[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phosphorylation of the p65 subunit of NF-kappaB is required for its transcriptional activity. Recent reports show that phosphorylation of p65 at serine 276 regulates only a subset of genes, such as those encoding IL-6, IL-8, Gro-beta, and ICAM-1. In order to identify additional genes regulated by serine 276 phosphorylation, HepG2 hepatoma cells were infected with adenoviruses encoding either wild-type p65 or the S276A mutant of p65, followed by DNA microarray analysis. The results show that mutation of serine 276 affected the expression of several genes that encode proteins involved in cell cycle regulation, signal transduction, transcription, and metabolism. Notably, expression of S276A increased the mRNA and protein level of p27, a cell cycle inhibitory protein, which led to an increased association of p27 with cdk2, and inhibition of cdk2 activity. Furthermore, while wild-type NF-kappaB is known to increase cell proliferation in a number of different cancer cell lines, our data shows that S276A inhibited cell proliferation. Evidence is mounting that NF-kappaB plays a pivotal role in oncogenesis. Therapeutic agents that regulate the phosphorylation of serine 276 and p27 gene expression, therefore, may be useful as anti-cancer agents in the future.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rapamycin and its derivatives are promising anticancer agents, but the exact mechanisms by which these drugs induce cell cycle arrest and inhibit tumor growth are unknown. A biochemical analysis of human mammary tumor cell lines indicated that rapamycin-induced antiproliferative effects correlated with down-regulation of cellular p21 levels and the levels of p21 in cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) 2 and 4 complexes. Cyclin D1 overexpression reversed rapamycin action and this reversal correlated with increased levels of cellular p21, higher levels of p21 associated with Cdk2, and stabilization of cyclin D1/Cdk2/p21/proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) complexes. Experiments using a novel cyclin D1-Cdk2 fusion protein or a kinase-dead mutant of the fusion protein indicated that reversal of rapamycin action required not only the formation of complexes with p21 and PCNA but also complex-associated kinase activity. Similar results were observed in vivo. The rapamycin derivative RAD001 (everolimus) inhibited the growth of mouse mammary tumors, which correlated with the disruption of cyclin D1/Cdk2 complexes. The potential implications of these results with respect to the use of rapamycin derivatives in breast cancer therapy are discussed.