Gene Summary

Gene:ATF2; activating transcription factor 2
Aliases: HB16, CREB2, TREB7, CREB-2, CRE-BP1
Summary:This gene encodes a transcription factor that is a member of the leucine zipper family of DNA binding proteins. The encoded protein has been identified as a moonlighting protein based on its ability to perform mechanistically distinct functions This protein binds to the cAMP-responsive element (CRE), an octameric palindrome. It forms a homodimer or a heterodimer with c-Jun and stimulates CRE-dependent transcription. This protein is also a histone acetyltransferase (HAT) that specifically acetylates histones H2B and H4 in vitro; thus it may represent a class of sequence-specific factors that activate transcription by direct effects on chromatin components. The encoded protein may also be involved in cell's DNA damage response independent of its role in transcriptional regulation. Several alternatively spliced transcript variants have been found for this gene [provided by RefSeq, Jan 2014]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:cyclic AMP-dependent transcription factor ATF-2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 25 June, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 25 June 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 25 June, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: ATF2 (cancer-related)

Nam EH, Lee Y, Moon B, et al.
Twist1 and AP-1 cooperatively upregulate integrin α5 expression to induce invasion and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
Carcinogenesis. 2015; 36(3):327-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an important process implicated in tumor invasion and metastasis. Twist1 is a transcription factor that induces EMT, including E-cadherin suppression and cancer cell migration and invasion; hence it promotes cancer metastasis. Twist1 directly or indirectly regulates the expression of various genes and cellular functions involved in cancer progression. However, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the molecular basis for Twist1-mediated invasion and EMT. In human cancer cells, Twist1 was found to directly upregulate transcription of the mesenchymal gene integrin α5 in an E-box-independent, but activating protein-1 (AP-1) element-dependent, manner. Twist1 activated the integrin α5 promoter by interacting with and activating the transcription factor AP-1, composed of c-Jun and activating transcription factor-2 (ATF-2); it also enhanced the nuclear presence of ATF-2. AP-1 was critical for Twist1-induced cancer cell invasion, primarily through the induction of integrin α5, which activated c-Jun N-terminal kinase and focal adhesion kinase-signaling activities. Using data from The Cancer Genome Atlas, we found that Twist1 expression positively correlates with integrin α5 expression in human colorectal cancers. These findings suggest that cooperation between Twist1 and AP-1 represents a novel mechanism for EMT and tumor invasiveness. This study supports further investigation into the molecular basis underlying the diverse Twist1-mediated functions that occur during tumor progression.

Zheng R, Wang X, Studzinski GP
1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 induces monocytic differentiation of human myeloid leukemia cells by regulating C/EBPβ expression through MEF2C.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2015; 148:132-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
Myogenic enhancer factor2 (Mef2) consists of a family of transcription factors involved in morphogenesis of skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle cells. Among the four isoforms (Mef2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D), Mef2C was also found to play important roles in hematopoiesis. At myeloid progenitor level, Mef2C expression favors monocytic differentiation. Previous studies from our laboratory demonstrated that ERK5 was activated in 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D)-induced monocytic differentiation in AML cells and ERK5 activation was accompanied by increased Mef2C phosphorylation. We therefore examined the role of Mef2C in 1,25D-induced monocytic differentiation in AML cell lines (HL60, U937 and THP1) and found that knockdown of Mef2C with small interfering RNA (siRNA) significantly decreases the expression of the monocytic marker, CD14, without affecting the expression of the general myeloid marker, CD11b. CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) β, which can bind to CD14 promoter and increase its transcription, has been shown to be the downstream effector of 1,25D-induced monocytic differentiation in AML cells. When Mef2C was knocked down, expression of C/EBPβ was reduced at both mRNA and protein levels. The protein expression levels of cell cycle regulators, p27(Kip1) and cyclin D1, were not affected by Mef2C knockdown, nor the monopoiesis related transcription factor, ATF2 (activating transcription factor 2). Thus, we conclude that 1,25D-induced monocytic differentiation, and CD14 expression in particular, are mediated through activation of ERK5-Mef2C-C/EBPβ signaling pathway, and that Mef2C does not seem to modulate cell cycle progression.

Lo Iacono M, Monica V, Vavalà T, et al.
ATF2 contributes to cisplatin resistance in non-small cell lung cancer and celastrol induces cisplatin resensitization through inhibition of JNK/ATF2 pathway.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 136(11):2598-609 [PubMed] Related Publications
ATF2 is a transcription factor involved in stress and DNA damage. A correlation between ATF2 JNK-mediated activation and resistance to damaging agents has already been reported. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether ATF2 may have a role in acquired resistance to cisplatin in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). mRNA and protein analysis on matched cancer and corresponding normal tissues from surgically resected NSCLC have been performed. Furthermore, in NSCLC cell lines, ATF2 expression levels were evaluated and correlated to platinum (CDDP) resistance. Celastrol-mediated ATF2/cJUN activity was measured. High expression levels of both ATF2 transcript and proteins were observed in lung cancer specimens (p < 0.01, Log2 (FC) = +4.7). CDDP-resistant NSCLC cell lines expressed high levels of ATF2 protein. By contrast, Celastrol-mediated ATF2/cJUN functional inhibition restored the response to CDDP. Moreover, ATF2 protein activation correlates with worse outcome in advanced CDDP-treated patients. For the first time, it has been shown NSCLC ATF2 upregulation at both mRNA/protein levels in NSCLC. In addition, we reported that in NSCLC cell lines a correlation between ATF2 protein expression and CDDP resistance occurs. Altogether, our results indicate a potential increase in CDDP sensitivity, on Celastrol-mediated ATF2/cJUN inhibition. These data suggest a possible involvement of ATF2 in NSCLC CDDP-resistance.

Rudalska R, Dauch D, Longerich T, et al.
In vivo RNAi screening identifies a mechanism of sorafenib resistance in liver cancer.
Nat Med. 2014; 20(10):1138-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
In solid tumors, resistance to therapy inevitably develops upon treatment with cytotoxic drugs or molecularly targeted therapies. Here, we describe a system that enables pooled shRNA screening directly in mouse hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) in vivo to identify genes likely to be involved in therapy resistance. Using a focused shRNA library targeting genes located within focal genomic amplifications of human HCC, we screened for genes whose inhibition increased the therapeutic efficacy of the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib. Both shRNA-mediated and pharmacological silencing of Mapk14 (p38α) were found to sensitize mouse HCC to sorafenib therapy and prolong survival by abrogating Mapk14-dependent activation of Mek-Erk and Atf2 signaling. Elevated Mapk14-Atf2 signaling predicted poor response to sorafenib therapy in human HCC, and sorafenib resistance of p-Mapk14-expressing HCC cells could be reverted by silencing Mapk14. Our results suggest that a combination of sorafenib and Mapk14 blockade is a promising approach to overcoming therapy resistance of human HCC.

Rudraraju B, Droog M, Abdel-Fatah TM, et al.
Phosphorylation of activating transcription factor-2 (ATF-2) within the activation domain is a key determinant of sensitivity to tamoxifen in breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014; 147(2):295-309 [PubMed] Related Publications
Activating transcription factor-2 (ATF-2) has been implicated as a tumour suppressor in breast cancer (BC). c-JUN N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 MAPK phosphorylate ATF-2 within the activation domain (AD), which is required for its transcriptional activity. To date, the role of ATF-2 in determining response to endocrine therapy has not been explored. Effects of ATF-2 loss in the oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive luminal BC cell line MCF7 were explored, as well as its role in response to tamoxifen treatment. Genome-wide chromatin binding patterns of ATF-2 when phosphorylated within the AD in MCF-7 cells were determined using ChIP-seq. The expression of ATF-2 and phosphorylated ATF-2 (pATF-2-Thr71) was determined in a series of 1,650 BC patients and correlated with clinico-pathological features and clinical outcome. Loss of ATF-2 diminished the growth-inhibitory effects of tamoxifen, while tamoxifen treatment induced ATF-2 phosphorylation within the AD, to regulate the expression of a set of 227 genes for proximal phospho-ATF-2 binding, involved in cell development, assembly and survival. Low expression of both ATF-2 and pATF-2-Thr71 was significantly associated with aggressive pathological features. Furthermore, pATF-2 was associated with both p-p38 and pJNK1/2 (< 0.0001). While expression of ATF-2 is not associated with outcome, pATF-2 is associated with longer disease-free (p = 0.002) and BC-specific survival in patients exposed to tamoxifen (p = 0.01). Furthermore, multivariate analysis confirmed pATF-2-Thr71 as an independent prognostic factor. ATF-2 is important for modulating the effect of tamoxifen and phosphorylation of ATF-2 within the AD at Thr71 predicts for improved outcome for ER-positive BC receiving tamoxifen.

Lin L, Yao Z, Bhuvaneshwar K, et al.
Transcriptional regulation of STAT3 by SPTBN1 and SMAD3 in HCC through cAMP-response element-binding proteins ATF3 and CREB2.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(11):2393-403 [PubMed] Related Publications
The cytoskeletal protein Spectrin, beta, non-erythrocytic 1 (SPTBN1), an adapter protein to SMAD3 in TGF-β signaling, may prevent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development by downregulating the expression of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). To elucidate the as yet undefined mechanisms that regulate this process, we demonstrate that higher levels of STAT3 transcription are found in livers of heterozygous SPTBN1(+/-) mice as compared to that of wild type mice. We also found increased levels of STAT3 mRNA, STAT3 protein, and p-STAT3 in human HCC cell-lines after knockdown of SPTBN1 or SMAD3, which promoted cell colony formation. Inhibition of STAT3 overrode the increase in cell colony formation due to knockdown of SPTBN1 or SMAD3. We also found that inhibition of SPTBN1 or SMAD3 upregulated STAT3 promoter activity in HCC cell-lines, which is dependent upon the cAMP-response element (CRE) and STAT-binding element (SBE) sites of the STAT3 promoter. Mechanistically, suppression of SPTBN1 and SMAD3 augmented the transcription of STAT3 by upregulating the CRE-binding proteins ATF3 and CREB2 and augmented the binding of those proteins to the regions within or upstream of the CRE site of the STAT3 promoter. Finally, in human HCC tissues, SPTBN1 expression correlated negatively with expression levels of STAT3, ATF3, and CREB2; SMAD3 expression correlated negatively with STAT3 expression; and the level of phosphorylated SMAD3 (p-SMAD3) correlated negatively with ATF3 and CREB2 protein levels. SPTBN1 and SMAD3 collaborate with CRE-binding transcription factors to inhibit STAT3, thereby preventing HCC development.

Romanov VS, Brichkina AI, Morrison H, et al.
Novel mechanism of JNK pathway activation by adenoviral E1A.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(8):2176-86 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
The adenoviral oncoprotein E1A influences cellular regulation by interacting with a number of cellular proteins. In collaboration with complementary oncogenes, E1A fully transforms primary cells. As part of this action, E1A inhibits transcription of c-Jun:Fos target genes while promoting that of c-Jun:ATF2-dependent genes including jun. Both c-Jun and ATF2 are hyperphosphorylated in response to E1A. In the current study, E1A was fused with the ligand binding domain of the estrogen receptor (E1A-ER) to monitor the immediate effect of E1A activation. With this approach we now show that E1A activates c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), the upstream kinases MKK4 and MKK7, as well as the small GTPase Rac1. Activation of the JNK pathway requires the N-terminal domain of E1A, and, importantly, is independent of transcription. In addition, it requires the presence of ERM proteins. Downregulation of signaling components upstream of JNK inhibits E1A-dependent JNK/c-Jun activation. Taking these findings together, we show that E1A activates the JNK/c-Jun signaling pathway upstream of Rac1 in a transcription-independent manner, demonstrating a novel mechanism of E1A action.

Chen J, Solomides C, Simpkins H
Sensitization of mesothelioma cells to platinum-based chemotherapy by GSTπ knockdown.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 447(1):77-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
It is predicted that the incidence of mesothelioma will increase and thus it is important to find new ways to treat this chemoresistant tumor. Glutathione-S-Transferase π (GSTπ) is found at significant levels in mesotheliomas and thus attenuating its intracellular levels may provide a means of sensitizing mesothelioma cells to chemotherapy. GSTπ knockdowns were therefore prepared with shRNA (less off-target effects) employing two cell lines (211H, H2452) that were typed by immunohistochemistry to be of mesothelial origin. The knockdowns exhibited a decrease in both total GST enzyme activity and GSTπ protein levels as well as an increase in both glutathione levels and sensitivity to cis and oxaliplatin. Cisplatin treatment of the knockdowns increased ROS levels significantly (as compared to the parental cells) and produced activation of the JNK/p38 pathways and activating transcription factor (ATF2). The degree of activation and increase in ROS appeared to correlate with the cell line's sensitivity to cisplatin. Treatment with N-Acetyl Cysteine decreased ROS production and JNK/p38 phosphorylation but had minimal affect on ATF2 suggesting a direct interaction of GTPπ with this transcription factor. Oxaliplatin treatment produced only minimal changes in ROS levels and activation of the JNK/p38 pathway. Recently, new methods of siRNA delivery (nanoparticles) have been shown to be effective in decreasing the levels of target proteins in humans including candidate genes involved in drug resistance - thus this approach may have promise in sensitizing cisplatin-resistant tumors to chemotherapy.

Zhao Y, Li Y, Han J, et al.
Helicobacter pylori enhances CIP2A expression and cell proliferation via JNK2/ATF2 signaling in human gastric cancer cells.
Int J Mol Med. 2014; 33(3):703-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection plays an important role in the development of gastric carcinomas. Cancerous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A (CIP2A) is a novel human oncoprotein that functions as an important regulator of cell growth and malignant transformation. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the potential mechanisms by which H. pylori upregulates the expression of CIP2A and the functional impact of H. pylori-induced CIP2A in gastric cancer cells. We demonstrated that infection of MKN-45 cells with H. pylori led to a marked increase in the expression of CIP2A at the mRNA and protein levels. H. pylori-induced CIP2A was associated with increased cell proliferation. In addition, H. pylori was found to activate the JNK2 pathway. Importantly, both H. pylori-induced CIP2A production and cell proliferation were partially reversed by inhibition of JNK2 signaling. Similarly, the blockade of H. pylori-induced CIP2A expression by siRNA against CIP2A also inhibited cell proliferation. Thus, H. pylori appears to stimulate the expression of CIP2A and proliferation of gastric cancer cells via JNK2 signaling. These findings suggest that H. pylori-induced upregulation of CIP2A contributes to the development and progression of gastric cancer. Further in vivo studies are warranted to explore the biological role of CIP2A and its interaction with JNK2 signaling in gastric cancer.

Jiang S, Willox B, Zhou H, et al.
Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 3C binds to BATF/IRF4 or SPI1/IRF4 composite sites and recruits Sin3A to repress CDKN2A.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014; 111(1):421-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 3C (EBNA3C) repression of CDKN2A p14(ARF) and p16(INK4A) is essential for immortal human B-lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL) growth. EBNA3C ChIP-sequencing identified >13,000 EBNA3C sites in LCL DNA. Most EBNA3C sites were associated with active transcription; 64% were strong H3K4me1- and H3K27ac-marked enhancers and 16% were active promoters marked by H3K4me3 and H3K9ac. Using ENCODE LCL transcription factor ChIP-sequencing data, EBNA3C sites coincided (±250 bp) with RUNX3 (64%), BATF (55%), ATF2 (51%), IRF4 (41%), MEF2A (35%), PAX5 (34%), SPI1 (29%), BCL11a (28%), SP1 (26%), TCF12 (23%), NF-κB (23%), POU2F2 (23%), and RBPJ (16%). EBNA3C sites separated into five distinct clusters: (i) Sin3A, (ii) EBNA2/RBPJ, (iii) SPI1, and (iv) strong or (v) weak BATF/IRF4. EBNA3C signals were positively affected by RUNX3, BATF/IRF4 (AICE) and SPI1/IRF4 (EICE) cooccupancy. Gene set enrichment analyses correlated EBNA3C/Sin3A promoter sites with transcription down-regulation (P < 1.6 × 10(-4)). EBNA3C signals were strongest at BATF/IRF4 and SPI1/IRF4 composite sites. EBNA3C bound strongly to the p14(ARF) promoter through SPI1/IRF4/BATF/RUNX3, establishing RBPJ-, Sin3A-, and REST-mediated repression. EBNA3C immune precipitated with Sin3A and conditional EBNA3C inactivation significantly decreased Sin3A binding at the p14(ARF) promoter (P < 0.05). These data support a model in which EBNA3C binds strongly to BATF/IRF4/SPI1/RUNX3 sites to enhance transcription and recruits RBPJ/Sin3A- and REST/NRSF-repressive complexes to repress p14(ARF) and p16(INK4A) expression.

Chung KS, Han G, Kim BK, et al.
A novel antitumor piperazine alkyl compound causes apoptosis by inducing RhoB expression via ROS‑mediated c‑Abl/p38 MAPK signaling.
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2013; 72(6):1315-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: We investigated the action mechanism of a novel anticancer compound, KR28 (1-allyl-4-dodecanoyl-1-ethyl-piperazin-1-ium; bromide), to induce apoptosis of human prostate carcinoma PC-3 cells.
METHODS: To explore an apoptotic signaling of KR28, we used ROS assay, SRB assay, flow cytometry analysis, reporter assay, xenograft assay, Western blotting, and RT-PCR analysis.
RESULTS: The growth inhibitory action of KR28 is cell line specific, impeding the growth of prostate carcinoma PC-3 and stomach carcinoma NUGC-3 cells. KR28 showed strong antitumor activity in PC-3 mouse xenograft model. KR28 increased ROS production, leading to nuclear c-Abl expression, which in turn activated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) to enhance the expression of RhoB, an apoptosis inducer. The KR28-induced apoptosis was abrogated by the ROS scavenger N-acetylcysteine and by knockdown of c-Abl, p38 MAPK, or ATF2. Moreover, the p300 binding site and two CCAAT boxes in the RhoB promoter appear to be involved in ROS-mediated RhoB expression in the presence of KR28.
CONCLUSION: The antitumor agent KR28 induces apoptosis of PC-3 cells by ROS-mediated RhoB expression via c-Abl upregulation and activation of p38 MAPK/ATF-2.

Grumolato L, Liu G, Haremaki T, et al.
β-Catenin-independent activation of TCF1/LEF1 in human hematopoietic tumor cells through interaction with ATF2 transcription factors.
PLoS Genet. 2013; 9(8):e1003603 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
The role of Wnt signaling in embryonic development and stem cell maintenance is well established and aberrations leading to the constitutive up-regulation of this pathway are frequent in several types of human cancers. Upon ligand-mediated activation, Wnt receptors promote the stabilization of β-catenin, which translocates to the nucleus and binds to the T-cell factor/lymphoid enhancer factor (TCF/LEF) family of transcription factors to regulate the expression of Wnt target genes. When not bound to β-catenin, the TCF/LEF proteins are believed to act as transcriptional repressors. Using a specific lentiviral reporter, we identified hematopoietic tumor cells displaying constitutive TCF/LEF transcriptional activation in the absence of β-catenin stabilization. Suppression of TCF/LEF activity in these cells mediated by an inducible dominant-negative TCF4 (DN-TCF4) inhibited both cell growth and the expression of Wnt target genes. Further, expression of TCF1 and LEF1, but not TCF4, stimulated TCF/LEF reporter activity in certain human cell lines independently of β-catenin. By a complementary approach in vivo, TCF1 mutants, which lacked the ability to bind to β-catenin, induced Xenopus embryo axis duplication, a hallmark of Wnt activation, and the expression of the Wnt target gene Xnr3. Through generation of different TCF1-TCF4 fusion proteins, we identified three distinct TCF1 domains that participate in the β-catenin-independent activity of this transcription factor. TCF1 and LEF1 physically interacted and functionally synergized with members of the activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2) family of transcription factors. Moreover, knockdown of ATF2 expression in lymphoma cells phenocopied the inhibitory effects of DN-TCF4 on the expression of target genes associated with the Wnt pathway and on cell growth. Together, our findings indicate that, through interaction with ATF2 factors, TCF1/LEF1 promote the growth of hematopoietic malignancies in the absence of β-catenin stabilization, thus establishing a new mechanism for TCF1/LEF1 transcriptional activity distinct from that associated with canonical Wnt signaling.

Varsano T, Lau E, Feng Y, et al.
Inhibition of melanoma growth by small molecules that promote the mitochondrial localization of ATF2.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(10):2710-22 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Effective therapy for malignant melanoma, the leading cause of death from skin cancer, remains an area of significant unmet need in oncology. The elevated expression of PKCε in advanced metastatic melanoma results in the increased phosphorylation of the transcription factor ATF2 on threonine 52, which causes its nuclear localization and confers its oncogenic activities. The nuclear-to-mitochondrial translocation of ATF2 following genotoxic stress promotes apoptosis, a function that is largely lost in melanoma cells, due to its confined nuclear localization. Therefore, promoting the nuclear export of ATF2, which sensitizes melanoma cells to apoptosis, represents a novel therapeutic modality.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We conducted a pilot high-throughput screen of 3,800 compounds to identify small molecules that promote melanoma cell death by inducing the cytoplasmic localization of ATF2. The imaging-based ATF2 translocation assay was conducted using UACC903 melanoma cells that stably express doxycycline-inducible GFP-ATF2.
RESULTS: We identified two compounds (SBI-0089410 and SBI-0087702) that promoted the cytoplasmic localization of ATF2, reduced cell viability, inhibited colony formation, cell motility, and anchorage-free growth, and increased mitochondrial membrane permeability. SBI-0089410 inhibited the 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-l3-acetate (TPA)-induced membrane translocation of protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms, whereas both compounds decreased ATF2 phosphorylation by PKCε and ATF2 transcriptional activity. Overexpression of either constitutively active PKCε or phosphomimic mutant ATF2(T52E) attenuated the cellular effects of the compounds.
CONCLUSION: The imaging-based high-throughput screen provides a proof-of-concept for the identification of small molecules that block the oncogenic addiction to PKCε signaling by promoting ATF2 nuclear export, resulting in mitochondrial membrane leakage and melanoma cell death.

Zhou X, Xie G, Wang S, et al.
Potent and specific antitumor effect for colorectal cancer by CEA and Rb double regulated oncolytic adenovirus harboring ST13 gene.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(10):e47566 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
Cancer Targeting Gene-Viro-Therapy (CTGVT) is constructed by inserting an antitumor gene into an oncolytic virus (OV). It is actually an OV-gene therapy, which has much better antitumor effect than either gene therapy alone or virotherapy alone in our previously published papers. This study is a modification of CTGVT by inserting a colorectal cancer (CRC) specific suppressor gene, ST13, into a CRC specific oncolytic virus, the Ad·CEA·E1A(Δ24), to construct the Ad·(ST13)·CEA·E1A(Δ24) for increasing the targeting tropism to colorectal cancer and it was briefly named as CTGVT-CRC. Although many studies on CEA promoter and ST13 gene were reported but no construct has been performed to combine both of them as a new strategy for colorectal cancer (CRC) specific therapy. In addition to the CRC specificity, the antitumor effect of Ad·(ST13)·CEA·E1A(Δ24) was also excellent and got nearly complete inhibition (not eradication) of CRC xenograft since ST13 was an effective antitumor gene with less toxicity, and a Chinese patent (No. 201110319434.4) was available for this study. Ad·(ST13)·CEA·E1A(Δ24) caused cell apoptosis through P38 MAPK (i.e. P38) which upregulated CHOP and ATF2 expression. The mitochondrial medicated apoptosis pathway was activated by the increase of caspase 9 and caspase 3 expression.

Ho H, Aruri J, Kapadia R, et al.
RhoJ regulates melanoma chemoresistance by suppressing pathways that sense DNA damage.
Cancer Res. 2012; 72(21):5516-28 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
Melanomas resist conventional chemotherapeutics, in part, through intrinsic disrespect of apoptotic checkpoint activation. In this study, using an unbiased genome-wide RNA interference screen, we identified RhoJ and its effector PAK1, as key modulators of melanoma cell sensitivity to DNA damage. We find that RhoJ activates PAK1 in response to drug-induced DNA damage, which then uncouples ATR from its downstream effectors, ultimately resulting in a blunted DNA damage response (DDR). In addition, ATR suppression leads to the decreased phosphorylation of ATF2 and consequent increased expression of the melanocyte survival gene Sox10 resulting in a higher DDR threshold required to engage melanoma cell death. In the setting of normal melanocyte behavior, this regulatory relationship may facilitate appropriate epidermal melanization in response to UV-induced DNA damage. However, pathologic pathway activation during oncogenic transformation produces a tumor that is intrinsically resistant to chemotherapy and has the propensity to accumulate additional mutations. These findings identify DNA damage agents and pharmacologic inhibitors of RhoJ/PAK1 as novel synergistic agents that can be used to treat melanomas that are resistant to conventional chemotherapies.

Oleaga C, Ciudad CJ, Noé V, Izquierdo-Pulido M
Coffee polyphenols change the expression of STAT5B and ATF-2 modifying cyclin D1 levels in cancer cells.
Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2012; 2012:390385 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies suggest that coffee consumption reduces the risk of cancer, but the molecular mechanisms of its chemopreventive effects remain unknown.
OBJECTIVE: To identify differentially expressed genes upon incubation of HT29 colon cancer cells with instant caffeinated coffee (ICC) or caffeic acid (CA) using whole-genome microarrays.
RESULTS: ICC incubation of HT29 cells caused the overexpression of 57 genes and the underexpression of 161, while CA incubation induced the overexpression of 12 genes and the underexpression of 32. Using Venn-Diagrams, we built a list of five overexpressed genes and twelve underexpressed genes in common between the two experimental conditions. This list was used to generate a biological association network in which STAT5B and ATF-2 appeared as highly interconnected nodes. STAT5B overexpression was confirmed at the mRNA and protein levels. For ATF-2, the changes in mRNA levels were confirmed for both ICC and CA, whereas the decrease in protein levels was only observed in CA-treated cells. The levels of cyclin D1, a target gene for both STAT5B and ATF-2, were downregulated by CA in colon cancer cells and by ICC and CA in breast cancer cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Coffee polyphenols are able to affect cyclin D1 expression in cancer cells through the modulation of STAT5B and ATF-2.

Pradhan MP, Prasad NK, Palakal MJ
A systems biology approach to the global analysis of transcription factors in colorectal cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2012; 12:331 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Biological entities do not perform in isolation, and often, it is the nature and degree of interactions among numerous biological entities which ultimately determines any final outcome. Hence, experimental data on any single biological entity can be of limited value when considered only in isolation. To address this, we propose that augmenting individual entity data with the literature will not only better define the entity's own significance but also uncover relationships with novel biological entities.To test this notion, we developed a comprehensive text mining and computational methodology that focused on discovering new targets of one class of molecular entities, transcription factors (TF), within one particular disease, colorectal cancer (CRC).
METHODS: We used 39 molecular entities known to be associated with CRC along with six colorectal cancer terms as the bait list, or list of search terms, for mining the biomedical literature to identify CRC-specific genes and proteins. Using the literature-mined data, we constructed a global TF interaction network for CRC. We then developed a multi-level, multi-parametric methodology to identify TFs to CRC.
RESULTS: The small bait list, when augmented with literature-mined data, identified a large number of biological entities associated with CRC. The relative importance of these TF and their associated modules was identified using functional and topological features. Additional validation of these highly-ranked TF using the literature strengthened our findings. Some of the novel TF that we identified were: SLUG, RUNX1, IRF1, HIF1A, ATF-2, ABL1, ELK-1 and GATA-1. Some of these TFs are associated with functional modules in known pathways of CRC, including the Beta-catenin/development, immune response, transcription, and DNA damage pathways.
CONCLUSIONS: Our methodology of using text mining data and a multi-level, multi-parameter scoring technique was able to identify both known and novel TF that have roles in CRC. Starting with just one TF (SMAD3) in the bait list, the literature mining process identified an additional 116 CRC-associated TFs. Our network-based analysis showed that these TFs all belonged to any of 13 major functional groups that are known to play important roles in CRC. Among these identified TFs, we obtained a novel six-node module consisting of ATF2-P53-JNK1-ELK1-EPHB2-HIF1A, from which the novel JNK1-ELK1 association could potentially be a significant marker for CRC.

Jones KB, Su L, Jin H, et al.
SS18-SSX2 and the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway in mouse and human synovial sarcomas.
Oncogene. 2013; 32(18):2365-71, 2375.e1-5 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
Synovial sarcoma is a deadly malignancy with limited sensitivity to traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy. SS18-SSX fusion oncogene expression characterizes human synovial sarcomas and drives oncogenesis in a mouse model. Elevated expression of BCL2 is considered a consistent feature of the synovial sarcoma expression profile. Our objective was to evaluate the expression of apoptotic pathway members in synovial sarcomas and interrogate the impact of modulating SS18-SSX expression on this pathway. We show in human and murine synovial sarcoma cells that SS18-SSX increases BCL2 expression, but represses other anti-apoptotic genes, including MCL1 and BCL2A1. This repression is achieved by directly suppressing expression via binding through activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2) to the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (AMP) response element (CRE) in the promoters of these genes and recruiting TLE1/Groucho. The suppression of these two anti-apoptotic pathways silences the typical routes by which other tumors evade BH3-domain peptidomimetic pharmacotherapy. We show that mouse and human synovial sarcoma cells are sensitive in vitro to ABT-263, a BH3-peptidomimetic, much more than the other tested cancer cell lines. ABT-263 also enhances the sensitivity of these cells to doxorubicin, a traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy used for synovial sarcoma. We also demonstrate the capacity of ABT-263 to stunt synovial sarcomagenesis in vivo in a genetic mouse model. These data recommend pursuit of BH3-peptidomimetic pharmacotherapy in human synovial sarcomas.

Lauss M, Aine M, Sjödahl G, et al.
DNA methylation analyses of urothelial carcinoma reveal distinct epigenetic subtypes and an association between gene copy number and methylation status.
Epigenetics. 2012; 7(8):858-67 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
We assessed DNA methylation and copy number status of 27,000 CpGs in 149 urothelial carcinomas and integrated the findings with gene expression and mutation data. Methylation was associated with gene expression for 1,332 CpGs, of which 26% showed positive correlation with expression, i.e., high methylation and high gene expression levels. These positively correlated CpGs were part of specific transcription factor binding sites, such as sites for MYC and CREBP1, or located in gene bodies. Furthermore, we found genes with copy number gains, low expression and high methylation levels, revealing an association between methylation and copy number levels. This phenomenon was typically observed for developmental genes, such as HOX genes, and tumor suppressor genes. In contrast, we also identified genes with copy number gains, high expression and low methylation levels. This was for instance observed for some keratin genes. Tumor cases could be grouped into four subgroups, termed epitypes, by their DNA methylation profiles. One epitype was influenced by the presence of infiltrating immune cells, two epitypes were mainly composed of non-muscle invasive tumors, and the remaining epitype of muscle invasive tumors. The polycomb complex protein EZH2 that blocks differentiation in embryonic stem cells showed increased expression both at the mRNA and protein levels in the muscle invasive epitype, together with methylation of polycomb target genes and HOX genes. Our data highlights HOX gene silencing and EZH2 expression as mechanisms to promote a more undifferentiated and aggressive state in UC.

Nakaya Y, Shimode S, Kobayashi T, et al.
Binding of transcription factor activating protein 2 γ on the 5'-proximal promoter region of human porcine endogenous retrovirus subgroup A receptor 2/GPR172B.
Xenotransplantation. 2012 May-Jun; 19(3):177-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Xenotransplantation is one of the solutions for the shortage of organ donors, and pigs have been considered to be the most suitable animal donors. Specific pathogen-free pigs are utilized in the xenotransplantation; however, pigs have infectious gammaretroviruses, named porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) in their genome. Of them, PERV-A and PERV-B can infect human cells in vitro and potentially induce diseases like other gammaretroviruses. The human cellular receptors for PERV-A were identified and named human PERV-A receptor (HuPAR)-1 and HuPAR-2 (also called as GPR172A and GPR172B, respectively). We have recently reported that HuPAR-2 expression was regulated by epigenetic modification and preferentially expressed in placenta. However, the detailed mechanisms of HuPAR-2 expression have not been fully characterized. In this study, we analyzed molecular mechanisms associated with HuPAR-2 transcription through the identification of transcription factors that bind to the promoter region of HuPAR-2.
METHODS: In situ hybridization was performed to identify the cells expressing HuPAR-2 in placental tissues. Transcriptional activities were measured by dual-luciferase reporter assay using serial deletion mutants of HuPAR-2 5'-flanking region. To identify the transcription factors bound to the promoter region, in silico analysis, electrophoresis mobility shift assay, and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay were conducted. The effect of the transcription factor transcription factor activator protein (TFAP)-2γ on the promoter activities was investigated by overexpression of the factor.
RESULTS: We identified that HuPAR-2 was specifically expressed in villous trophoblast cells. We also identified that a region spanning from -126 to -32 had proximal promoter activities and TFAP-2γ bound to a region spanning from -58 to -35 in vitro and in vivo. The overexpression of TFAP-2γ also augmented the proximal promoter activity.
CONCLUSION: We demonstrated that TFAP-2γ is one of the transcription factors involved in the HuPAR-2 expression in human villous trophoblast cells. By studying transcriptional factors involved in the expression of HuPAR-2, we may find a clue to control the potential risks caused by PERV-A infection in xenotransplantation.

Ibrahim SA, Yip GW, Stock C, et al.
Targeting of syndecan-1 by microRNA miR-10b promotes breast cancer cell motility and invasiveness via a Rho-GTPase- and E-cadherin-dependent mechanism.
Int J Cancer. 2012; 131(6):E884-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
microRNAs are small endogenous noncoding RNAs, which post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression. In breast cancer, overexpression of the transmembrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan syndecan-1, a predicted target of the oncomiR miR-10b, correlates with poor clinical outcome. To investigate the potential functional relationship of miR-10b and syndecan-1, MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cells were transiently transfected with pre-miR-10b, syndecan-1 siRNA or control reagents, respectively. Altered cell behavior was monitored by proliferation, migration and invasion chamber assays, and time-lapse video microscopy. miR-10b overexpression induced post-transcriptional downregulation of syndecan-1, as demonstrated by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), flow cytometry, and 3'UTR luciferase assays, resulting in increased cancer cell migration and matrigel invasiveness. Syndecan-1 silencing generated a copy of this phenotype. Adhesion to fibronectin and laminin and basal cell proliferation was increased. Syndecan-1 coimmunoprecipitated with focal adhesion kinase, which showed increased activation upon syndecan-1 depletion. Affymetrix screening and confirmatory qPCR and Western blotting analysis of syndecan-1-deficient cells revealed upregulation of ATF-2, COX-2, cadherin-11, vinculin, actin γ 2, MYL9, transgelin-1, RhoA/C, matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) and heparanase, and downregulation of AML1/RUNX1, E-cadherin, CLDN1, p21WAF/CIP, cyclin-dependent kinase 6, TLR-4, PAI1/2, Collagen1alpha1, JHDM1D, Mpp4, MMP9, matrilin-2 and ANXA3/A10. Video microscopy demonstrated massively increased Rho kinase-dependent motility of syndecan-1-depleted cells, which displayed increased filopodia formation. We conclude that syndecan-1 is a novel target of the oncomiR miR-10b. Rho-GTPase-dependent modulation of cytoskeletal function and downregulation of E-cadherin expression are identified as relevant effectors of the miR-10b-syndecan-1 axis, which emerges as a promising target for the development of new therapeutic approaches for breast cancer.

Su L, Sampaio AV, Jones KB, et al.
Deconstruction of the SS18-SSX fusion oncoprotein complex: insights into disease etiology and therapeutics.
Cancer Cell. 2012; 21(3):333-47 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
Synovial sarcoma is a translocation-associated sarcoma where the underlying chromosomal event generates SS18-SSX fusion transcripts. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that the SS18-SSX fusion oncoprotein is both necessary and sufficient to support tumorigenesis; however, its mechanism of action remains poorly defined. We have purified a core SS18-SSX complex and discovered that SS18-SSX serves as a bridge between activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2) and transducin-like enhancer of split 1 (TLE1), resulting in repression of ATF2 target genes. Disruption of these components by siRNA knockdown or treatment with HDAC inhibitors rescues target gene expression, leading to growth suppression and apoptosis. Together, these studies define a fundamental role for aberrant ATF2 transcriptional dysregulation in the etiology of synovial sarcoma.

Hsu CC, Hu CD
Critical role of N-terminal end-localized nuclear export signal in regulation of activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2) subcellular localization and transcriptional activity.
J Biol Chem. 2012; 287(11):8621-32 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
Activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2) belongs to the basic leucine zipper family of transcription factors. ATF2 regulates target gene expression by binding to the cyclic AMP-response element as a homodimer or a heterodimer with c-Jun. Cytoplasmic localization of ATF2 was observed in melanoma, brain tissue from patients with Alzheimer disease, prostate cancer specimens, and ionizing radiation-treated prostate cancer cells, suggesting that alteration of ATF2 subcellular localization may be involved in the pathogenesis of these diseases. We previously demonstrated that ATF2 is a nucleocytoplasmic shuttling protein, and it contains two nuclear localization signals in the basic region and one nuclear export signal (NES) in the leucine zipper domain (named LZ-NES). In the present study, we demonstrate that a hydrophobic stretch in the N terminus, (1)MKFKLHV(7), also functions as an NES (termed N-NES) in a chromosome region maintenance 1 (CRM1)-dependent manner. Mutation of both N-NES and LZ-NES results in a predominant nuclear localization, whereas mutation of each individual NES only partially increases the nuclear localization. These results suggest that cytoplasmic localization of ATF2 requires function of at least one of the NESs. Further, mutation of N-NES enhances the transcriptional activity of ATF2, suggesting that the novel NES negatively regulates the transcriptional potential of ATF2. Thus, ATF2 subcellular localization is probably modulated by multiple mechanisms, and further understanding of the regulation of ATF2 subcellular localization under various pathological conditions will provide insight into the pathophysiological role of ATF2 in human diseases.

Gozdecka M, Breitwieser W
The roles of ATF2 (activating transcription factor 2) in tumorigenesis.
Biochem Soc Trans. 2012; 40(1):230-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) pathways are among the most frequently deregulated signalling events in cancer. Among the critical targets of MAPK activities are members of the AP-1 (activator protein 1) transcription factor, a dimeric complex consisting of Jun, Fos, Maf and ATF (activating transcription factor) family DNA-binding proteins. Depending on the cellular context, the composition of the dimeric complexes determines the regulation of growth, survival or apoptosis. JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase), p38 and a number of Jun and Fos family proteins have been analysed for their involvement in oncogenic transformation and tumour formation. These data are also emerging for the ATF components of the AP-1 factor. The aim of the present review is to provide an overview of the functions of two ATF family proteins, ATF2 and ATF7, in mammalian development and their potential functions in tumour formation.

Fan CF, Mao XY, Wang EH
Elevated p-CREB-2 (ser 245) expression is potentially associated with carcinogenesis and development of breast carcinoma.
Mol Med Rep. 2012; 5(2):357-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
CREB-2, also known as ATF-4, belongs to the CREB proteins, a family of transcription factors phosphorylated at serine residues by protein kinase A (PKA). This family is known to stimulate the transcription of genes containing CRE elements. Recently, some studies have demonstrated elevated CREB-2 expression in certain tumor types, including breast carcinoma, compared to their corresponding non-tumor tissues. However, the expression and clinical significance in malignant tumors, including breast carcinoma, of p-CREB-2 (ser 245), a phosphorylated form of the CREB-2 protein at serine 245 site, which is believed to be an active type of this protein, have not been clearly documented. In the present study, we investigated the expression of p-CREB-2 (ser 245) in a group of tumor and non-tumor breast tissues, including normal breast epithelia, hyperplasia, dysplasia, carcinoma in situ and infiltrating carcinoma of the breast using tissue microarray and immunohistochemistry (IHC). p-CREB-2 (ser 245) immunostaining was detected in the nucleus and cytoplasm of these tissues. Compared to normal breast epithelia and breast hyperplasia (total positive rate 13.3%), there was increased expression of p-CREB-2 (ser 245) in dysplasia, carcinoma in situ (total positive rate 35.7%) and infiltrating carcinoma of the breast (total positive rate 60.0%) (p<0.05). The highest expression of p-CREB-2 (ser 245) was found in infiltrating breast carcinoma (total positive rate 60%) compared to normal breast epithelia and all types of non-infiltrating lesions (total positive rate 27.6%) (p<0.05). In addition, increased expression of p-CREB-2 (ser 245) was found to be associated with lymph node metastasis in infiltrating breast carcinoma (p<0.05). Immunofluorescent staining confirmed stronger staining of p-CREB-2 (ser 245) in breast cancer MCF 7 and MDA-MB-231 cells compared with normal breast epithelial MCF 10A cells. Western blotting revealed elevated expression levels of p-CREB-2 (ser 245) in 17 cases of breast carcinoma compared with corresponding normal breast tissues (p<0.05). These results indicate that elevated expression of p-CREB-2 (ser 245) may potentially contribute to carcinogenesis and cancer development of breast carcinoma.

Duffey D, Dolgilevich S, Razzouk S, et al.
Activating transcription factor-2 in survival mechanisms in head and neck carcinoma cells.
Head Neck. 2011; 33(11):1586-99 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Activating transcription factor-2 (ATF2) is associated with tumor progression but is not well studied in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Its effects in stress and its importance in other survival mechanisms were studied.
METHODS: ATF2 expression and nuclear activation were confirmed in HNSCC. After modulation of ATF2, in vitro effects on proliferation and chemosensitivity were studied. Effects on in vivo tumor growth and interleukin 8 (IL-8) expression were determined. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) treatment was used to further evaluate cytokine production and chemosensitivity.
RESULTS: Reductions of ATF2 resulted in significant nuclear p-ATF2 activation, cisplatin resistance, and augmented IL-8 expression without affecting in vivo tumor growth. In this setting, TNF increases p-p38 phosphorylation and chemosensitivity while further enhancing IL-8 production.
CONCLUSION: Our data suggest regulatory roles for ATF2 in TNF-related mechanisms of HNSCC. Its perturbation and nuclear activation are associated with significant effects on survival and cytokine production.

Arora H, Qureshi R, Park AK, Park WY
Coordinated regulation of ATF2 by miR-26b in γ-irradiated lung cancer cells.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(8):e23802 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
MicroRNA regulates cellular responses to ionizing radiation (IR) through translational control of target genes. We analyzed time-series changes in microRNA expression following γ-irradiation in H1299 lung cancer cells using microarray analysis. Significantly changed IR-responsive microRNAs were selected based on analysis of variance analysis, and predicted target mRNAs were enriched in mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. Concurrent analysis of time-series mRNA and microRNA profiles uncovered that expression of miR-26b was down regulated, and its target activating transcription factor 2 (ATF2) mRNA was up regulated in γ-irradiated H1299 cells. IR in miR-26b overexpressed H1299 cells could not induce expression of ATF2. When c-Jun N-terminal kinase activity was inhibited using SP600125, expression of miR-26b was induced following γ-irradiation in H1299 cells. From these results, we concluded that IR-induced up-regulation of ATF2 was coordinately enhanced by suppression of miR-26b in lung cancer cells, which may enhance the effect of IR in the MAPK signaling pathway.

Fu L, Balasubramanian M, Shan J, et al.
Auto-activation of c-JUN gene by amino acid deprivation of hepatocellular carcinoma cells reveals a novel c-JUN-mediated signaling pathway.
J Biol Chem. 2011; 286(42):36724-38 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
Mammalian cells respond to protein or amino acid (AA) limitation by activating a number of signaling pathways, collectively referred to as the AA response (AAR), that modulate a range of cellular functions, including transcriptional induction of target genes. This study demonstrates that in hepatocellular carcinoma cells, expression of c-JUN, JUN-B, c-FOS, and FOS-B was induced by the AAR, whereas JUN-D, FRA-1, and FRA-2 were not. Of the four activated FOS/JUN members, c-JUN made the largest contribution to the induction of several known AAR target genes. For several human liver, prostate, and ovarian cell lines, the AAR-induced increase in c-JUN expression was greater in transformed cells compared with nontransformed counterparts, an effect independent of cell growth rate. Thus far, the best characterized AA-responsive genes are all transcriptionally activated by ATF4, but the AAR-dependent induction of c-JUN transcription was ATF4-independent. The increased expression of c-JUN was dependent on ATF2 and on activation of the MEK-ERK and JNK arms of the MAPK signaling pathways. Formation of c-JUN-ATF2-activated heterodimers was increased after AA limitation, and c-JUN or ATF2 knockdown suppressed the induction of c-JUN and other AAR target genes. AA deprivation triggers a feed-forward process that involves phosphorylation of existing c-JUN protein by JNK and subsequent auto-activation of the c-JUN gene by recruitment of c-JUN and ATF2 to two AP-1 sites within the proximal promoter. The results document the novel observation that AP-1 sequences within the c-JUN gene can function as transcriptional amino acid-response elements.

Pratheeshkumar P, Sheeja K, Kuttan G
Andrographolide induces apoptosis in B16F-10 melanoma cells by inhibiting NF-κB-mediated bcl-2 activation and modulating p53-induced caspase-3 gene expression.
Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2012; 34(1):143-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer is a disorder characterized by uncontrolled proliferation and reduced apoptosis. Inducing apoptosis is an efficient method of treating cancers. In this study, we investigated the effect of andrographolide on the induction of apoptosis as well as its regulatory effect on the activation of transcription factors in B16F-10 melanoma cells. Treatment of B16F-10 cells with nontoxic concentration of andrographolide showed the presence of apoptotic bodies and induced DNA fragmentation in a dose-dependent manner. Cell cycle analysis and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assays also confirmed the observation. The proapoptotic genes p53, Bax, caspase-9, and caspase-3 were found upregulated in andrographolide-treated cells, whereas the antiapoptotic gene bcl-2 was downregulated. This study also reveals that andrographolide treatment could alter the production and expression of proinflammatory cytokines and could inhibit the activation and nuclear translocation of p65, p50, and c-Rel subunits of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), and other transcription factors such as c-fos, activated transcription factor-2, and cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element-binding protein in B16F-10 melanoma cells. These results suggest that andrographolide induces apoptosis via inhibiting NF-κB-induced bcl-2-mediated survival signaling and modulating p53-induced caspase-3-mediated proapoptotic signaling.

El Btaouri H, Morjani H, Greffe Y, et al.
Role of JNK/ATF-2 pathway in inhibition of thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) expression and apoptosis mediated by doxorubicin and camptothecin in FTC-133 cells.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011; 1813(5):695-703 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our previous studies have shown that camptothecin and doxorubicin triggered ceramide accumulation via de novo synthesis pathway. De novo ceramide generation was responsible for the drug-induced apoptosis through a caspase-3-dependent pathway and a decrease of thrombospondin-1 expression in human thyroid carcinoma FTC-133 cells. Here, we demonstrate that Jun N-terminal kinases play a critical role in camptothecin- and doxorubicin-induced down-regulation of thrombospondin-1 expression: i) de novo ceramide synthesis pathway activates Jun N-terminal kinase 1/2 resulting in activating transcription factor 2 phosphorylation; ii) cell treatment by SP600125, a Jun N-terminal kinase specific inhibitor, strongly reduced activating transcription factor 2 phosphorylation and completely abolished camptothecin and doxorubicin effects; and iii) activating transcription factor 2 expression silencing greatly attenuated camptothecin- and doxorubicin-induced down-regulation of thrombospondin-1 expression and apoptosis. The set of our data established that camptothecin- and doxorubicin-induced activation of Jun N-terminal kinase/activating transcription factor 2 pathway via de novo ceramide synthesis down-regulates thrombospondin-1 expression and apoptosis in human thyroid carcinoma FTC-133 cells. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: 11th European Symposium on Calcium.

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