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    ABSTRACT: The androgen receptor (AR) is a transcription factor involved in prostate cell growth, homeostasis and transformation regulated by post-translational modifications, including ubiquitination. We have recently reported that AR is deubiquitinated and stabilised by Usp12 resulting in increased transcriptional activity. In this study we have investigated the relationship between Usp12, PHLPP and PHLPPL tumour suppressors in the regulation of AR transcriptional activity in prostate cancer (PC). PHLPP and PHLPPL are pro-apoptotic phosphatases that dephosphorylate and subsequently deactivate Akt. Phosphorylated Akt is reported to deactivate AR in PC by phosphorylation at Ser213 and Ser791 leading to ligand dissociation and AR degradation. In contrast, PHLPP- and PHLPPL-mediated dephosphorylation and inactivation of Akt elevates the levels of active AR. In this report we demonstrate that Usp12, in complex with Uaf-1 and WDR20, directly deubiquitinates and stabilises the Akt phosphatases PHLPP and PHLPPL resulting in decreased levels of active pAkt. Decreased pAkt in turn down-regulates AR Ser213 phosphorylation resulting in enhanced receptor stability and transcriptional activity. Additionally, we observe that depleting Usp12 sensitises PC cells to therapies aimed at Akt inhibition irrespectively of their sensitivity to androgen ablation therapy. We propose that Usp12 inhibition could offer a therapeutic alternative for castration resistant prostate cancer.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Oncotarget
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    ABSTRACT: The genetics of acute lymphoblastic leukemia are becoming well understood and the incidence of individual chromosomal abnormalities varies considerably with age. Cytogenetics provide reliable risk stratification for treatment: high hyperdiploidy and ETV6-RUNX1 are good risk, whereas BCR-ABL1, MLL rearrangements, and hypodiploidy are poor risk. Nevertheless, some patients within the good- and intermediate-risk groups will unpredictably relapse. With advancing technologies in array-based approaches (single nucleotide polymorphism arrays) and next-generation sequencing to study the genome, increasing numbers of new genetic changes are being discovered. These include deletions of B-cell differentiation and cell cycle control genes, as well as mutations of genes in key signaling pathways. Their associations and interactions with established cytogenetic subgroups and with each other are becoming elucidated. Whether they have a link to outcome is the most important factor for refinement of risk factors in relation to clinical trials. For several newly identified abnormalities, including intrachromosomal amplification of chromosome 21 (iAMP21), that are associated with a poor prognosis with standard therapy, appropriately modified treatment has significantly improved outcome. After the successful use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors in the treatment of BCR-ABL1-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia, patients with alternative ABL1 translocations and rearrangements involving PDGFRB may benefit from treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Other aberrations, for example, CRLF2 overexpression and JAK2 mutations, are also providing potential novel therapeutic targets with the prospect of reduced toxicity.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Hematology
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    ABSTRACT: DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) plays a key role in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) that are probably the most deleterious form of DNA damage. Inhibition of DNA-PK has been considered as an attractive approach to decrease resistance to therapeutically induced DNA DSBs. Ionizing radiation (IR) and doxorubicin, which induce DSBs, are used in the treatment of breast cancer. We determined the cellular concentration of DNA-PK and other DSB-activated kinases: ATM and ATR and the effect of DNA-PK inhibition by NU7441 on DNA repair, cell cycle, and survival after IR or doxorubicin treatment in three human breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, and T47D) representing different breast cancer subtypes. T47D cells had the highest expression of DNA-PKcs, ATM, and ATR and the most rapid rate of DNA DSB repair. IR caused a 10- to 16-fold increase in DNA-PK activity and two to threefold induction of ATM in all 3 cell lines. NU7441 inhibited IR-induced DNA-PK activity in all cell lines with IC50s in the range 0.17-0.25 μM. NU7441 retarded the repair of DSB and significantly increased the sensitivity of all cell lines to IR (4- to 12-fold) and doxorubicin (3- to 13-fold). The greatest sensitiziation by NU7441 was observed in MDA-MB-231 cells. NU7441 affected the cell cycle distribution in all studied cell lines; increasing accumulation of cells in G2/M phase after DNA damage. Our data indicate that DNA-PK might be an effective target for chemo- and radio-potentiation in breast cancer and suggest that further development of DNA-PK inhibitors for clinical use is warranted.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
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