Gene Summary

Gene:HSPB1; heat shock 27kDa protein 1
Aliases: CMT2F, HMN2B, HSP27, HSP28, Hsp25, SRP27, HS.76067, HEL-S-102
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is induced by environmental stress and developmental changes. The encoded protein is involved in stress resistance and actin organization and translocates from the cytoplasm to the nucleus upon stress induction. Defects in this gene are a cause of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2F (CMT2F) and distal hereditary motor neuropathy (dHMN). [provided by RefSeq, Oct 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:heat shock protein beta-1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 27 February, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (31)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (5)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 28 February 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.

  • Prostate Cancer
  • Messenger RNA
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Gene Expression
  • Phosphorylation
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • HSP27 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Western Blotting
  • Tumor Markers
  • TNF
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Lung Cancer
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Chromosome 7
  • Transcription Factors
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Apoptosis
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • HSPB1
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Melanoma
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Transfection
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Cell Movement
  • siRNA
  • Drug Resistance
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • p53 Protein
  • Proteomics
  • Down-Regulation
  • Disease Progression
  • Signal Transduction
Tag cloud generated 27 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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: HSPB1 (cancer-related)

Zhu Y, Liu Y, Qian Y, et al.
Research on the efficacy of Celastrus Orbiculatus in suppressing TGF-β1-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition by inhibiting HSP27 and TNF-α-induced NF-κ B/Snail signaling pathway in human gastric adenocarcinoma.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014; 14:433 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Celastrus orbiculatus has been used as a folk medicine in China for the treatment of many diseases. In the laboratory, the ethyl acetate extract of Celastrus orbiculatus (COE) displays a wide range of anticancer functions. However, the inhibition of the metastasis mechanism of COE in gastric cancer cells has not been investigated so far.
METHODS: The present study was undertaken to determine if the anti-metastasis effect of COE was involved in inhibiting of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of human gastric adenocarcinoma SGC-7901 cells. In vitro, a well-established experimental EMT model involving transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) was applied. Viability, invasion and migration, protein and mRNA expression of tumor cells were analyzed by MTT assay, transwell assay, western blot and real-time PCR, respectively. The molecular targets of COE in SGC-7901 cells were investigated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and MALDI-TOF-TOF mass spectrometer. Overexpression of heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) was performed by transfected with the recombinant retroviral expression plasmid. In vivo, the anti-metastasis mechanisms of COE in the peritoneal gastric cancer xenograft model was explored and the effect was tested.
RESULTS: The non-cytostatic concentrations of COE effectively inhibited TGF-β1 induced EMT process in SGC-7901 cells, which is characterized by prevented morphological changes, increased E-cadherin expression and decreased Vimentin, N-cadherin expression. Moreover, COE inhibited invasion and migration induced by TGF-β1. Using a comparative proteomics approach, four proteins were identified as differently expressed, with HSP27 protein being one of the most significantly down-regulated proteins induced by COE. Moreover, the activation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB)/Snail signaling pathway induced by tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) was also attenuated under the pretreatment of COE. Interestingly, overexpression of HSP27 significantly decreases the inhibitory effect of COE on EMT and the NF-κB/Snail pathway. Furthermore, COE significantly reduced the number of peritoneal metastatic nodules in the peritoneal gastric cancer xenograft model.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, these results suggest that COE inhibits the EMT by suppressing the expression of HSP27, correlating with inhibition of NF-κB/Snail signal pathways in SGC-7901 cells. Based on these results, COE may be considered a novel anti-cancer agent for the treatment of metastasis in gastric cancer.

Belkacemi L, Hebb MO
HSP27 knockdown produces synergistic induction of apoptosis by HSP90 and kinase inhibitors in glioblastoma multiforme.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(9):4915-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: The heat-shock proteins HSP27 and HSP90 perpetuate the malignant nature of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and offer promise as targets for novel cancer therapeutics. The present study sought to define synergistic antitumor benefits of concurrent HSP27-knockdown and the HSP90 inhibitor, 17-N-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG) or, comparatively, the non-selective kinase inhibitor, staurosporine, in GBM cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Dose-response relations were determined for 17-AAG and staurosporine in three GBM cell lines. HSP27-targeted siRNA was administered alone or in combination with subtherapeutic concentrations of each drug and cells were evaluated for viability, proliferation and apoptosis.
RESULTS: Adjuvant HSP27 knockdown with 17-AAG or staurosporine produced marked and synergistic decrease in GBM cell viability and proliferation, with robust elevation of apoptotic fractions and caspase-3 activation.
CONCLUSION: HSP27 knockdown confers potent chemosensitization of GBM cells. These novel data support the development of HSP-targeting strategies and, specifically, anti-HSP27 agents for the treatment of GBM.

Haaland I, Opsahl JA, Berven FS, et al.
Molecular mechanisms of nutlin-3 involve acetylation of p53, histones and heat shock proteins in acute myeloid leukemia.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:116 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The small-molecule MDM2 antagonist nutlin-3 has proved to be an effective p53 activating therapeutic compound in several preclinical cancer models, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We and others have previously reported a vigorous acetylation of the p53 protein by nutlin-treatment. In this study we aimed to investigate the functional role of this p53 acetylation in nutlin-sensitivity, and further to explore if nutlin-induced protein acetylation in general could indicate novel targets for the enhancement of nutlin-based therapy.
RESULTS: Nutlin-3 was found to enhance the acetylation of p53 in the human AML cell line MOLM-13 (wild type TP53) and in TP53 null cells transfected with wild type p53 cDNA. Stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) in combination with immunoprecipitation using an anti-acetyl-lysine antibody and mass spectrometry analysis identified increased levels of acetylated Histone H2B, Hsp27 and Hsp90 in MOLM-13 cells after nutlin-treatment, accompanied by downregulation of total levels of Hsp27 and Hsp90. Intracellular levels of heat shock proteins Hsp27, Hsp40, Hsp60, Hsp70 and Hsp90α were correlated to nutlin-sensitivity for primary AML cells (n = 40), and AML patient samples with low sensitivity to nutlin-3 tended to express higher levels of heat shock proteins than more responsive samples. Combination therapy of nutlin-3 and Hsp90 inhibitor geldanamycin demonstrated synergistic induction of apoptosis in AML cell lines and primary AML cells. Finally, TP53 null cells transfected with a p53 acetylation defective mutant demonstrated decreased heat shock protein acetylation and sensitivity to nutlin-3 compared to wild type p53 expressing cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Altogether, our results demonstrate that nutlin-3 induces acetylation of p53, histones and heat shock proteins, and indicate that p53 acetylation status and the levels of heat shock proteins may participate in modulation of nutlin-3 sensitivity in AML.

Rani S, Corcoran C, Shiels L, et al.
Neuromedin U: a candidate biomarker and therapeutic target to predict and overcome resistance to HER-tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(14):3821-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
Intrinsic and acquired resistance to HER-targeting drugs occurs in a significant proportion of HER2-overexpressing breast cancers. Thus, there remains a need to identify predictive biomarkers that could improve patient selection and circumvent these types of drug resistance. Here, we report the identification of neuromedin U (NmU) as an extracellular biomarker in cells resistant to HER-targeted drugs. NmU overexpression occurred in cells with acquired or innate resistance to lapatinib, trastuzumab, neratinib, and afatinib, all of which displayed a similar trend upon short-term exposure, suggesting NmU induction may be an early response. An analysis of 3,489 cases of breast cancer showed NmU to be associated with poor patient outcome, particularly those with HER2-overexpressing tumors independent of established prognostic indicators. Ectopic overexpression of NmU in drug-sensitive cells conferred resistance to all HER-targeting drugs, whereas RNAi-mediated attenuation sensitized cells exhibiting acquired or innate drug resistance. Mechanistic investigations suggested that NmU acted through HSP27 as partner protein to stabilize HER2 protein levels. We also obtained evidence of functional NmU receptors on HER2-overexpressing cells, with the addition of exogenous NmU eliciting an elevation in HER2 and EGFR expression along with drug resistance. Finally, we found that NmU seemed to function in cell motility, invasion, and anoikis resistance. In vivo studies revealed that NmU attenuation impaired tumor growth and metastasis. Taken together, our results defined NmU as a candidate drug response biomarker for HER2-overexpressing cancers and as a candidate therapeutic target to limit metastatic progression and improve the efficacy of HER-targeted drugs.

Liu S, Yan B, Lai W, et al.
As a novel p53 direct target, bidirectional gene HspB2/αB-crystallin regulates the ROS level and Warburg effect.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014; 1839(7):592-603 [PubMed] Related Publications
Many mammalian genes are composed of bidirectional gene pairs with the two genes separated by less than 1.0kb. The transcriptional regulation and function of these bidirectional genes remain largely unclear. Here, we report that bidirectional gene pair HspB2/αB-crystallin, both of which are members of the small heat shock protein gene family, is a novel direct target gene of p53. Two potential binding sites of p53 are present in the intergenic region of HspB2/αB-crystallin. p53 up-regulated the bidirectional promoter activities of HspB2/αB-crystallin. Actinomycin D (ActD), an activator of p53, induces the promoter and protein activities of HspB2/αB-crystallin. p53 binds to two p53 binding sites in the intergenic region of HspB2/αB-crystallin in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, the products of bidirectional gene pair HspB2/αB-crystallin regulate glucose metabolism, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) level and the Warburg effect by affecting metabolic genes, including the synthesis of cytochrome c oxidase 2 (SCO2), hexokinase II (HK2), and TP53-induced glycolysis and apoptosis regulator (TIGAR). The ROS level and the Warburg effect are affected after the depletion of p53, HspB2 and αB-crystallin respectively. Finally, we show that both HspB2 and αB-crystallin are linked with human renal carcinogenesis. These findings provide novel insights into the role of p53 as a regulator of bidirectional gene pair HspB2/αB-crystallin-mediated ROS and the Warburg effect.

Zhao GY, Ding JY, Lu CL, et al.
The overexpression of 14-3-3ζ and Hsp27 promotes non–small cell lung cancer progression.
Cancer. 2014; 120(5):652-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The 14-3-3ζ protein has been identified as a putative oncoprotein in several cancers, including non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the mechanisms underlying its functions have not been well defined.
METHODS: Proteins that interact with 14-3-3ζ were identified through coimmunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry in NSCLC cells. The interaction of 14-3-3ζ with these molecular partners and their roles in the invasiveness and metastasis of NSCLC cells were assayed through specific disruptions in the 14-3-3ζ signaling network. In addition, the clinical implications of this 14-3-3ζ complex were examined in samples from patients with NSCLC.
RESULTS: Among the identified proteins that interacted with 14-3-3ζ, there were 230 proteins in 95-D cells, 181 proteins in 95-C cells, and 203 proteins in A549 cells; and 16 interacting proteins were identified that overlapped between all cell lines. Further studies revealed 14-3-3ζ complexes within the heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27) protein and demonstrated that the interference of Hsp27 or 14-3-3ζ inhibited the invasion and metastasis of NSCLC cells. The invasive and metastatic capabilities of cells with both Hsp27 and 14-3-3ζ interference could be completely restored only by Hsp27 and 14-3-3ζ complementary DNA transfection and not by either agent alone. Clinically, the postoperative 5-year overall survival (OS) in patients who had high expression of both 14-3-3ζ and Hsp27 was significantly lower than the 5-year OS in patients who had low expression of both 14-3-3ζ and Hsp27 (26.5% vs 59.7%, respectively). Multivariate analysis revealed that the combined expression of 14-3-3ζ and Hsp27 was an independent prognostic indicator of OS(P = .036).
CONCLUSIONS: The current data suggest that the combined expression of 14-3-3ζ and Hsp27 may be a biomarker for predicting survival in patients with NSCLC, and this combination may have potential as a therapeutic target for NSCLC.

Xue L, Yang L, Jin ZA, et al.
Increased expression of HSP27 inhibits invasion and metastasis in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(7):6999-7007 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous studies have indicated that heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) had high correlation with the development and progression in several tumors. However, the roles of HSP27 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) were uncertain. The aim in this study is to investigate the potential roles of HSP27 in the metastasis of ESCC. The expression of HSP27 in ESCC tissues and four human esophageal cancer cell lines were examined by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting, respectively. Wound healing assays, transwell assays, and in vivo assays were used to identify the differences of metastasis potential between normal and HSP27 overexpressed cells. HSP27 expression was downregulated in cancer tissue compared to the matched normal tissue. And the positive staining was mainly located in the cytoplasm. Statistical analyses showed that the expression of HSP27 in ESCC was significantly correlated with the tumor differentiation (P = 0.023), the patient's TNM stage (P = 0.013), lymph metastasis (P = 0.020), and distant metastasis (P = 0.017). HSP27 expression was significantly lower in highly metastatic cells than the less ones. The metastatic potentials of EC9706-H and EC109-H cells were higher than EC9706-L and EC109-L cells. In vitro and in vivo assays showed that overexpression of HSP27 in highly metastatic cells dramatically decreased their metastatic capacity. This study indicated that the expression level of HSP27 may be inversely correlated with the metastasis behavior of ESCC, and HSP27 may play an important role in this progression. HSP27 may be a potential molecular target for the therapy and prognosis of patients with ESCC.

Yoon T, Kang GY, Han AR, et al.
2,4-Bis(4-hydroxybenzyl)phenol inhibits heat shock transcription factor 1 and sensitizes lung cancer cells to conventional anticancer modalities.
J Nat Prod. 2014; 77(5):1123-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) is a transcription factor that regulates expression of heat shock protein (HSP) genes in response to stress. HSPs are expressed at high levels in a wide range of tumors. It has been reported that HSF1 and HSPs are associated closely in tumorigenesis. In the present study, a screen was performed using a luciferase reporter under the control of a heat shock element to find inhibitors of HSF1 activity, and 2,4-bis(4-hydroxybenzyl)phenol (1), isolated from the rhizomes of Gastrodia elata, was identified as an active compound. This substance effectively inhibited HSF1 activity and decreased levels of HSP27 and HSP70. Compound 1 induced the degradation of HSF1 protein through dephosphorylation of HSF1 on S326, which decreases HSF1 protein stability. In addition, 1 also induced growth arrest and apoptosis of NCI-H460 human lung cancer cells. Markers of apoptosis, such as cleaved PARP and cleaved caspase-3, were detected after treatment with 1. Furthermore, cotreatment with 1 and conventional anticancer modalities such as paclitaxel, cisplatin, or ionizing radiation potentiated their effects on lung cancer cells. These results suggest that inhibition of HSF1 by 1 may help overcome resistance to conventional anticancer modalities in HSF1-overexpressed cancer cells.

Rao W, Li H, Song F, et al.
OVA66 increases cell growth, invasion and survival via regulation of IGF-1R-MAPK signaling in human cancer cells.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(7):1573-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ovarian cancer-associated antigen 66 (OVA66), also known as CML66 (GenBank Accession No. AF283301), was first identified in an ovarian carcinoma complementary DNA (cDNA) expression library and was shown to play a role in tumorigenesis. Here, we find that OVA66 influences tumorigenesis by regulating the type I insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R) signaling pathway. Stable knockdown of OVA66 in cancer cells attenuated phosphorylation of IGF-1R and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2)-Hsp27; similarly, a higher level of p-IGF-1R and ERK1/2-Hsp27 signaling was also detected after OVA66 overexpression in HO8910 cells. In vivo knockdown of OVA66 both reduced tumor burden in nude mice and decreased phosphorylation of IGF-1R, ERK1/2 and hsp27. We blocked IGF-1R function both by small interfering RNA (siRNA) and with the chemical inhibitor Linsitinib (OSI-906). By either method, tumorigenesis was inhibited regardless of OVA66 expression; thus, mechanistically, IGF-1R, probably, lies downstream of OVA66 in cancer cells. We also found that OVA66 regulates expression of murine double minute 2 (MDM2); this attenuates ubiquitination of IGF-1R in response to IGF-1 stimulation and promotes active ERK1/2 signaling. Thus, we propose that combined overexpression of OVA66 and MDM2 promotes oncogenesis by enhancing activation of the IGF-1R-ERK1/2 signaling pathway.

Lin J, Deng Z, Tanikawa C, et al.
Downregulation of the tumor suppressor HSPB7, involved in the p53 pathway, in renal cell carcinoma by hypermethylation.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(5):1490-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In order to identify genes involved in renal carcinogenesis, we analyzed the expression profile of renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) using microarrays consisting of 27,648 cDNA or ESTs, and found a small heat shock protein, HSPB7, to be significantly and commonly downregulated in RCC. Subsequent quantitative PCR (qPCR) and immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses confirmed the downregulation of HSPB7 in RCC tissues and cancer cell lines in both transcriptional and protein levels. Bisulfite sequencing of a genomic region of HSPB7 detected DNA hypermethylation of some segments of HSPB7 in RCC cells and concordantly 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-Aza-dC) treatment of cancer cells restored HSPB7 expression significantly. Ectopic introduction of HSPB7 in five RCC cell lines remarkably suppressed cancer cell growth. Interestingly, we found that HSPB7 expression could be induced by p53 in a dose-dependent manner, indicating that this gene functions in the p53 pathway. Our results imply that HSBP7 is likely to be a tumor suppressor gene regulated by p53 and its downregulation by hypermethylation may play a critical role in renal carcinogenesis.

White NM, Masui O, Desouza LV, et al.
Quantitative proteomic analysis reveals potential diagnostic markers and pathways involved in pathogenesis of renal cell carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(2):506-18 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
There are no serum biomarkers for the accurate diagnosis of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Diagnosis and decision of nephrectomy rely on imaging which is not always accurate. Non-invasive diagnostic biomarkers are urgently required. In this study, we preformed quantitative proteomics analysis on a total of 199 patients including 30 matched pairs of normal kidney and ccRCC using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) labeling and LC-MS/MS analysis to identify differentially expressed proteins. We found 55 proteins significantly dysregulated in ccRCC compared to normal kidney tissue. 54 were previously reported to play a role in carcinogenesis, and 39 are secreted proteins. Dysregulation of alpha-enolase (ENO1), L-lactate dehydrogenase A chain (LDHA), heat shock protein beta-1 (HSPB1/Hsp27), and 10 kDa heat shock protein, mitochondrial (HSPE1) was confirmed in two independent sets of patients by western blot and immunohistochemistry. Pathway analysis, validated by PCR, showed glucose metabolism is altered in ccRCC compared to normal kidney tissue. In addition, we examined the utility of Hsp27 as biomarker in serum and urine. In ccRCC patients, Hsp27 was elevated in the urine and serum and high serum Hsp27 was associated with high grade (Grade 3-4) tumors. These data together identify potential diagnostic biomarkers for ccRCC and shed new light on the molecular mechanisms that are dysregulated and contribute to the pathogenesis of ccRCC. Hsp27 is a promising diagnostic marker for ccRCC although further large-scale studies are required. Also, molecular profiling may help pave the road to the discovery of new therapies.

Suenaga S, Kuramitsu Y, Kaino S, et al.
Active hexose-correlated compound down-regulates HSP27 of pancreatic cancer cells, and helps the cytotoxic effect of gemcitabine.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(1):141-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Active hexose-correlated compound (AHCC), an extract of basidiomycete mushroom, is used as health food to enhance the therapeutic effects and reduce the adverse effects of chemotherapy. Our previous proteomic analysis revealed that up-regulation of heat-shock protein 27 (HSP27) was responsible for gemcitabine resistance of pancreatic cancer cells. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of AHCC on the expression of HSP27 and the effect of combinatorial treatment of AHCC and gemcitabine on the gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer cell line KLM1-R.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: KLM1-R cells were treated with AHCC, and the expression of HSP27 as well as the cytotoxic effects of combinatorial treatment of AHCC and gemcitabine were investigated with western blotting and MTS assay, respectively.
RESULTS: AHCC down-regulated HSP27 and exhibited a cytotoxic effect on KLM1-R cells. Furthermore, the cytotoxic effect of the combinatorial treatment of AHCC and gemcitabine was synergistic.
CONCLUSION: This study supports the potential therapeutic benefits of combinatorial treatment of AHCC and gemcitabine for patients with pancreatic cancer.

Przybyla BD, Shafirstein G, Vishal SJ, et al.
Molecular changes in bone marrow, tumor and serum after conductive ablation of murine 4T1 breast carcinoma.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 44(2):600-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Thermal ablation of solid tumors using conductive interstitial thermal therapy (CITT) produces coagulative necrosis in the center of ablation. Local changes in homeostasis for surviving tumor and systemic changes in circulation and distant organs must be understood and monitored in order to prevent tumor re-growth and metastasis. The purpose of this study was to use a mouse carcinoma model to evaluate molecular changes in the bone marrow and surviving tumor after CITT treatment by quantification of transcripts associated with cancer progression and hyperthermia, serum cytokines, stress proteins and the marrow/tumor cross-talk regulator stromal-derived factor 1. Analysis of 27 genes and 22 proteins with quantitative PCR, ELISA, immunoblotting and multiplex antibody assays revealed that the gene and protein expression in tissue and serum was significantly different between ablated and control mice. The transcripts of four genes (Cxcl12, Sele, Fgf2, Lifr) were significantly higher in the bone marrow of treated mice. Tumors surviving ablation showed significantly lower levels of the Lifr and Sele transcripts. Similarly, the majority of transcripts measured in tumors decreased with treatment. Surviving tumors also contained lower levels of SDF-1α and HIF-1α proteins whereas HSP27 and HSP70 were higher. Of 16 serum chemokines, IFNγ and GM-CSF levels were lower with treatment. These results indicate that CITT ablation causes molecular changes which may slow cancer cell proliferation. However, inhibition of HSP27 may be necessary to control aggressiveness of surviving cancer stem cells. The changes in bone marrow are suggestive of possible increased recruitment of circulatory cancer cells. Therefore, the possibility of heightened bone metastasis after thermal ablation needs to be further investigated and inhibition strategies developed, if warranted.

Stope MB, Bradl J, Peters S, et al.
Shortened isoforms of the androgen receptor are regulated by the cytoprotective heat-shock protein HSPB1 and the tumor-suppressive microRNA miR-1 in prostate cancer cells.
Anticancer Res. 2013; 33(11):4921-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Shortened, constitutively active androgen receptor (AR) isoforms have been characterized and linked to tumor progression and chemoresistance in prostate cancer (PCa). We examined the regulation of shortened AR isoforms by a newly-identified AR regulatory signaling pathway involving heat-shock protein HSPB1 and microRNA miR-1.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: HSPB1 and miR-1 were modulated by overexpression and knock-down approaches utilizing the model PCa system, 22Rv1. Subsequently, AR isoform expression levels were quantified by western blot analysis.
RESULTS: HSPB1 was identified as an inducer and miR-1 as an inhibitor of AR variants, with no detectable discrimination between long and short AR isoform regulation.
CONCLUSION: In 22Rv1 cells, all AR isoforms were co-regulated by the cytoprotective factor HSPB1 and the tumor suppressor miR-1. Notably, our data provide evidence that HSPB1 inhibition is able to target expression of long as well as of short AR isoforms.

Mémin E, Hoque M, Jain MR, et al.
Blocking eIF5A modification in cervical cancer cells alters the expression of cancer-related genes and suppresses cell proliferation.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(2):552-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer etiology is influenced by alterations in protein synthesis that are not fully understood. In this study, we took a novel approach to investigate the role of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF5A in human cervical cancers, where it is widely overexpressed. eIF5A contains the distinctive amino acid hypusine, which is formed by a posttranslational modification event requiring deoxyhypusine hydroxylase (DOHH), an enzyme that can be inhibited by the drugs ciclopirox and deferiprone. We found that proliferation of cervical cancer cells can be blocked by DOHH inhibition with either of these pharmacologic agents, as well as by RNA interference-mediated silencing of eIF5A, DOHH, or another enzyme in the hypusine pathway. Proteomic and RNA analyses in HeLa cervical cancer cells identified two groups of proteins in addition to eIF5A that were coordinately affected by ciclopirox and deferiprone. Group 1 proteins (Hsp27, NM23, and DJ-1) were downregulated at the translational level, whereas group 2 proteins (TrpRS and PRDX2) were upregulated at the mRNA level. Further investigations confirmed that eIF5A and DOHH are required for Hsp27 expression in cervical cancer cells and for regulation of its key target IκB and hence NF-κB. Our results argue that mature eIF5A controls a translational network of cancer-driving genes, termed the eIF5A regulon, at the levels of mRNA abundance and translation. In coordinating cell proliferation, the eIF5A regulon can be modulated by drugs such as ciclopirox or deferiprone, which might be repositioned to control cancer cell growth.

Acunzo J, Andrieu C, Baylot V, et al.
Hsp27 as a therapeutic target in cancers.
Curr Drug Targets. 2014; 15(4):423-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27), induced by heat shock, environmental and pathophysiological stressors, is a multidimensional protein that acts as a protein chaperone and an antioxidant. This protein plays a major role in the inhibition of apoptosis and actin cytoskeletal remodeling. This stress-activated protein is up-regulated in many cancers and is associated with poor prognosis as well as treatment resistance by protecting cells from therapeutic agent that normally induces apoptosis. This review highlights the most recent findings and role of Hsp27 in cancer and the different strategies to target and inhibit Hsp27 for clinical purposes.

Jakubowicz-Gil J, Langner E, Bądziul D, et al.
Silencing of Hsp27 and Hsp72 in glioma cells as a tool for programmed cell death induction upon temozolomide and quercetin treatment.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2013; 273(3):580-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to investigate whether silencing of Hsp27 or Hsp72 expression in glioblastoma multiforme T98G and anaplastic astrocytoma MOGGCCM cells increases their sensitivity to programmed cell death induction upon temozolomide and/or quercetin treatment. Transfection with specific siRNA was performed for the Hsp gene silencing. As revealed by microscopic observation and flow cytometry, the inhibition of Hsp expression was correlated with severe apoptosis induction upon the drug treatment studied. No signs of autophagy were detected. This was correlated with a decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, increased level of cytochrome c in the cytoplasm, and activation of caspase 3 and caspase 9. All these results suggest that the apoptotic signal was mediated by an internal pathway. Additionally, in a large percentage of cells treated with temozolomide, with or without quercetin, granules within the ER system were found, which was accompanied by an increased level of caspase 12 expression. This might be correlated with ER stress. Quercetin and temozolomide also changed the shape of nuclei from circular to "croissant like" in both transfected cell lines. Our results indicate that blocking of Hsp27 and Hsp72 expression makes T98G cells and MOGGCCM cells extremely vulnerable to apoptosis induction upon temozolomide and quercetin treatment and that programmed cell death is initiated by an internal signal.

Zhao M, Ding JX, Zeng K, et al.
Heat shock protein 27: a potential biomarker of peritoneal metastasis in epithelial ovarian cancer?
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(2):1051-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ovarian cancer is the major gynaecologic malignancy and the leading cause of death in gynaecological cancer. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are highly expressed in many malignant cancers and involved in metastasis including ovarian cancer. The early detection of peritoneal metastases in epithelial ovarian cancer may be more important in clinical care. HSP27, a small heat shock protein, is correlated with peritoneal metastases in epithelial ovarian cancer tissues. In this study, we investigated whether the levels of total HSP27 were detectable in serum and whether it could be a predictive biomarker for peritoneal metastases in epithelial ovarian cancer. Serum samples from 48 patients with epithelial ovarian cancer, 35 patients with benign ovarian tumours and 24 healthy women were included in this study. The serum levels of total HSP27 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). There was no difference in the serum levels of total HSP27 between women with benign ovarian tumours and healthy women. However, the serum levels of total HSP27 were significantly increased in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. The increased serum levels of total HSP27 were only seen in patients with peritoneal metastases. Furthermore, increased serum levels of total HSP27 were significantly reduced after the combination chemotherapies in patients with peritoneal metastases. These data suggest that circulating HSP27 levels were increased in epithelial ovarian cancer and correlated with peritoneal metastases. The measurement of serum HSP27 levels may be used as a potential additional indicator for peritoneal metastases in epithelial ovarian cancer and response to treatment.

Inaba H, Sugita H, Kuboniwa M, et al.
Porphyromonas gingivalis promotes invasion of oral squamous cell carcinoma through induction of proMMP9 and its activation.
Cell Microbiol. 2014; 16(1):131-45 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recent epidemiological studies have revealed a significant association between periodontitis and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Furthermore, matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) is implicated in the invasion and metastasis of tumour cells. We examined the involvement of Porphyromonas gingivalis, a periodontal pathogen, in OSCC invasion through induced expression of proMMP and its activation. proMMP9 was continuously secreted from carcinoma SAS cells, while P. gingivalis infection increased proenzyme expression and subsequently processed it to active MMP9 in culture supernatant, which enhanced cellular invasion. In contrast, Fusobacterium nucleatum, another periodontal organism, failed to demonstrate such activities. The effects of P. gingivalis were observed with highly invasive cells, but not with the low invasivetype. P. gingivalis also stimulated proteinase-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) and enhanced proMMP9 expression, which promoted cellular invasion. P. gingivalis mutants deficient in gingipain proteases failed to activate MMP9. Infected SAS cells exhibited activation of ERK1/2, p38, and NF-kB, and their inhibitors diminished both proMMP9-overexpression and cellular invasion. Together, our results show that P. gingivalis activates the ERK1/2-Ets1, p38/HSP27, and PAR2/NF-kB pathways to induce proMMP9 expression, after which the proenzyme is activated by gingipains to promote cellular invasion of OSCC cell lines. These findings suggest a novel mechanism of progression and metastasis of OSCC associated with periodontitis.

Kim SS, Cho HJ, Cho JM, et al.
Dual silencing of Hsp27 and c-FLIP enhances doxazosin-induced apoptosis in PC-3 prostate cancer cells.
ScientificWorldJournal. 2013; 2013:174392 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We evaluated effect of dual gene silencing of Hsp27 and c-FLIP in doxazosin-induced apoptosis of PC-3 cell. After transfection using Hsp27 and c-FLIP siRNA mixture (dual silencing), doxazosin treatment was done at the concentrations of 1, 10, and 25  μ M. We checked apoptosis of PC-3 cells with and TUNEL staining. We also checked interaction between Hsp27 and C-FLIP in the process of apoptosis inhibition. Spontaneous apoptotic index was 5% under single gene silencing of Hsp27 and c-FLIP and 7% under dual silencing of Hsp27 and c-FLIP. When doxazosin treatment was added, apoptotic indices increased in a dose-dependent manner (1, 10, and 25  μ M): nonsilencing 10, 27, and 52%; Hsp27-silencing: 14, 35, and 68%; c-FLIP silencing: 21, 46, and 78%; dual silencing: 38, 76, and 92%. While c-FLIP gene expression decreased in Hsp27- silenced cells, Hsp27 gene expression showed markedly decreased pattern in the cells of c-FLIP silencing. The knockout of c-FLIP and Hsp27 genes together enhances apoptosis even under 1  μ M, rather than low concentration, of doxazosin in PC-3 cells. This finding suggests a new strategy of multiple knockout of antiapoptotic and survival factors in the treatment of late-stage prostate cancer refractory to conventional therapy.

Guttmann DM, Hart L, Du K, et al.
Inhibition of Hsp27 radiosensitizes head-and-neck cancer by modulating deoxyribonucleic acid repair.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013; 87(1):168-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To present a novel method of tumor radiosensitization through Hsp27 knockdown using locked nucleic acid (LNA) and to investigate the role of Hsp27 in DNA double strand break (DSB) repair.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Clonogenic survival assays, immunoblotting, the proximity ligation assay, and γH2AX foci analysis were conducted in SQ20B and FaDu human head-and-neck cancer cell lines treated with Hsp27 LNA and Hsp27 short hairpin RNA (shRNA). Additionally, nude mice with FaDu flank tumors were treated with fractionated radiation therapy after pretreatment with Hsp27 LNA and monitored for tumor growth.
RESULTS: Hsp27 LNA and Hsp27 shRNA radiosensitized head-and-neck cancer cell lines in an Hsp27-dependent manner. Ataxia-Telangectasia Mutated-mediated DNA repair signaling was impaired in irradiated cells with Hsp27 knockdown. ATM kinase inhibition abrogated the radiosensitizing effect of Hsp27. Furthermore, Hsp27 LNA and shRNA both attenuated DNA repair kinetics after radiation, and Hsp27 was found to colocalize with ATM in both untreated and irradiated cells. Last, combined radiation and Hsp27 LNA treatment in tumor xenografts in nude mice suppressed tumor growth compared with either treatment alone.
CONCLUSIONS: These results support a radiosensitizing property of Hsp27 LNA in vitro and in vivo, implicate Hsp27 in double strand break repair, and suggest that Hsp27 LNA might eventually serve as an effective clinical agent in the radiotherapy of head-and-neck cancer.

Slotta-Huspenina J, Wolff C, Drecoll E, et al.
A specific expression profile of heat-shock proteins and glucose-regulated proteins is associated with response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in oesophageal adenocarcinomas.
Br J Cancer. 2013; 109(2):370-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Oesophageal adenocarcinomas often show resistances to chemotherapy (CTX), therefore, it would be of high interest to better understand the mechanisms of resistance. We examined the expression of heat-shock proteins (HSPs) and glucose-regulated proteins (GRPs) in pretherapeutic biopsies of oesophageal adenocarcinomas to assess their potential role in CTX response.
METHODS: Ninety biopsies of locally advanced adenocarcinomas before platin/5-fluorouracil (FU)-based CTX were investigated by reverse phase protein arrays (RPPAs), immunohistochemistry (IHC) and quantitative RT-PCR.
RESULTS: CTX response strongly correlated with survival (P=0.001). Two groups of tumours with specific protein expression patterns were identified by RPPA: Group A was characterised by low expression of HSP90, HSP27 and p-HSP27((Ser15, Ser78, Ser82)) and high expression of GRP78, GRP94, HSP70 and HSP60; Group B exhibited the inverse pattern. Tumours of Group A were more likely to respond to CTX, resulting in histopathological tumour regression (P=0.041) and post-therapeutic down-categorisation from cT3 to ypT0-T2 (P=0.040). High HSP60 protein (IHC) and mRNA expression were also associated with tumour down-categorisation (P=0.016 and P=0.004).
CONCLUSION: Our findings may enhance the understanding of CTX response mechanisms, might be helpful to predict CTX response and might have translational relevance as they highlight the role of potentially targetable cellular stress proteins in the context of CTX response.

Díaz-Chávez J, Fonseca-Sánchez MA, Arechaga-Ocampo E, et al.
Proteomic profiling reveals that resveratrol inhibits HSP27 expression and sensitizes breast cancer cells to doxorubicin therapy.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(5):e64378 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The use of chemopreventive natural compounds represents a promising strategy in the search for novel therapeutic agents in cancer. Resveratrol (3,4',5-trans-trihydroxystilbilene) is a dietary polyphenol found in fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants that exhibits chemopreventive and antitumor effects. In this study, we searched for modulated proteins with preventive or therapeutic potential in MCF-7 breast cancer cells exposed to resveratrol. Using two-dimensional electrophoresis we found significant changes (FC >2.0; p≤0.05) in the expression of 16 proteins in resveratrol-treated MCF-7 cells. Six down-regulated proteins were identified by tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS) as heat shock protein 27 (HSP27), translationally-controlled tumor protein, peroxiredoxin-6, stress-induced-phosphoprotein-1, pyridoxine-5'-phosphate oxidase-1 and hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase; whereas one up-regulated protein was identified as triosephosphate isomerase. Particularly, HSP27 overexpression has been associated to apoptosis inhibition and resistance of human cancer cells to therapy. Consistently, we demonstrated that resveratrol induces apoptosis in MCF-7 cells. Apoptosis was associated with a significant increase in mitochondrial permeability transition, cytochrome c release in cytoplasm, and caspases -3 and -9 independent cell death. Then, we evaluated the chemosensitization effect of increasing concentrations of resveratrol in combination with doxorubicin anti-neoplastic agent in vitro. We found that resveratrol effectively sensitize MCF-7 cells to cytotoxic therapy. Next, we evaluated the relevance of HSP27 targeted inhibition in therapy effectiveness. Results evidenced that HSP27 inhibition using RNA interference enhances the cytotoxicity of doxorubicin. In conclusion, our data indicate that resveratrol may improve the therapeutic effects of doxorubicin in part by cell death induction. We propose that potential modulation of HSP27 levels using natural alternative agents, as resveratrol, may be an effective adjuvant in breast cancer therapy.

Tan Y, Qin S, Hou X, et al.
Proteomic-based analysis for identification of proteins involved in 5-fluorouracil resistance in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Curr Pharm Des. 2014; 20(1):81-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has high mortality partly due to acquiring drug resistance during chemotherapy treatment. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the underlying mechanism of drug resistance.
METHODS: We used 2-DE and MALDI-TOF-MS analysis to explore the possible molecular insight into 5-FU resistance in HCC. The differentially expressed proteins were validated by Western blot analysis.
RESULTS: We identified 102 unique proteins including p16, maspin, PRDX6, PSMB7, MYL6, PHB, and HSP27 with alteration in SMMC- 7721/5-FU. Furthermore, down-regulation of PRDX6 and PSMB7 enhanced SMMC-7721/5-FU cells to 5-FU sensitivity.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that targeting drug resistant genes such as PRDX6 and PSMB7 could be a novel approach to overcome 5-FU resistance in HCC cells.

Shiota M, Bishop JL, Nip KM, et al.
Hsp27 regulates epithelial mesenchymal transition, metastasis, and circulating tumor cells in prostate cancer.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(10):3109-19 [PubMed] Related Publications
Defining the mechanisms underlying metastatic progression of prostate cancer may lead to insights into how to decrease morbidity and mortality in this disease. An important determinant of metastasis is epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and the mechanisms that control the process of EMT in cancer cells are still emerging. Here, we report that the molecular chaperone Hsp27 (HSPB1) drives EMT in prostate cancer, whereas its attenuation reverses EMT and decreases cell migration, invasion, and matrix metalloproteinase activity. Mechanistically, silencing Hsp27 decreased IL-6-dependent STAT3 phosphorylation, nuclear translocation, and STAT3 binding to the Twist promoter, suggesting that Hsp27 is required for IL-6-mediated EMT via modulation of STAT3/Twist signaling. We observed a correlation between Hsp27 and Twist in patients with prostate cancer, with Hsp27 and Twist expression each elevated in high-grade prostate cancer tumors. Hsp27 inhibition by OGX-427, an antisense therapy currently in phase II trials, reduced tumor metastasis in a murine model of prostate cancer. More importantly, OGX-427 treatment decreased the number of circulating tumor cells in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer in a phase I clinical trial. Overall, this study defines Hsp27 as a critical regulator of IL-6-dependent and IL-6-independent EMT, validating this chaperone as a therapeutic target to treat metastatic prostate cancer.

Seibold P, Hall P, Schoof N, et al.
Polymorphisms in oxidative stress-related genes and mortality in breast cancer patients--potential differential effects by radiotherapy?
Breast. 2013; 22(5):817-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
We assessed whether variants in 22 oxidative stress-related genes are associated with mortality of breast cancer patients and whether the associations differ according to radiotherapy. Using a prospective cohort of 1348 postmenopausal breast cancer patients, we estimated hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for 109 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) using Cox proportional hazards regression. Validation of results was attempted using two Scandinavian studies. Eleven SNPs in MT2A, NFE2L2, NQO1, PRDX1, and PRDX6 were significantly associated with overall mortality after a median follow-up of 5.7 years. Three SNPs in NQO1 (rs2917667) and in PRDX6 (rs7314, rs4916362) were consistently associated with increased risk of dying across all three study populations (pooled: HRNQO1_rs2917667 1.20, 95% CI 1.00-1.44, p = 0.051; HRPRDX6_rs7314 1.16, 95% CI 1.00-1.35, p = 0.056, HRPRDX6_rs4916362 1.14 95% CI 1.00-1.32, p = 0.062). Potential effect modification by radiotherapy was found for CAT_rs769218. In conclusion, genetic variants in NQO1 and PRDX6 may modify breast cancer prognosis.

Cui Y, Wu W, Zhou Y, et al.
HSP27 expression levels are associated with the sensitivity of hepatocellular carcinoma cells to 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin.
Future Oncol. 2013; 9(3):411-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: AIMS, MATERIALS & METHODS: As heat-shock proteins are associated with tumor proliferation, differentiation, invasion and metastasis, we investigated whether targeting Hsp90 with the geldanamycin derivative 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17AAG) can inhibit the viability of hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines with various levels of metastatic potential. In addition, we investigated whether the use of Hsp27-siRNA can decrease resistance to 17AAG.
RESULTS: Although 17AAG upregulated the expression of heat-shock proteins, it did not affect the expression of Hsp90 client proteins in normal hepatocytes. Hsp90 inhibition by 17AAG degraded its client proteins in both low- and high-metastatic potential cell lines. siRNA inhibited Hsp27 expression in cell lines and improved the sensitivity of 17AAG.
CONCLUSION: 17AAG inhibited the viability of hepatocellular carcinoma cells by degrading Hsp90 client proteins. The sensitivity of cells to 17AAG is associated with the level of Hsp27 expression.

Wang HC, Chiang WF, Huang HH, et al.
Promoter hypermethylation of the gene encoding heat shock protein B1 in oral squamous carcinoma cells.
Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2013; 115(3):376-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The mechanism responsible for the regulation of HSPB1 expression in oral squamous cell carcinoma was explored in this study.
STUDY DESIGN: The expression and the methylation status of HSPB1 in oral squamous carcinoma cells were examined using real-time reverse transcription-PCR, methylation-specific PCR and pyrosequencing.
RESULTS: HSPB1 expression was weakly expressed in oral squamous carcinoma cell lines (N = 4) as compared to that of normal human oral keratinocytes. The lower expressed HSPB1 was associated with promoter hypermethylation of the HSPB1 gene, and the expression of HSPB1 could be induced by treating the cells with a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor, RG108. Promoter hypermethylation of the HSPB1 gene was also noted in primary oral squamous carcinomas, concomitant with reduced levels of HSPB1 gene expression, as compared to those of the paired neighboring normal tissues.
CONCLUSION: Aberrant promoter hypermethylation of the HSPB1 gene may explain the reduced expression of HSPB1 noted in oral cancer cells.

Bigot P, Mouzat K, Lebdai S, et al.
Quantitative proteomic determination of diethylstilbestrol action on prostate cancer.
Asian J Androl. 2013; 15(3):413-20 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Diethylstilbestrol (DES) has a direct cellular mechanism inhibition on prostate cancer. Its action is independent from the oestrogen receptors and is preserved after a first-line hormonal therapy. We aimed to identify proteins involved in the direct cellular inhibition effects of DES on prostate cancer. We used a clonogenic assay to establish the median lethal concentration of DES on 22RV1 cells. 22RV1 cells were exposed to standard and DES-enriched medium. After extraction, protein expression levels were obtained by two-dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) and isotope labelling tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ). Proteins of interest were analysed by quantitative RT-PCR and western blotting. The differentially regulated proteins (P<0.01) were interrogated against a global molecular network based on the ingenuity knowledge base. The 2D-DIGE analyses revealed DES-induced expression changes for 14 proteins (>1.3 fold; P<0.05). The iTRAQ analyses allowed the identification of 895 proteins. Among these proteins, 65 had a modified expression due to DES exposure (i.e., 23 overexpressed and 42 underexpressed). Most of these proteins were implicated in apoptosis and redox processes and had a predicted mitochondrial expression. Additionally, ingenuity pathway analysis placed the OAT and HSBP1 genes at the centre of a highly significant network. RT-PCR confirmed the overexpression of OAT (P=0.006) and HSPB1 (P=0.046).

Yu L, Yuan X, Wang D, et al.
Selective regulation of p38β protein and signaling by integrin-linked kinase mediates bladder cancer cell migration.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(6):690-701 [PubMed] Related Publications
Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) and p38(MAPK) are protein kinases that transduce extracellular signals regulating cell migration and actin cytoskeletal organization. ILK-dependent regulation of p38(MAPK) is critical for mammalian kidney development and in smooth muscle cell migration, however, specific p38 isoforms has not been previously examined in ILK-regulated responses. Signaling by ILK and p38(MAPK) is often dysregulated in bladder cancer, and here we report a strong positive correlation between protein levels of ILK and p38β, which is the predominant isoform found in bladder cancer cells, as well as in patient-matched normal bladder and tumor samples. Knockdown by RNA interference of either p38β or ILK disrupts serum-induced, Rac1-dependent migration and actin cytoskeletal organization in bladder cancer cells. Surprisingly, ILK knockdown causes the selective reduction in p38β cellular protein level, without inhibiting p38β messenger RNA (mRNA) expression. The loss of p38β protein in ILK-depleted cells is partially rescued by the 26S proteasomal inhibitor MG132. Using co-precipitation and bimolecular fluorescent complementation assays, we find that ILK selectively forms cytoplasmic complexes with p38β. In situ proximity ligation assays further demonstrate that serum-stimulated assembly of endogenous ILK-p38β complexes is sensitive to QLT-0267, a small molecule ILK kinase inhibitor. Finally, inhibition of ILK reduces the amplitude and period of serum-induced activation of heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27), a target of p38β implicated in actin cytoskeletal reorganization. Our work identifies Hsp27 as a novel target of ILK-p38β signaling complexes, playing a key role in bladder cancer cell migration.

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