[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) increases in cancer cells during hypoxia. Herein, we report that the MDM2 oncoprotein plays a role in hypoxia-mediated VEGF upregulation. In studying the characteristics of MDM2 and VEGF expression in neuroblastoma cells, we found that hypoxia induced significantly higher upregulation of both VEGF mRNA and protein in MDM2-positive cells than in the MDM2-negative cells, even in cells without wild-type (wt) p53. We found that hypoxia induced translocation of MDM2 from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, which was associated with increased VEGF expression. Enforcing overexpression of cytoplasmic MDM2 by transfection of the mutant MDM2/166A enhanced expression of VEGF mRNA and protein production, even without hypoxia. The results of mechanistic studies demonstrated that the C-terminal RING domain of the MDM2 protein bound to the AU-rich sequence within the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of VEGF mRNA; this binding increased VEGF mRNA stability and translation. In addition, knockdown of MDM2 by small interfering RNA (siRNA) in MDM2-overexpressing cancer cells resulted in inhibition of VEGF protein production, cancer cell survival, and angiogenesis. Our results suggest that MDM2 plays a p53-independent role in the regulation of VEGF, which may promote tumor growth and metastasis.
Molecular and cellular biology 12/2011; 31(24):4928-37. · 6.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies show that the MYCN and MDM2-p53 signal pathways are mutually regulated: MYCN stimulates MDM2 and p53 transcription, whereas MDM2 stabilizes MYCN mRNA and induces its translation. Herein, we report that the interaction between MDM2 and MYCN plays a critical role in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma tumor cell growth and survival. Distinct from the known role that MDM2 has in regulating tumor promotion in non-MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma, in which MDM2 inhibits p53, we found that MDM2 stimulated tumor growth in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma in a p53-independent manner. In MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cells, enforced expression of MDM2 further enhanced MYCN expression, yet no p53 inhibition was observed by MDM2 due to upregulation of MYCN that stimulated p53 transcription. Similarly, p53 expression remained unchanged in MDM2-silenced MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cells because MDM2 inhibition resulted in a downregulation of MYCN that decreased p53 transcription, although the MDM2-mediated degradation of p53 was reduced. Also, we found that the enforced overexpression of MDM2, or conversely, the inhibition of overexpressed endogenous MDM2, led to either a remarkable increase or decrease in tumor growth, respectively, in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma (even though no p53 function was involved). These results suggest that p53 that is reciprocally regulated by MDM2 and MYCN is dispensable for suppression of MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma, and that the direct interaction between MDM2 and MYCN may contribute significantly to MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma growth and disease progression.