Transforming Growth Factor- Inhibits the Intrinsic Pathway of c-Myc-Induced Apoptosis through Activation of Nuclear Factor- B in Murine Hepatocellular Carcinomas

Cancer Institute, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
Molecular Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 4.38). 08/2005; 3(7):403-12. DOI: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-04-0186
Source: PubMed


Nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) plays an important role during liver neoplastic development through transcriptional regulation of prosurvival genes, which then counteract the death-inducing signals elicited by the host immune response. The c-Myc proto-oncogene is frequently deregulated in liver tumors. Furthermore, enforced expression of c-Myc in the liver promotes the development of hepatocellular carcinomas, a process that is accelerated by coexpression with transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha). TGF-alpha/c-Myc-derived hepatocellular carcinomas display reduced apoptotic levels compared with those of single c-Myc transgenic hepatocellular carcinomas, suggesting that TGF-alpha provides a survival advantage to c-Myc-transformed hepatocytes. Given that TGF-alpha/c-Myc hepatocellular carcinomas display constitutive NF-kappaB activity, here, we have tested the hypothesis that enforced expression of TGF-alpha results in constitutive NF-kappaB activation and enhanced cell survival using TGF-alpha/c-Myc-derived hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines. We show that TGF-alpha induces NF-kappaB through the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt axis in these bitransgenic hepatocellular carcinomas. Furthermore, we found that adenovirus-mediated inhibition of NF-kappaB activity impairs the ability of TGF-alpha/c-Myc-derived tumor cells to grow in an anchorage-independent fashion due to sensitization to c-Myc-induced apoptosis. Lastly, we show that NF-kappaB inhibits c-Myc-induced activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3 through up-regulation of the antiapoptotic target genes Bcl-X(L) and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP). Overall, these results underscore a crucial role of NF-kappaB in disabling apoptotic pathways initiated by oncogenic transformation.

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    • "Although its role in the development of human HCC is unclear, studies in transgenic mice have shown that overexpression of this oncogene results in increased hepatocyte proliferation, genomic instability and apoptosis. The paradoxical activation of cellular proliferation and growth in concert with apoptosis leads to the requirement of secondary mutations for tumor development [42,43]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The transcription factor c-myc regulates genes involved in hepatocyte growth, proliferation, metabolism, and differentiation. It has also been assigned roles in liver development and regeneration. In previous studies, we made the unexpected observation that c-Myc protein levels were similar in proliferating fetal liver and quiescent adult liver with c-Myc displaying nucleolar localization in the latter. In order to investigate the functional role of c-Myc in adult liver, we have developed a hepatocyte-specific c-myc knockout mouse, c-mycfl/fl;Alb-Cre. Liver weight to body weight ratios were similar in control and c-myc deficient mice. Liver architecture was unaffected. Conditional c-myc deletion did not result in compensatory induction of other myc family members or in c-Myc's binding partner Max. Floxed c-myc did have a negative effect on Alb-Cre expression at 4 weeks of age. To explore this relationship further, we used the Rosa26 reporter line to assay Cre activity in the c-myc floxed mice. No significant difference in Alb-Cre activity was found between control and c-mycfl/fl mice. c-myc deficient mice were studied in a nonproliferative model of liver growth, fasting for 48 hr followed by a 24 hr refeeding period. Fasting resulted in a decrease in liver mass and liver protein, both of which recovered upon 24 h of refeeding in the c-mycfl/fl;Alb-Cre animals. There was also no effect of reducing c-myc on recovery of liver mass following 2/3 partial hepatectomy. c-Myc appears to be dispensable for normal liver growth during the postnatal period, restoration of liver mass following partial hepatectomy and recovery from fasting.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · BMC Physiology
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    • "Repression of NF-jB has been described to be involved in MYC-mediated sensitization to programmed cell death (Klefstrom et al, 1997; Ricci et al, 2007). Consistent with these observations, NF-jB activity has been shown to abrogate MYC-induced apoptosis in several cell lines (Tanaka et al, 2002; You et al, 2002; Cavin et al, 2005). Earlier work had suggested a role of NF-jB for BL. "
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    ABSTRACT: Up to 70% of all human malignancies show elevated expression of MYC. MYC is a pleiotropic transcription factor involved in many aspects of cellular development and physiology. Besides direct regulation of target genes involved in proliferation and growth MYC is implicated in controlling the complex networks of microRNAs and apoptosis mediators. The mode of MYC deregulation varies between different tumor entities. In most types of cancer high MYC levels are secondary to alterations in cell signalling pathways, leading to enhanced proliferation of the transformed cells. In some haematological malignancies, like Burkitt lymphoma (BL) and subsets of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, elevated MYC levels are a direct consequence of genomic aberrations involving the MYC locus. BL is considered the prime example for MYC-induced lymphomagenesis. In comparison to other haematological malignancies it has the highest MYC-expression and is often connected to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. Over the past five decades BL has provided an invaluable tool for the entire discipline of oncology, helping to decipher many aspects of tumor biology. This review summarizes recent advances in the research on MYC-induced lymphomagenesis, focusing on the regulation of microRNAs and apoptosis, and possible contributions of EBV for lymphoma development.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2010 · British Journal of Haematology
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    • "A few studies have shown that hypomethylation of the c-myc gene promoter results in its over-expression, especially in the methyl-absent conditions [10,11]. C-myc over-expression is associated with liver cancer development by causing inappropriate gene expression which results in autonomous cellular proliferation [8,9,12]. The p16 tumor suppressor is an inhibitor of cyclin D-dependent protein kinases, and it halts the cell cycle in the G1 phase [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The development and progression of liver cancer may involve abnormal changes in DNA methylation, which lead to the activation of certain proto-oncogenes, such as c-myc, as well as the inactivation of certain tumor suppressors, such as p16. Betaine, as an active methyl-donor, maintains normal DNA methylation patterns. However, there are few investigations on the protective effect of betaine in hepatocarcinogenesis. Four groups of rats were given diethylinitrosamine (DEN) and fed with AIN-93G diets supplemented with 0, 10, 20 or 40 g betaine/kg (model, 1%, 2%, and 4% betaine, respectively), while the control group, received no DEN, fed with AIN-93G diet. Eight or 15 weeks later, the expression of p16 and c-myc mRNA was examined by Real-time PCR (Q-PCR). The DNA methylation status within the p16 and c-myc promoter was analyzed using methylation-specific PCR. Compared with the model group, numbers and areas of glutathione S-transferase placental form (GST-p)-positive foci were decreased in the livers of the rats treated with betaine (P < 0.05). Although the frequency of p16 promoter methylation in livers of the four DEN-fed groups appeared to increase, there is no difference among these groups after 8 or 15 weeks (P > 0.05). Betaine supplementation attenuated the down-regulation of p16 and inhibited the up-regulation of c-myc induced by DEN in a dose-dependent manner (P < 0.01). Meanwhile, increases in levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) in model, 2% and 4% betaine groups were observed (P < 0.05). Finally, enhanced antioxidative capacity (T-AOC) was observed in both the 2% and 4% betaine groups. Our data suggest that betaine attenuates DEN-induced damage in rat liver and reverses DEN-induced changes in mRNA levels.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2009 · BMC Cancer
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