Degradation of MDM2 by the Interaction between Berberine and DAXX Leads to Potent Apoptosis in MDM2-Overexpressing Cancer Cells

Department of Pediatrics, Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 9.33). 10/2010; 70(23):9895-904. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-1546
Source: PubMed


Berberine, a natural product derived from a plant used in Chinese herbal medicine, is reported to exhibit anticancer effects; however, its mechanism of action is not clearly defined. Herein, we demonstrate that berberine induces apoptosis in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells by downregulating the MDM2 oncoprotein. The proapoptotic effects of berberine were closely associated with both the MDM2 expression levels and p53 status of a set of ALL cell lines. The most potent apoptosis was induced by berberine in ALL cells with both MDM2 overexpression and a wild-type (wt)-p53, whereas no proapoptotic effect was detected in ALL cells that were negative for MDM2 and wt-p53. In contrast to the conventional chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin, which induces p53 activation and a subsequent upregulation of MDM2, berberine strongly induced persistent downregulation of MDM2 followed by a steady-state activation of p53. We discovered that downregulation of MDM2 in ALL cells by berberine occurred at a posttranslational level through modulation of death domain-associated protein (DAXX), which disrupted the MDM2-DAXX-HAUSP interactions and thereby promoted MDM2 self-ubiquitination and degradation. Given that MDM2-overexpressing cancer cells are commonly chemoresistant, our findings suggest that this naturally derived agent may have a highly useful role in the treatment of cancer patients with refractory disease.

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    • "Berberine (BB), an alkaloid that was initially isolated from Chinese herbs, is currently used as a traditional medicine to treat diarrhea caused by bacteria, although the mechanism for this action is unknown. Accumulating evidence suggests that BB also elicits anti-cancer effects by inhibiting cell growth and inducing apoptosis in a variety of cancer cell lines [17-20]. Animal studies have shown that BB can inhibit chemical-induced carcinogenesis, tumor promotion, and tumor invasion [21,22]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Berberine is a natural alkaloid derived from a traditional Chinese herbal medicine. It is known to modulate microRNA (miRNA) levels, although the mechanism for this action is unknown. Here, we previously demonstrate that the expression of 87 miRNAs is differentially affected by berberine in multiple myeloma cells. Among 49 miRNAs that are down-regulated, nine act as oncomirs, including miR-21. Integrative analysis showed that 28 of the down-regulated miRNAs participate in tumor protein p53 (TP53) signaling and other cancer pathways. miR-21 is involved in all these pathways, and is one of the most important oncomirs to be affected by berberine in multiple myeloma cells. Results We confirmed that berberine down-regulated miRNA-21 expression and significantly up-regulated the expression of programmed cell death 4 (PDCD4), a predicted miR-21 target. Luciferase reporter assays confirmed that PDCD4 was directly regulated by miR-21. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that the miR-21 promoter can be targeted by signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). Down-regulation of interleukin 6 (IL6) by berberine might lead to inhibition of miR-21 transcription through STAT3 down-regulation in multiple myeloma. Furthermore, both berberine and seed-targeting anti-miR-21 oligonucleotide induced apoptosis, G2-phase cell cycle arrest and colony inhibition in multiple myeloma cell lines. Depletion of PDCD4 by short interfering RNA could rescue berberine-induced cytotoxicity in multiple myeloma cells. Conclusions Our results suggest that berberine suppresses multiple myeloma cell growth, at least in part, by down-regulating miR-21 levels possibly through IL6/STAT3. This led to increased PDCD4 expression, which is likely to result in suppression of the p53 signaling pathway. These findings may also provide new mechanistic insight into the anti-cancer effects of certain compounds in traditional Chinese herbal medicines.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · BMC Systems Biology
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    • "Previous studies have demonstrated that Coptis extracts show anticancer activities (11–13). Notably, BBR has been extensively studied for its cytotoxic activities against several human cancer cells by inducing cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and/or inhibiting cell migration and invasion (14–21). Regardless of the similarities of their structures, COP is known to exhibit a limited number of biological activities compared with BBR. "
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    ABSTRACT: Berberine (BBR) has been used for the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections and also for cancer-associated symptoms such as diarrhea. Furthermore, it has been reported that BBR may have direct antitumor effects. Although evidence supports the theory that tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promising candidate for treating cancer, its usage may be limited due to the resistance to the TRAIL-induced apoptosis of cancer cells. In the present study, the effect of BBR on TRAIL-induced antitumor effects was investigated in vitro using recombinant TRAIL and in vivo using a 4T1 murine breast cancer model in combination with anti-DR5 (death-inducing TRAIL receptor) monoclonal antibody therapy. BBR sensitized human breast cancer cell lines to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis in vitro. The combination of BBR and recombinant TRAIL significantly activated caspase-3 and PARP cleavage in TRAIL-resistant MDA-MB-468 cells. Furthermore, BBR in combination with TRAIL more effectively induced apoptosis compared with coptisine (COP), which is structurally related to BBR. In a murine 4T1 breast cancer model, BBR treatment enhanced the efficacy of anti-DR5 antibody therapy against primary tumor growth and lung metastasis. Thus, BBR may become a new adjuvant for overcoming the resistance of cancer cells to TRAIL/DR5-mediated therapy.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Oncology letters
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    • "N-myc can support most c-myc functions necessary in mice [32]. Another oncogene, MDM2 has also been reported by other group to be inhibited by berberine [33]. It should be noted that we found berberine up-regulates Sesn2, which mediates inhibition of PI3K-mTOR complex (mTORC)1-axis [34]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Berberine, an isoquinoline alkaloid, is an active component of Ranunculaceae and Papaveraceae plant families. Berberine has been found to suppress growth of several tumor cell lines in vitro through the cell-type-dependent mechanism. Expression and activation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is increased in colonic precancerous lesions and tumours, thus EGFR is considered a tumour promoter. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects and mechanisms of berberine on regulation of EGFR activity and proliferation in colonic tumor cell lines and in vivo. We reported that berberine significantly inhibited basal level and EGF-stimulated EGFR activation and proliferation in the immorto Min mouse colonic epithelial (IMCE) cells carrying the mutation and human colonic carcinoma cell line, HT-29 cells. Berberine acted to inhibit proliferation through inducing G1/S and G2/M cell cycle arrest, which correlated with regulation of the checkpoint protein expression. In this study, we also showed that berberine stimulated ubiquitin ligase Cbl activation and Cbl's interaction with EGFR, and EGFR ubiquitinylation and down-regulation in these two cell lines in the presence or absence of EGF treatment. Knock-down Cbl expression blocked the effects of berberine on down-regulation of EGFR and inhibition of proliferation. Furthermore, berberine suppressed tumor growth in the HT-29 cell xenograft model. Cell proliferation and EGFR expression level was decreased by berberine treatment in this xenograft model and in colon epithelial cells of mice. Taken together, these data indicate that berberine enhances Cbl activity, resulting in down-regulation of EGFR expression and inhibition of proliferation in colon tumor cells.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · PLoS ONE
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