Gene Summary

Gene:PMAIP1; phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate-induced protein 1
Aliases: APR, NOXA
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate-induced protein 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 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 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

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: PMAIP1 (cancer-related)

Sale MJ, Balmanno K, Saxena J, et al.
MEK1/2 inhibitor withdrawal reverses acquired resistance driven by BRAF
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):2030 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Acquired resistance to MEK1/2 inhibitors (MEKi) arises through amplification of BRAF

Kiliccioglu I, Konac E, Dikmen AU, et al.
Hsp-27 and NF-κB pathway is associated with AR/AR-V7 expression in prostate cancer cells.
Gene. 2019; 697:138-143 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the present study, NF-κB inhibitor BAY 11-7082 and/or Hsp-27 inhibitor KRIBB-3 agents were used to investigate the molecular mechanisms mediating androgen receptor expression on prostate cancer cell lines. The decrease observed in androgen receptor and p65 expressions, particularly at 48 h, in parallel with the decrease in the phosphorylation of the p-IKK α/β and p-Hsp-27 proteins in the LNCaP cells, indicated that androgen receptor inactivation occurred after the inhibition of the NF-κB and Hsp-27. In 22Rv1 cells, androgen receptor variant-7 was also observed to be decreased in the combined dose of 48 h. The association of this decrease with the decrease in androgen receptor and p65 expressions is a supportive result for the role of NF-κB signaling in the formation of androgen receptor variant. In androgen receptor variant-7 siRNA treatment in 22Rv1 cell lines, decrease of expression of androgen receptor variant-7 as well as decrease of expression of androgen receptor and p65 were observed. The decrease statistically significant in androgen receptor and p65 expressions was even greater when siRNA treatment was followed with low dose and time (6 h) combined treatment after transfection. We also showed that increased Noxa and decreased Bcl-2 protein level, indicated that apoptotic induction after this combination. In conclusion, inhibition of NF-κB and Hsp-27 is also important, along with therapies for androgen receptor variant-7 inhibition.

Secme M, Kaygusuz O, Eroglu C, et al.
Potential Anticancer Activity of the Parasol Mushroom, Macrolepiota procera (Agaricomycetes), against the A549 Human Lung Cancer Cell Line.
Int J Med Mushrooms. 2018; 20(11):1075-1086 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mushrooms comprise an unlimited source of active compounds that have beneficial health effects without known negative side effects and can potentially be used as important therapeutic products against cancer, which is the leading cause of death worldwide. In this study we investigated the cytotoxic, antiproliferative, apoptotic, and anti-invasion effects of Macrolepiota procera, which is valued as an edible and medicinal mushroom, on A549 lung cancer cells. The cytotoxic effect of the M. procera extract was determined by using the XTT method. Total RNA was isolated from cells with TRI Reagent to determine the apoptotic effect of the extract, after which complementary DNA was synthesized. Expression profiles of the target genes were determined by quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, and protein changes were determined by using Western blotting. We used the TUNEL assay to evaluate the apoptotic effects of the M. procera extract. Effects of M. procera on cell invasion were investigated by using a Matrigel chamber assay. The half-maximal inhibitory concentration of the M. procera extract was determined to be 2 mg/mL against A549 lung cancer cells at 72 hours. According to our results, expression of Cyclin Dl, CDK4, CDK6, Bcl-2, Akt, and NOXA genes significantly decreased and that of Bax, Caspase-3, Caspase-9, PTEN, PUMA, p21, and p53 increased in cells from the dose group compared with their expression in control cells. According to the results of the TUNEL assay, 28 ± 3.6% of cells were apoptotic in the dose group. The M. procera extract also reduced invasion in A549 cancer cells. The results suggest that M. procera has an antiproliferative effect in a dose- and time-dependent manner.

Khaw-On P, Pompimon W, Banjerdpongchai R
Apoptosis Induction via ATM Phosphorylation, Cell Cycle Arrest, and ER Stress by Goniothalamin and Chemodrugs Combined Effects on Breast Cancer-Derived MDA-MB-231 Cells.
Biomed Res Int. 2018; 2018:7049053 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Goniothalamin (GTN), a styryl-lactone, exhibits inhibitory effects on many kinds of cancer cells

Belluti S, Orteca G, Semeghini V, et al.
Potent Anti-Cancer Properties of Phthalimide-Based Curcumin Derivatives on Prostate Tumor Cells.
Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 20(1) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer is commonly treated with chemotherapy, whose effect is less than satisfactory. This raised the need for novel agents for the treatment of prostate cancer. In the present study, five phthalimide-based curcumin derivatives were synthesized and completely characterized to assess improved stability, pharmacodynamics, and radical scavenging ability. To investigate the potential application in anti-cancer therapy, the anti-proliferative activity of the synthesized molecules was determined on aggressive prostate tumor cells. We demonstrated that the K3F21 derivative has increased potency compared to curcumin, in terms of GI50, anti-proliferative and anti-migrating activities. K3F21 inhibits anchorage-dependent and -independent growth of prostate cancer cells by altering the expression of key genes controlling cell proliferation, such as Cylins D1, B1 and B2, and apoptosis, among which Puma, Noxa, and Bcl-2 family members. Finally, the anti-cancer activity of K3F21 was demonstrated by the analysis of cancer-associated PI3K/AKT, ERK, and p38 signaling pathways.

Liu Y, Mondello P, Erazo T, et al.
NOXA genetic amplification or pharmacologic induction primes lymphoma cells to BCL2 inhibitor-induced cell death.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018; 115(47):12034-12039 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cells widely express the BCL2 protein, they rarely respond to treatment with BCL2-selective inhibitors. Here we show that DLBCL cells harboring PMAIP1/NOXA gene amplification were highly sensitive to BCL2 small-molecule inhibitors. In these cells, BCL2 inhibition induced cell death by activating caspase 9, which was further amplified by caspase-dependent cleavage and depletion of MCL1. In DLBCL cells lacking NOXA amplification, BCL2 inhibition was associated with an increase in MCL1 protein abundance in a BIM-dependent manner, causing a decreased antilymphoma efficacy. In these cells, dual inhibition of MCL1 and BCL2 was required for enhanced killing. Pharmacologic induction of NOXA, using the histone deacetylase inhibitor panobinostat, decreased MCL1 protein abundance and increased lymphoma cell vulnerability to BCL2 inhibitors in vitro and in vivo. Our data provide a mechanistic rationale for combination strategies to disrupt lymphoma cell codependency on BCL2 and MCL1 proteins in DLBCL.

Vallet S, Fan F, Malvestiti S, et al.
Rationally derived drug combinations with the novel Mcl-1 inhibitor EU-5346 in breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2019; 173(3):585-596 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Recent studies have emphasized a key role for the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member Mcl-1 in conferring tumor cell survival and drug resistance in breast cancer (BC). Mcl-1 inhibitors, such as the BH3-mimetic EU-5346, therefore represent an exciting new class of targeting agents and are a current focus of widespread cancer-drug development efforts.
METHODS: ONCOMINE analysis was utilized to compare expression profiles of Bcl-2 family members across all major BC subgroups. Potential toxicities of EU-5346 were evaluated using iPS-generated cardiomyocytes, blood cells and astrocytes. The anti-BC cell activity of EU-5346-based therapies was evaluated using [
RESULTS: We previously demonstrated significant anti-tumor activity of EU-5346 in all BC subtypes. Our present results go further and suggest that EU-5346 may induce limited adverse events such as cardiotoxicity, hematotoxicity, and neurotoxicity, frequently observed with other BH3 mimetics. As demonstrated by our mathematical scoring model, the prediction of EU-5643-induced IC
CONCLUSION: These data strongly support the further clinical development of EU-5346 to improve BC patient survival.

Liang L, Weng J, You Y, et al.
Role of Noxa in proliferation, apoptosis, and autophagy in human adenoid cystic carcinoma.
J Oral Pathol Med. 2019; 48(1):52-59 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Noxa, which is subset of the Bcl-2 family of proteins, was previously reported to have considerable therapeutic potential in diverse cancers. However, its expression and role in salivary gland adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) have not been well studied. This study aimed to elucidate the expression and role of Noxa in salivary gland ACC.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The expression levels of NOXA and its association with overall survival in salivary gland ACC were analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR. We next examined the effects of Noxa overexpression or inhibition on colony formation, proliferation, apoptosis, and autophagy of salivary gland ACC cells. Furthermore, promoter analysis was performed to identify the potential transcriptional activator of NOXA.
RESULTS: NOXA was markedly down-regulated and significantly correlated with a more aggressive phenotype and poor overall survival of salivary gland ACC. Ectopic expression of Noxa suppressed the viability and growth of ACC cells, which involved the induction of apoptosis and autophagy. Moreover, the transcriptional activity of NOXA gene could be enhanced by p53.
CONCLUSION: The findings of this study indicate that Noxa, activated transcriptionally by p53, suppress the progression of ACC, whereby it regulates proliferation, apoptosis, and autophagy.

Meyer-Schaller N, Heck C, Tiede S, et al.
Foxf2 plays a dual role during transforming growth factor beta-induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition by promoting apoptosis yet enabling cell junction dissolution and migration.
Breast Cancer Res. 2018; 20(1):118 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The most life-threatening step during malignant tumor progression is reached when cancer cells leave the primary tumor mass and seed metastasis in distant organs. To infiltrate the surrounding tissue and disseminate throughout the body, single motile tumor cells leave the tumor mass by breaking down cell-cell contacts in a process called epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). An EMT is a complex molecular and cellular program enabling epithelial cells to abandon their differentiated phenotype, including cell-cell adhesion and cell polarity, and to acquire mesenchymal features and invasive properties.
METHODS: We employed gene expression profiling and functional experiments to study transcriptional control of transforming growth factor (TGF)β-induced EMT in normal murine mammary gland epithelial (NMuMG) cells.
RESULTS: We identified that expression of the transcription factor forkhead box protein F2 (Foxf2) is upregulated during the EMT process. Although it is not required to gain mesenchymal markers, Foxf2 is essential for the disruption of cell junctions and the downregulation of epithelial markers in NMuMG cells treated with TGFβ. Foxf2 is critical for the downregulation of E-cadherin by promoting the expression of the transcriptional repressors of E-cadherin, Zeb1 and Zeb2, while repressing expression of the epithelial maintenance factor Id2 and miRNA 200 family members. Moreover, Foxf2 is required for TGFβ-mediated apoptosis during EMT by the transcriptional activation of the proapoptotic BH3-only protein Noxa and by the negative regulation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mediated survival signaling through direct repression of its ligands betacellulin and amphiregulin. The dual function of Foxf2 during EMT is underscored by the finding that high Foxf2 expression correlates with good prognosis in patients with early noninvasive stages of breast cancer, but with poor prognosis in advanced breast cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data identify the transcription factor Foxf2 as one of the important regulators of EMT, displaying a dual function in promoting tumor cell apoptosis as well as tumor cell migration.

Rahman FU, Bhatti MZ, Ali A, et al.
Dimetallic Ru(II) arene complexes appended on bis-salicylaldimine induce cancer cell death and suppress invasion via p53-dependent signaling.
Eur J Med Chem. 2018; 157:1480-1490 [PubMed] Related Publications
A series of bis-salicylaldimine ligands bearing two ON-donor functions were reacted with dichloro(p-cymene)ruthenium(II) dimer in the presence of base (NaOAc) and a series of four dimetallic Ru(II) arene complexes (Ru(p-cymene))

Jahanafrooz Z, Stallinger A, Anders I, et al.
Influence of silibinin and β-β-dimethylacrylshikonin on chordoma cells.
Phytomedicine. 2018; 49:32-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chordoma, slow growing bone tumours originating from remnants of the notochord, leave affected patients with a median survival of six years. The high recurrence rate of chordoma, together with limited treatment options and bad overall prognosis, make the development of new treatment options urgently necessary.
PURPOSE: In this study, the potential of two natural products, silibinin and β-β-dimethylacrylshikonin (DMAS), was tested on clival (MUG-CC1 and UM-Chor1) as well as sacral (MUG-Chor1 and U-CH2) chordoma cell lines. The treatment was administered both as single- and combined therapy.
METHODS: For investigation of cell viability, the Cell Titer 96 Aqueous Non-Radioactive Cell Proliferation Assay Kit was used. Apoptosis induction was studied by flow cytometry, (Annexin V/SYTOX Green, caspase-3) and RT-qPCR. Pathway analyses were performed by western blot.
RESULTS: Both drugs were found to reduce cell viability alone as well as in combination in a dose dependent manner, with DMAS being more efficient than silibinin. The mode of cell death was mainly apoptosis in DMAS treated samples, while the combination therapy led to apoptosis as well as late-apoptosis/necrosis. Silibinin therapy alone, although reducing cell viability, did not lead to significant apoptotic effects in the performed assays. Focussing on the molecular mechanism of DMAS induced apoptosis, it was found that major genes of the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway, like NOXA and PUMA were overexpressed. Additionally, western blot experiments showed a decrease of ERK/pERK, STAT3/pSTAT3 (Tyr705) and AKT/pAKT expression/activation levels under DMAS treatment.
CONCLUSION: DMAS is a promising new candidate for chordoma therapy, while silibinin or a combination of both is less favourable.

Hu T, Zhang J, Sha B, et al.
Targeting the overexpressed USP7 inhibits esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cell growth by inducing NOXA-mediated apoptosis.
Mol Carcinog. 2019; 58(1):42-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
Increasing evidence suggests that deubiquitinase USP7 participates in tumor progression by various mechanisms and serves as a potential therapeutic target. However, its expression and role in esophageal cancer remains elusive; the anti-cancer effect by targeting USP7 still needs to be investigated. Here, we reported that USP7 was overexpressed in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) tissues compared with adjacent tissues, implying that USP7 was an attractive anticancer target of ESCC. Pharmaceutical or genetic inactivation of USP7 inhibited esophageal cancer cells growth in vitro and in vivo and induced apoptosis. Mechanistically, inhibition of USP7 accumulated poly-ubiquitinated proteins, activated endoplasmic reticulum stress, and increased expression of ATF4, which transcriptionally upregulated expression of NOXA and induced NOXA-mediated apoptosis. These results provide an evidence for clinical investigation of USP7 inhibitors for the treatment of ESCC.

Lin LL, Huang CC, Wu MT, et al.
Innate immune sensor laboratory of genetics and physiology 2 suppresses tumor cell growth and functions as a prognostic marker in neuroblastoma.
Cancer Sci. 2018; 109(11):3494-3502 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The innate immune receptors, such as toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3), melanoma differentiation-associated 5 (MDA5) and retinoic acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I), have been shown to be differentially expressed in neuroblastoma (NB) and promote dsRNA poly (I:C)-induced NB suppression in vitro and in vivo. However, the role of another important innate immune cytosolic sensor, laboratory of genetics and physiology 2 (LGP2), in the cancer behavior of NB remains unclear. Here, we demonstrated that the expression levels of LGP2 were either low or undetectable in all NB cell lines tested with or without MYCN amplification. LGP2 expression levels were significantly increased only in NB cells without MYCN amplification, including SK-N-AS and SK-N-FI after poly (I:C) treatment in vitro and in mouse xenograft models. Ectopic expression of LGP2 in NB cells significantly enhanced poly (I:C)-induced NB cell death associated with downregulation of MDA5, RIG-I, MAVS and Bcl-2, as well as upregulation of Noxa and tBid. By immunofluorescence analyses, LGP2 localized mainly in the cytoplasm of NB cells after poly (I:C) treatment. In human NB tissue samples, cytoplasmic LGP2 expression was positively correlated with histological differentiation and inversely correlated with MYCN amplification. Positive cytoplasmic LGP2 expression in tumor tissues could predict a favorable outcome in NB patients independent of other prognostic factors. In short, LGP2 was effective in promoting poly (I:C)-induced NB suppression and cytoplasmic LGP2 can serve as an independent favorable prognostic factor in NB patients.

Schoch S, Sen V, Gajewski S, et al.
Activity profile of the cisplatin analogue PN149 in different tumor cell lines.
Biochem Pharmacol. 2018; 156:109-119 [PubMed] Related Publications
The efficacy of the anticancer drug cisplatin is restricted by tumor cell resistance and occurrence of severe side effects. One strategy to overcome these limitations is the development of new, improved platinum drugs. Previous investigations showed that platinum(IV)-nitroxyl complexes are able to circumvent cisplatin resistance in bladder cancer cells. In the present study the mode of action of the platinum(IV)-nitroxyl complex PN149 was investigated in the bladder cancer cell line RT112 and the renal cell carcinoma cell line A498 on the molecular and cellular level. Gene expression analysis showed that PN149 induced genes related to DNA damage response (RRM2B, GADD45A), cell cycle regulation (CDKN1A, PLK3, PPM1D) as well as those coding for the pro-apoptotic factors PUMA and Noxa. These findings on the transcriptional level were confirmed on the functional level revealing that PN149 treatment increased levels of p53 and resulted in cell cycle arrest and drug-induced cytotoxicity via induction of apoptosis. Regarding the expression of oxidative-stress sensitive genes, PN149 induced FTH1, GCLC, HMOX1 and TXNRD1 but relevant effects were restricted to RT112 cells treated with 50 µM. The pro-inflammatory IL-8 was induced by PN149 in RT112 but not A498 cells indicating a cell-type specific activation. Taken together, PN149 possessed promising activity in different tumor cell lines rendering it an interesting alternative to cisplatin in chemotherapy.

Contreras L, Calderon RI, Varela-Ramirez A, et al.
Induction of apoptosis via proteasome inhibition in leukemia/lymphoma cells by two potent piperidones.
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2018; 41(6):623-636 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Previously, compounds containing a piperidone structure have been shown to be highly cytotoxic to cancer cells. Recently, we found that the piperidone compound P2 exhibits a potent anti-neoplastic activity against human breast cancer-derived cells. Here, we aimed to evaluate two piperidone compounds, P1 and P2, for their potential anti-neoplastic activity against human leukemia/lymphoma-derived cells.
METHODS: Cytotoxicity and apoptosis induction were evaluated using MTS, annexin V-FITC/PI and mitochondrial membrane potential polychromatic assays to confirm the mode of action of the piperidone compounds. The effects of compound P1 and P2 treatment on gene expression were assessed using AmpliSeq analysis and, subsequently, confirmed by RT-qPCR and Western blotting.
RESULTS: We found that the two related piperidone compounds P1 and P2 selectively killed the leukemia/lymphoma cells tested at nanomolar concentrations through induction of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway, as demonstrated by mitochondrial depolarization and caspase-3 activation. AmpliSeq-based transcriptome analyses of the effects of compounds P1 and P2 on HL-60 acute leukemia cells revealed a differential expression of hundreds of genes, 358 of which were found to be affected by both. Additional pathway analyses revealed that a significant number of the common genes were related to the unfolded protein response, implying a possible role of the two compounds in the induction of proteotoxic stress. Subsequent analyses of the transcriptome data revealed that P1 and P2 induced similar gene expression alterations as other well-known proteasome inhibitors. Finally, we found that Noxa, an important mediator of the activity of proteasome inhibitors, was significantly upregulated at both the mRNA and protein levels, indicating a possible role in the cytotoxic mechanism induced by P1 and P2.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that the cytotoxic activity of P1 and P2 on leukemia/lymphoma cells is mediated by proteasome inhibition, leading to activation of pro-apoptotic pathways.

Qin Y, Li L, Wang F, et al.
Knockdown of Mir-135b Sensitizes Colorectal Cancer Cells to Oxaliplatin-Induced Apoptosis Through Increase of FOXO1.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 48(4):1628-1637 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Aberrant expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) is found to be responsible for tumorigenesis, cancer development and chemoresistance. Although oxaliplatin is an effective chemotherapeutic drug for treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC), CRC cells can develop some mechanisms to evade oxaliplatin-induced cell death. It is urgent to explore the novel strategies to increase the chemosensitivity of CRC cells.
METHODS: QRT-PCR analysis was performed to detect the expression of miR-135b in CRC patients' serum and CRC cell lines. MTT assays were used to evaluate the effect of anti-miR-135b on oxaliplatin-induced cell death in CRC cell lines. Western blot, flow cytometry and luciferase reporter assays were performed to evaluate the potential mechanism and pathway of anti-miR-135b-promoted apoptosis in oxaliplatin-treated CRC cells.
RESULTS: Significant upregulation of miR-135b was observed in CRC cell lines and CRC patients' serum. Knockdown of miR-135b was found to sensitize colorectal cancer cells to oxaliplatin-induced cytotoxicity. Mechanically, knockdown of miR-135b increased the expression level of FOXO1 in CRC. As the downstream, the increased FOXO1 induced by anti-miR-135b promoted the expression of Bim and Noxa. Since Bim and Noxa act as key pro-apoptotic proteins in mitochondrial apoptosis, anti-miR-135b was able to enhance the oxaliplatin-induced apoptosis dependent on the anti-miR-135b/FOXO1 axis.
CONCLUSIONS: Anti-miR-135b enhanced the anti-tumor effect of oxaliplatin on CRC. Combination with miR-135b antisense nucleotides may represent a novel strategy to sensitize CRC to oxaliplatin-based treatment.

Sindhu R, Manonmani HK
l-asparaginase induces intrinsic mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis in human gastric adenocarcinoma cells and impedes tumor progression.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 503(4):2393-2399 [PubMed] Related Publications
l-asparagine essentially regulates growth and proliferation of cancer cells. l-asparaginase is an anti-cancer enzyme that deprives the cancer cells of l-asparagine. The purpose of this study was to explore the mechanism of a novel l-asparaginase from Pseudomonas fluorescens on l-asparagine deprivation mediated anti-proliferation, apoptosis in human gastric adenocarcinoma cells and to evaluate inhibition of angiogenesis. We observed that, the presence of extracellular l-asparagine was essential for the growth of AGS cells. l-asparagine deprivation by l-asparaginase induced metabolic stress, cytotoxicity and apoptosis by G0 phase cell-cycle arrest, modulated the mitochondrial membrane integrity, accelerated caspase-3 activation and instigated DNA damage. The RT-PCR analysis of pro-apoptosis genes: bak1, bax, bbc3, bik, pmaip1, bnip3l, apaf1, casp3, casp7 and casp9 were significantly higher (P < 0.05), while anti-apoptotic markers xiap, bid, mcl1, and death receptor genes tnf and tradd were significantly down-regulated (P < 0.05). Additionally, higher protein expressions of p53, caspase-3 and TEM analysis showing modulations in mitochondria confirmed intrinsic apoptosis pathway. The enzyme impeded tumor progression through inhibition of cell migration and vascular remodelling of endothelial cells. Our findings suggests that the action of l-asparaginase alters mitochondrial membrane permeability and auxiliary activates intrinsic apoptosis. Therefore, this mechanistic approach might be considered as a targeted enzymotherapy against gastric adenocarcinoma.

Yu J, Silva JM
Bayesian Network to Infer Drug-Induced Apoptosis Circuits from Connectivity Map Data.
Methods Mol Biol. 2018; 1783:361-378 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Connectivity Map (CMAP) project profiled human cancer cell lines exposed to a library of anticancer compounds with the goal of connecting cancer with underlying genes and potential treatments. As most targeted anticancer therapeutics aim to induce tumor-selective apoptosis, it is critical to understand the specific cell death pathways triggered by drugs. This can help to better understand the mechanism of how cancer cells respond to chemical stimulations and improve the treatment of human tumors. In this study, using Connectivity MAP microarray-based gene expression data, we applied a Bayesian network modeling approach and identified apoptosis as a major drug-induced cellular pathway. We focused on 13 apoptotic genes that showed significant differential expression across all drug-perturbed samples to reconstruct the apoptosis network. In our predicted subnetwork, 9 out of 15 high-confidence interactions were validated in literature, and our inferred network captured two major cell death pathways by identifying BCL2L11 and PMAIP1 as key interacting players for the intrinsic apoptosis pathway, and TAXBP1 and TNFAIP3 for the extrinsic apoptosis pathway. Our inferred apoptosis network also suggested the role of BCL2L11 and TNFAIP3 as "gateway" genes in the drug-induced intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis pathways.

Luo L, Gao W, Wang J, et al.
Study on the Mechanism of Cell Cycle Checkpoint Kinase 2 (CHEK2) Gene Dysfunction in Chemotherapeutic Drug Resistance of Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells.
Med Sci Monit. 2018; 24:3176-3183 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND This study aimed to investigate the mechanism of CHEK2 gene dysfunction in drug resistance of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells. MATERIAL AND METHODS To perform our study, a stable CHEK2 wild type (CHEK2 WT) or CHEK2 Y390C mutation (CHEK2 Y390C) expressed MDA-MB-231 cell line was established. MTT assay, cell apoptosis assay and cell cycle assay were carried out to analyze the cell viability, apoptosis, and cell cycle respectively. Western blotting and qRT-PCR were applied for related protein and gene expression detection. RESULTS We found that the IC50 value of DDP (Cisplatin) to CHEK2 Y390C expressed MDA-MB-231 cells was significantly higher than that of the CHEK2 WT expressed cells and the control cells. After treatment with DDP for 48 h, cells expressing CHEK2 WT showed lower cell viability than that of the CHEK2 Y390C expressed cells and the control cells; compared with the CHEK2 Y390C expressed cells and the control cells, cells expressing CHEK2 WT showed significant G1/S arrest. Meanwhile, we found that compared with the CHEK2 Y390C expressed cells and the control cells, cell apoptosis was significantly increased in CHEK2 WT expressed cells. Moreover, our results suggested that cells expressing CHEK2 WT showed higher level of p-CDC25A, p-p53, p21, Bax, PUMA, and Noxa than that of the CHEK2 Y390C expressed cells and the control cells. CONCLUSIONS Our findings indicated that CHEK2 Y390C mutation induced the drug resistance of TNBC cells to chemotherapeutic drugs through administrating cell apoptosis and cell cycle arrest via regulating p53 activation and CHEK2-p53 apoptosis pathway.

Enßle JC, Boedicker C, Wanior M, et al.
Co-targeting of BET proteins and HDACs as a novel approach to trigger apoptosis in rhabdomyosarcoma cells.
Cancer Lett. 2018; 428:160-172 [PubMed] Related Publications
Histone acetylation marks exert essential functions in regulating gene expression. These marks are written by histone acetyltransferases (HATs), removed by histone deacetylases (HDACs) and read by e.g. BET proteins. While BET inhibitors are promising new anticancer drugs, little is yet known about their antitumor activity in rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). We therefore investigated the efficacy of the prototypic BET inhibitor JQ1 alone or in combination with other epigenetic modifiers, namely HDAC inhibitors (HDACIs). Here, we discover a synergistic interaction of the panBET inhibitor JQ1 together with various HDACIs, i.e. Quisinostat (JNJ-26481585), Vorinostat (SAHA), Entinostat (MS-275) and Panobinostat (LBH589), inducing apoptosis in RMS cells, whereas JQ1 as single agent exhibits little cytotoxicity. Calculation of combination index (CI) confirmed the synergism of this combination. Importantly, JQ1 and JNJ-26481585 act in concert to suppress colony formation and to trigger apoptosis in an in vivo model. Mechanistic studies revealed that combination of JQ1 and JNJ-26481585 cooperatively upregulates BIM and BMF, while downregulating BCL-x

Meister MT, Boedicker C, Klingebiel T, Fulda S
Hedgehog signaling negatively co-regulates BH3-only protein Noxa and TAp73 in TP53-mutated cells.
Cancer Lett. 2018; 429:19-28 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the present study, we show that pharmacological repression by the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway inhibitor (HPI) GANT61 induces expression of the proapoptotic protein Noxa in TP53-mutated embryonal pediatric tumor cells driven by Hh signaling (i.e. rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) and medulloblastoma (MB)). Similarly, genetic silencing of Gli1 by siRNA causes increased Noxa mRNA and protein levels, while overexpression of Gli1 results in decreased Noxa expression. Furthermore, TAp73 mRNA and protein levels are increased upon Gli1 knockdown, while Gli1 overexpression reduces TAp73 mRNA and protein levels. However, knockdown of TAp73 fails to block Noxa induction in GANT61-treated cells, suggesting that Noxa is not primarily regulated by TAp73. Interestingly, mRNA levels of the transcription factor EGR1 correlate with those of Noxa and TAp73. Silencing of EGR1 results in decreased Noxa and TAp73 mRNA levels, indicating that EGR1 is involved in regulating transcriptional activity of Noxa and TAp73. These findings suggest that Gli1 represses Noxa and TAp73, possibly via EGR1. These findings could be exploited for the treatment of Hh-driven tumors, e.g. for their sensitization to chemotherapeutic agents.

Kusaczuk M, Krętowski R, Naumowicz M, et al.
Silica nanoparticle-induced oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage is followed by activation of intrinsic apoptosis pathway in glioblastoma cells.
Int J Nanomedicine. 2018; 13:2279-2294 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Introduction: Recently, the focus of oncological research has been on the optimization of therapeutic strategies targeted at malignant diseases. Nanomedicine utilizing silicon dioxide nanoparticles (SiNPs) is one such strategy and is rapidly developing as a promising tool for cancer diagnosis, imaging, and treatment. Nevertheless, little is known about the mechanisms of action of SiNPs in brain tumors.
Materials and methods: Here, we explored the effects of 5-15 nm SiNPs in the human glioblastoma cell line LN229. In this respect, MTT assays, microscopic observations, flow cytometry analyses, and luminescent assays were performed. Moreover, RT-qPCR and Western blot analyses were done to determine gene and protein expressions.
Results: We demonstrated that SiNPs triggered evident cytotoxicity, with microscopic observations of the nuclei, annexin V-fluorescein isothiocyanate/propidium iodide staining, and elevated caspase 3/7 activity, suggesting that SiNPs predominantly induced apoptotic death in LN229 cells. We further showed the occurrence of oxidative stress induced by enhanced reactive oxygen-species generation. This effect was followed by deregulated expression of genes encoding the antioxidant enzymes SOD1, SOD2, and CAT, and impaired mitochondria function. SiNP- induced mitochondrial dysfunction was characterized by membrane-potential collapse, ATP depletion, elevated expression of
Conclusions: Altogether, our data indicate that in LN229 cells, SiNPs evoke cell death via activation of the intrinsic apoptosis pathway and suggest that other aspects of cellular function may also be affected. As such, SiNPs represent a potentially promising agent for facilitating further progress in brain cancer therapy. However, further exploration of SiNP long-term toxicity and molecular effects is necessary prior to their widespread application.

Sang M, Nakamura M, Ogata T, et al.
Impact of RUNX2 gene silencing on the gemcitabine sensitivity of p53‑mutated pancreatic cancer MiaPaCa‑2 spheres.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(6):2749-2758 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recently, it has been well‑recognized that the response toward anticancer drugs differs between two‑ and three‑dimensional (2D and 3D) in vitro cancer cell growth models. In the present study, we have demonstrated that, similar to the conventional 2D monolayer culture systems which often lack in vivo physiological insights, RUNX2 gene silencing increases the gemcitabine (GEM) sensitivity of the 3D spheres generated from p53‑mutated pancreatic cancer MiaPaCa‑2 cells. According to our results, MiaPaCa‑2 cells, but not p53‑wild‑type pancreatic cancer SW1990 cells efficiently formed sphere structures in serum‑free sphere‑forming medium. Although GEM treatment caused a marked induction of TAp73/TAp63 in MiaPaCa‑2 spheres accompanied by the transcriptional activation of p53 family‑target genes such as p21WAF1 and NOXA, only 20% of cells underwent cell death. Under these experimental conditions, mutant p53 expression level was increased in response to GEM and RUNX2 remained unchanged at the protein level regardless of GEM exposure, which may suppress the pro‑apoptotic activity of TAp73/TAp63. Notably, RUNX2 gene silencing markedly augmented GEM‑mediated cell death of MiaPaCa‑2 spheres compared to that of non‑depleted ones. Expression analyses revealed that forced depletion of RUNX2 further stimulated GEM‑induced upregulation of TAp63 as well as its downstream target genes such as p21WAF1 and NOXA. In summary, our observations strongly indicated that, similarly to 2D monolayer culture, RUNX2 gene silencing increased GEM sensitivity of MiaPaCa‑2 spheres and highlighted the therapeutic potential of RUNX2 in pancreatic cancer with p53 mutation.

Zhu ZC, Liu JW, Li K, et al.
KPNB1 inhibition disrupts proteostasis and triggers unfolded protein response-mediated apoptosis in glioblastoma cells.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(22):2936-2952 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The nuclear import receptor karyopherin β1 (KPNB1) is involved in the nuclear import of most proteins and in the regulation of multiple mitotic events. Upregulation of KPNB1 has been observed in cancers including glioblastoma. Depletion of KPNB1 induces mitotic arrest and apoptosis in cancer cells, but the underlying mechanism is not clearly elucidated. Here, we found that downregulation and functional inhibition of KPNB1 in glioblastoma cells induced growth arrest and apoptosis without apparent mitotic arrest. KPNB1 inhibition upregulated Puma and Noxa and freed Mcl-1-sequestered Bax and Bak, leading to mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) and apoptosis. Moreover, combination of Bcl-xL inhibitors and KPNB1 inhibition enhanced apoptosis in glioblastoma cells. KPNB1 inhibition promoted cytosolic retention of its cargo and impaired cellular proteostasis, resulting in elevated polyubiquitination, formation of aggresome-like-induced structure (ALIS), and unfolded protein response (UPR). Ubiquitination elevation and UPR activation in KPNB1-deficient cells were reversed by KPNB1 overexpression or inhibitors of protein synthesis but aggravated by inhibitors of autophagy-lysosome or proteasome, indicating that rebalance of cytosolic/nuclear protein distribution and alleviation of protein overload favor proteostasis and cell survival. Chronic activation of eIF2α/ATF4 cascade of UPR was responsible for the upregulation of Puma and Noxa, apoptosis and ABT-263 sensitivity. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that KPNB1 is required for proteostasis maintenance and its inhibition induces apoptosis in glioblastoma cells through UPR-mediated deregulation of Bcl-2 family members.

Floros KV, Lochmann TL, Hu B, et al.
Coamplification of
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018; 115(11):E2594-E2603 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

Sharma K, Vu TT, Cook W, et al.
p53-independent Noxa induction by cisplatin is regulated by ATF3/ATF4 in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells.
Mol Oncol. 2018; 12(6):788-798 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The platinum-based DNA damaging agent cisplatin is used as a standard therapy for locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, the mechanisms underpinning the cytotoxic effects of this compound are not entirely elucidated. Cisplatin produces anticancer effects primarily via activation of the DNA damage response, followed by inducing BCL-2 family dependent mitochondrial apoptosis. We have previously demonstrated that cisplatin induces the expression of proapoptotic BCL-2 family protein, Noxa, that can bind to the prosurvival BCL-2 family protein, MCL-1, to inactivate its function and induce cell death. Here, we show that the upregulation of Noxa is critical for cisplatin-induced apoptosis in p53-null HNSCC cells. This induction is regulated at the transcriptional level. With a series of Noxa promoter-luciferase reporter assays, we find that the CRE (cAMP response element) in the promoter is critical for the Noxa induction by cisplatin treatment. Among the CREB/ATF transcription factors, ATF3 and ATF4 are induced by cisplatin, and downregulation of ATF3 or ATF4 reduced cisplatin-induced Noxa. ATF3 and ATF4 bind to and cooperatively activate the Noxa promoter. Furthermore, ERK1 is involved in cisplatin-induced ATF4 and Noxa induction. In conclusion, ATF3 and ATF4 are important regulators that induce Noxa by cisplatin treatment in a p53-independent manner.

Hage-Sleiman R, Bahmad H, Kobeissy H, et al.
Genomic alterations during p53-dependent apoptosis induced by γ-irradiation of Molt-4 leukemia cells.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(12):e0190221 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Molt-4 leukemia cells undergo p53-dependent apoptosis accompanied by accumulation of de novo ceramide after 14 hours of γ-irradiation. In order to identify the potential mediators involved in ceramide accumulation and the cell death response, differentially expressed genes were identified by Affymetrix Microarray Analysis. Molt-4-LXSN cells, expressing wild type p53, and p53-deficient Molt-4-E6 cells were irradiated and harvested at 3 and 8 hours post-irradiation. Human genome U133 plus 2.0 array containing >47,000 transcripts was used for gene expression profiling. From over 10,000 probes, 281 and 12 probes were differentially expressed in Molt-4-LXSN and Molt-4-E6 cells, respectively. Data analysis revealed 63 (upregulated) and 20 (downregulated) genes (>2 fold) in Molt-4-LXSN at 3 hours and 140 (upregulated) and 21 (downregulated) at 8 hours post-irradiation. In Molt-4-E6 cells, 5 (upregulated) genes each were found at 3 hours and 8 hours, respectively. In Molt-4-LXSN cells, a significant fraction of the genes with altered expression at 3 hours were found to be involved in apoptosis signaling pathway (BCL2L11), p53 pathway (PMAIP1, CDKN1A and FAS) and oxidative stress response (FDXR, CROT and JUN). Similarly, at 8 hours the genes with altered expression were involved in the apoptosis signaling pathway (BAX, BIK and JUN), p53 pathway (BAX, CDKN1A and FAS), oxidative stress response (FDXR and CROT) and p53 pathway feedback loops 2 (MDM2 and CDKN1A). A global molecular and biological interaction map analysis showed an association of these altered genes with apoptosis, senescence, DNA damage, oxidative stress, cell cycle arrest and caspase activation. In a targeted study, activation of apoptosis correlated with changes in gene expression of some of the above genes and revealed sequential activation of both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways that precede ceramide accumulation and subsequent execution of apoptosis. One or more of these altered genes may be involved in p53-dependent ceramide accumulation.

Fang X, Lu G, Ha K, et al.
Acetylation of TIP60 at K104 is essential for metabolic stress-induced apoptosis in cells of hepatocellular cancer.
Exp Cell Res. 2018; 362(2):279-286 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumor cells often encounter hypoglycemic microenvironment due to rapid cell expansion. It remains elusive how tumors reprogram the genome to survive the metabolic stress. The tumor suppressor TIP60 functions as the catalytic subunit of the human NuA4 histone acetyltransferase (HAT) multi-subunit complex and is involved in many different cellular processes including DNA damage response, cell growth and apoptosis. Attenuation of TIP60 expression has been detected in various tumor types. The function of TIP60 in tumor development has not been fully understood. Here we found that suppressing TIP60 inhibited p53 K120 acetylation and thus rescued apoptosis induced by glucose deprivation in hepatocellular cancer cells. Excitingly, Lys-104 (K104), a previously identified lysine acetylation site of TIP60 with unknown function, was observed to be indispensable for inducing p53-mediated apoptosis under low glucose condition. Mutation of Lys-104 to Arg (K104R) impeded the binding of TIP60 to human NuA4 complex, suppressed the acetyltransferase activity of TIP60, and inhibited the expression of pro-apoptotic genes including NOXA and PUMA upon glucose starvation. These findings demonstrate the critical regulation of TIP60/p53 pathway in apoptosis upon metabolic stress and provide a novel insight into the down-regulation of TIP60 in tumor cells.

Furukawa H, Makino T, Yamasaki M, et al.
PRIMA-1 induces p53-mediated apoptosis by upregulating Noxa in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma with TP53 missense mutation.
Cancer Sci. 2018; 109(2):412-421 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
TP53 is associated with the resistance of cytotoxic treatment and patient prognosis, and the mutation rate of TP53 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is extraordinarily high, at over 90%. PRIMA-1 (p53 re-activation and induction of massive apoptosis) has recently been reported to restore the function of mutant TP53; however, its antitumor effect and mechanism in ESCC remain unclear. After evaluating the TP53 mutation status of a panel of 11 ESCC cell lines by Sanger sequencing, we assessed the in vitro effect of PRIMA-1 administration on cells with different TP53 status by conducting cell viability and apoptosis assays. The expression levels of proteins in p53-related pathways were examined by Western blotting, while knockdown studies were conducted to investigate the mechanism underlying PRIMA-1's function. An ESCC xenograft model was further used to evaluate the therapeutic effect of PRIMA-1 in vivo. PRIMA-1 markedly inhibited cell growth and induced apoptosis by upregulating Noxa expression in ESCC cell lines with TP53 missense mutations, whereas no apoptosis was induced in ESCC with wild-type TP53 and TP53 with frameshift and nonsense mutations. Importantly, the knockdown of Noxa canceled the apoptosis induced by PRIMA treatment in ESCC cell lines with TP53 missense mutations. PRIMA-1 administration, compared with placebo, showed a significant antitumor effect by inducing Noxa in the xenograft model of an ESCC cell line with a TP53 missense mutation. PRIMA-1 exhibits a significant antitumor effect, inducing massive apoptosis through the upregulation of Noxa in ESCC with TP53 missense mutations.

Wu Z, Hu Z, Han X, et al.
The BET-Bromodomain Inhibitor JQ1 synergized ABT-263 against colorectal cancer cells through suppressing c-Myc-induced miR-1271-5p expression.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2017; 95:1574-1579 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) cells undergo apoptosis in the presence of the small-molecule inhibitor ABT-263 by up-regulating antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family members. However, the resistance to ABT-263 gradually developed in most solid tumors due to its low affinity to Mcl-1. Here, we found the BET-Bromodomain inhibitor JQ1, when combined with ABT-263, synergistically reduced Mcl-1 protein level, induced apoptosis, and decreased cell viability in the CRC HCT-15, HT-29 and SW620 cells. The subsequent mechanism study revealed that a pathway of c-Myc/miR-1271-5p/Noxa/Mcl-1 underlies the synergistic effect of such combination treatment. We discovered that miR-1271-5p, the key mediator for the synergistic effect, is transcriptionally activated by c-Myc, and binds to the 3'-UTR of noxa to inhibit its protein production. The combination treatment of JQ1 and ABT-263 inhibited c-Myc protein level and also c-Myc-driven expression of miR-1271-5p, subsequently increased the protein level of Noxa, and finally promotes the degradation of Mcl-1. Our findings provide an alternative strategy to resolve the resistance during treatment of CRC by JQ1, and also discovered a novel miR-1271-5p-dependent regulatory mechanism for gene expression of noxa.

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