor cell growth with Fbxw7 upregulation and c-Myc and cyclin E downregulation in vitro and a murine HCC model. This effect could be partially reverted using Fbxw7-specific siRNA. Here, we suggest that the activation of Fbxw7 by adenoviral delivery of p53 leads to increased proteasomal degradation of c-Myc and cyclin E enabling growth arrest and apoptosis. Addressing this pathway, we identified that rAd-p53 could be a potential therapeutic agent for HCC.
    PLoS ONE 07/2013; 8(7):e68574. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0068574