Gene Summary

Gene:PPP2CA; protein phosphatase 2 catalytic subunit alpha
Aliases: RP-C, PP2Ac, PP2CA, NEDLBA, PP2Calpha
Summary:This gene encodes the phosphatase 2A catalytic subunit. Protein phosphatase 2A is one of the four major Ser/Thr phosphatases, and it is implicated in the negative control of cell growth and division. It consists of a common heteromeric core enzyme, which is composed of a catalytic subunit and a constant regulatory subunit, that associates with a variety of regulatory subunits. This gene encodes an alpha isoform of the catalytic subunit. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:serine/threonine-protein phosphatase 2A catalytic subunit alpha isoform
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


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

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: PPP2CA (cancer-related)

Zhou X, Liu S, Lin X, et al.
Metformin Inhibit Lung Cancer Cell Growth and Invasion in Vitro as Well as Tumor Formation in Vivo Partially by Activating PP2A.
Med Sci Monit. 2019; 25:836-846 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND The aim of this study was to investigate whether PP2A activation is involved in the anti-cancer activity of metformin. MATERIAL AND METHODS A549 and H1651 human lung cancer cells were constructed with stable a4 overexpression (O/E α4) or knockdown of PP2A catalytic subunit A/B(sh-PP2Ac). Influences of okadaic acid (OA) treatment, O/E α4 or sh-PP2Ac on metformin treated cells were investigated by cell viability, proliferation, apoptosis, and Transwell invasion assay in vitro. Protein expression levels of Bax, Bcl-2, Myc, and Akt as well as serine phosphorylation level of Bax, Myc, and Akt were examined by western blot. For in vivo assays, wild type (WT) or modified A549 cells were subcutaneously injected in nude mice, and metformin treatment on these xenografted tumors were assayed by tumor formation assay and western blot detecting cell proliferation marker PCNA (proliferating cell nuclear antigen) as well as protein expression level and serine phosphorylation level of Akt and Myc. RESULTS Metformin treatment significantly reduced A549 or H1651 cell growth and invasive capacity in vitro as well as Ser184 phosphorylation of Bax, Ser62 phosphorylation of Myc, and Ser473 phosphorylation of Akt, all of which could be partially attenuated by OA treatment, O/E α4 or sh-PP2Ac. Metformin treatment also significantly reduced tumor formation in vivo as well as protein expression of PCNA, Akt, Myc, and serine phosphorylation of the latter 2, which can be partially blocked by O/E α4 or sh-PP2Ac. CONCLUSIONS Metformin reduced lung cancer cell growth and invasion in vitro as well as tumor formation in vivo partially by activating PP2A.

Yong L, YuFeng Z, Guang B
Association between PPP2CA expression and colorectal cancer prognosis tumor marker prognostic study.
Int J Surg. 2018; 59:80-89 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide. The aim of this study is to identify candidate genes by bioinformatics and investigate its clinical pathological characters and prognostic significance.
METHOD: First, we identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in CRC by analyzing gene expression datasets from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO). Then we performed a bioinformatics analysis by using Oncomine, STRING and Oncolnc databases. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) was performed using TCGA data set. Then, the protein expression level of PPP2CA was detected by immunohistochemistry in 196 pairs of primary colorectal cancer and corresponding non-tumor tissues.
RESULT: Total 81 differential expressed genes were identified in the overlap of datasets. PPI network show the hub genes were CCND1, PPP2CA and YAP1. We investigated Oncomine databases and found that PPP2CA mRNA expression was lower in CRC tissues compared with normal tissues. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that PPP2CA expression was associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition signaling pathway. Low expression of PPP2CA was associated with T stage, N stage, and M stage. Low expression of PPP2CA was associated with worse overall survival for CRC, and retained significance as an independent prognostic factor for CRC.
CONCLUSION: PPP2CA may act as an oncogene in the progression of colorectal cancer. Moreover, PPP2CA has potential to be used as prognostic markers or therapeutic targets in CRC.

Wang N, Zhou F, Guo J, et al.
Euxanthone suppresses tumor growth and metastasis in colorectal cancer via targeting CIP2A/PP2A pathway.
Life Sci. 2018; 209:498-506 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Colorectal cancer (CRC) accounts for over 600,000 deaths annually worldwide. Euxanthone is a flavonoid compound extracted from Polygala caudata, with documented anti-neoplastic actions. The current study aimed to determine the therapeutic potential of euxanthone in CRC.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) assay was used to analyze the effect of euxanthone on the cell viability, and apoptosis was detected by the TUNEL assay. The in vitro migratory capacity was determined by wound healing and the invasiveness was assessed by Transwell assay. Western blotting was used to determine the level of relevant proteins. Furthermore, a CRC xenograft murine model was used to analyze the therapeutic efficacy of euxanthone in vivo. Isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) was then performed to identify the potential targets of euxanthone. To validate the role of cancerous inhibitor of PP2A (CIP2A) in the anti-cancer effects of euxanthone, plasmid overexpressing CIP2A and shRNA targeting CIP2A were used in in vitro assays.
KEY FINDINGS: Euxanthone decreased cell viability and increased apoptosis in CRC cells, in addition to restraining migration, invasion and EMT. Similarly, euxanthone also effectively suppressed tumor growth and pulmonary metastasis in vivo. iTRAQ analysis identified CIP2A as the primary target responsible for the anticancer effects of euxanthone. The mediatory role of CIP2A was validated when the anticancer activity of euxanthone was significantly blocked by CIP2A overexpression, while CIP2A knockdown sensitized the CRC cells to euxanthone.
SIGNIFICANCE: Euxanthone exerts anti-cancer effects in vitro and in vivo in CRC by targeting CIP2A/PP2A signaling.

Tang Y, Berlind J, Mavila N
Inhibition of CREB binding protein-beta-catenin signaling down regulates CD133 expression and activates PP2A-PTEN signaling in tumor initiating liver cancer cells.
Cell Commun Signal. 2018; 16(1):9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The WNT-beta-catenin pathway is known to regulate cellular homeostasis during development and tissue regeneration. Activation of WNT signaling increases the stability of cytoplasmic beta-catenin and enhances its nuclear translocation. Nuclear beta-catenin function is regulated by transcriptional co-factors such as CREB binding protein (CBP) and p300. Hyper-activated WNT-beta-catenin signaling is associated with many cancers. However, its role in inducing stemness to liver cancer cells, its autoregulation and how it regulates tumor suppressor pathways are not well understood. Here we have investigated the role of CBP-beta-catenin signaling on the expression of CD133, a known stem cell antigen and PP2A-PTEN pathway in tumor initiating liver cancer cells.
METHODS: Human hepatoblastoma cell line HepG2 and clonally expanded CD133 expressing tumor initiating liver cells (TICs) from premalignant murine liver were used in this study. CBP-beta-catenin inhibitor ICG001 was used to target CBP-beta catenin signaling in liver cancer cells in vitro. Western blotting and real time PCR (qPCR) were used to quantify protein expression/phosphorylation and mRNA levels, respectively. CBP and CD133 gene silencing was performed by siRNA transfection. Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) was performed to quantify CD133 positive cells. Protein Phosphatase (PP2A) activity was measured after PP2AC immunoprecipitation.
RESULTS: CBP inhibitor ICG001 and CBP silencing significantly reduced CD133 expression and anchorage independent growth in HepG2 and murine TICs. CD133 silencing in TICs decreased cell proliferation and expression levels of cell cycle regulatory genes, CyclinD1 and CyclinA2. ICG001 treatment and CBP silencing reduced the levels of phospho
CONCLUSIONS: CBP-beta-catenin signaling promotes stemness via CD133 induction and cell proliferation in TICs. We found a novel functional link between CBP-beta-catenin and PP2A-PTEN-AKT pathway in liver TICs. Therefore, CBP-beta-catenin-PP2A-PTEN-AKT signaling axis could be a novel therapeutic target to prevent liver tumor initiation and cancer recurrence.

Jiang Y, Cao Y, Wang Y, et al.
Cysteine transporter SLC3A1 promotes breast cancer tumorigenesis.
Theranostics. 2017; 7(4):1036-1046 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cysteine is an essential amino acid for infants, aged people as well as patients with metabolic disorders. Although the thiol group of cysteine side chain is active in oxidative reactions, the role of cysteine in cancer remains largely unknown. Here, we report that the expression level of the solute carrier family 3, member 1 (SLC3A1), the cysteine carrier, tightly correlated with clinical stages and patients' survival. Elevated SLC3A1 expression accelerated the cysteine uptake and the accumulation of reductive glutathione (GSH), leading to reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS increased the stability and activity of PP2Ac, resulting in decreased AKT activity. Hence, SLC3A1 activated the AKT signaling through inhibiting PP2A phosphatase activity. Consistently, overexpression of SLC3A1 enhanced tumorigenesis of breast cancer cells, whereas blocking SLC3A1 either with specific siRNA or SLC3A1 specific inhibitor sulfasalazine suppressed tumor growth and also abolished dietary NAC-promoted tumor growth. Collectively, our data demonstrate that SLC3A1 promotes cysteine uptake and determines cellular response to antioxidant N-acetylcysteine, suggesting SLC3A1 is a potential therapeutic target for breast cancer.

Tong L, Chu M, Yan B, et al.
MTDH promotes glioma invasion through regulating miR-130b-ceRNAs.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(11):17738-17749 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cell invasion is crucial for high mortality and recurrence rate in glioma. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an important step in cancer invasion. Metadherin (MTDH) contributes to EMT in several cancers, but the role and mechanism of MTDH in EMT-like process of glioma remain unknown. Here we demonstrate that MTDH was overexpressed in glioma tissues and cells and induced EMT-like change and invasion of glioma cells. Interestingly, MTDH could modulate the expression of a group of glioma-related miRNAs. In particular, MTDH upregulated miR-130b transcription via acting as a coactivator of NF-kB. MiR-130b promoted EMT-like change and invasion of glioma cells through targeting multiple EMT-related genes, including PTEN, PPP2CA and SMAD7. In addition, PTEN acted as the competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) to affect PPP2CA and SMAD7 expression, and inhibited EMT-like change in glioma cells. Furthermore, miR-130b mediated EMT-like change induced by MTDH, and MTDH inhibited the expression levels of PTEN, PPP2CA and SMAD7. Taken together, we reveal a novel mechanism that MTDH induces EMT-like change and invasion of glioma via the regulation of miR-130b-ceRNAs, providing the first direct link between MTDH and miRNAs in cancer cells.

Sato T, Shiba-Ishii A, Kim Y, et al.
miR-3941: A novel microRNA that controls IGBP1 expression and is associated with malignant progression of lung adenocarcinoma.
Cancer Sci. 2017; 108(3):536-542 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Immunoglobulin (CD79a) binding protein 1 (IGBP1) is universally overexpressed in lung adenocarcinoma and exerts an anti-apoptotic effect by binding to PP2Ac. However, the molecular mechanism of IGBP1 overexpression is still unclear. In the present study, we used a microRNA (miRNA) array and TargetScan Human software to detect IGBP1-related miRNAs that regulate IGBP1 expression. The miRNA array analysis revealed more than 100 miRNAs that are dysregulated in early invasive adenocarcinoma. On the other hand, in silico analysis using TargetScan Human revealed 79 miRNAs that are associated with IGBP1 protein expression. Among the miRNAs selected by miRNA array analysis, six (miR-34b, miR-138, miR-374a, miR-374b, miR-1909, miR-3941) were also included among those selected by TargetScan analysis. Real-time reverse transcription PCR (real-time RT-PCR) showed that the six microRNAs were downregulated in invasive adenocarcinoma (IGBP1+) relative to adjacent normal lung tissue (IGBP1-). Among these microRNAs, only miR-34b and miR-3941 depressed luciferase activity by targeting 3'UTR-IGBP1 in the luciferase vector. We transfected miR-34b and miR-3941 into lung adenocarcinoma cell lines (A549, PC-9), and both of them suppressed IGBP1 expression and cell proliferation. Moreover, the transfected miR-34b and miR-3941 induced apoptosis of a lung adenocarcinoma cell line, similarly to the effect of siIGBP1 RNA. As well as miR-34b, we found that miR-3941 targeted IGBP1 specifically and was able to exclusively downregulate IGBP1 expression. These findings indicate that suppression of miR-3941 has an important role in the progression of lung adenocarcinoma at an early stage.

Shouse G, de Necochea-Campion R, Mirshahidi S, et al.
Novel B55α-PP2A mutations in AML promote AKT T308 phosphorylation and sensitivity to AKT inhibitor-induced growth arrest.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(38):61081-61092 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Activation of the Protein Kinase B (PKB), or AKT pathway has been shown to correlate with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) prognosis. B55α-Protein Phosphatase 2A (PP2A) has been shown to dephosphorylate AKT at Thr-308 rendering it inactive. In fact, low expression of the PP2A regulatory subunit B55α was associated with activated phospho-AKT and correlated with inferior outcomes in AML. Despite this fact, no studies have specifically demonstrated a mechanism whereby B55α expression is regulated in AML. In this study, we demonstrate novel loss of function mutations in the PPP2R2A gene identified in leukemic blasts from three AML patients. These mutations eliminate B55α protein expression thereby allowing constitutive AKT activation. In addition, leukemic blasts with PPP2R2A gene mutation were more sensitive to treatment with the AKT inhibitor MK2206, but less responsive to the PP2A activator FTY720. Using leukemia cell lines, we further demonstrate that B55α expression correlates with AKT Thr-308 phosphorylation and predicts responsiveness to AKT inhibition and PP2A activation. Together our data illustrate the importance of the B55α-PP2A-AKT pathway in leukemogenesis. Screening for disruptions in this pathway at initial AML diagnosis may predict response to targeted therapies against AKT and PP2A.

Hung MH, Chen YL, Chu PY, et al.
Upregulation of the oncoprotein SET determines poor clinical outcomes in hepatocellular carcinoma and shows therapeutic potential.
Oncogene. 2016; 35(37):4891-902 [PubMed] Related Publications
The SET protein is a potent inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Here, we report the oncogenic role of SET in hepatocarcinogenesis, clinical aggressiveness and anti-hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) therapeutics. By analyzing samples obtained from 147 HCC patients, we found that SET overexpression was detected specifically in 30.6% HCC tumor samples, and was significantly associated with worse clinical features and high p-Akt expression in HCC tumors. Co-expression of SET and Akt predicted shorter post-operative recurrence-free survival in this cohort (P=0.045). Furthermore, SET was significantly associated with cell growth and hepatosphere formation. To elucidate the anti-HCC potential of targeting SET, we generated a novel SET antagonist, EMQA (N(4)-(3-ethynylphenyl)-6,7-dimethoxy-N(2)-(4-phenoxyphenyl) quinazoline-2,4-diamine). EMQA enhanced PP2A activity via disrupting SET-PP2Ac (catalytic domain of PP2A) binding in HCC cells, which restored PP2A-mediated p-Akt downregulation and promoted HCC cell death. In HCC cells or recombinant proteins expressing the N- and C- truncated forms of SET, only the C-terminal SET was required for EMQA targeting. Furthermore, combining sorafenib and EMQA showed good synergism in inhibiting HCC survival. Our findings suggested the oncogenic role of SET and the adverse prognostic value of SET overexpression in HCC. This alteration defines a subgroup of HCC patients who could benefit from SET antagonists, such as EMQA.

Yang CC, Kuai XX, Gao WB, et al.
Morroniside-Induced PP2A Activation Antagonizes Tau Hyperphosphorylation in a Cellular Model of Neurodegeneration.
J Alzheimers Dis. 2016; 51(1):33-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: An accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau in the brain is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Deficits in protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) are associated with tau hyperphosphorylation in AD.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of morroniside (MOR), isolated from Cornus officinalis, on tau hyperphosphorylation and its underlying mechanisms related to PP2A.
METHODS: SK-N-SH cells were pretreated with 50-200 μM MOR for 24 h followed by 20 nM okadaic acid (OA) for 6 h. PP2Ac siRNA was transfected into HEK293 cells to determine the direct interaction of MOR with PP2A. Western blotting was used to measure the expression of proteins and enzymes. PP2A activity was measured by molybdenum blue spectrophotometry.
RESULTS: Pretreatment with MOR improved the cellular morphological damage and inhibited tau hyperphosphorylation in SK-N-SH cells induced by OA, a PP2A inhibitor. Moreover, MOR increased PP2A activity, concurrent with a decrease in the expression of demethylated PP2A at Leu309 and phosphorylated PP2A at Tyr307. MOR decreased protein phosphatase methylesterase 1 (PME-1) expression and the ratio of PME-1/leucine carboxyl methyltransferase 1 (LCMT-1). Furthermore, MOR treatment decreased the phosphorylation of Src at Tyr416, which regulates the phosphorylation of PP2A. MOR had no effect on PP2Ac expression and tau hyperphosphorylation in PP2Ac siRNA-transfected cells.
CONCLUSION: MOR attenuated OA-induced tau hyperphosphorylation via PP2A activation, and its mechanism might be related to the regulation of PP2Ac post-translational modification and upstream enzymes such as Src and PME-1.

Tao M, Liu L, Shen M, et al.
Inflammatory stimuli promote growth and invasion of pancreatic cancer cells through NF-κB pathway dependent repression of PP2Ac.
Cell Cycle. 2016; 15(3):381-93 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Previous studies have indicated that inflammatory stimulation represses protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), a well-known tumor suppressor. However, whether PP2A repression participates in pancreatic cancer progression has not been verified. We used lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and macrophage-conditioned medium (MCM) to establish in vitro inflammation models, and investigated whether inflammatory stimuli affect pancreatic cancer cell growth and invasion PP2A catalytic subunit (PP2Ac)-dependently. Via nude mouse models of orthotopic tumor xenografts and dibutyltin dichloride (DBTC)-induced chronic pancreatitis, we evaluated the effect of an inflammatory microenvironment on PP2Ac expression in vivo. We cloned the PP2Acα and PP2Acβ isoform promoters to investigate the PP2Ac transcriptional regulation mechanisms. MCM accelerated pancreatic cancer cell growth; MCM and LPS promoted cell invasion. DBTC promoted xenograft growth and metastasis, induced tumor-associated macrophage infiltration, promoted angiogenesis, activated the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) pathway, and repressed PP2Ac expression. In vitro, LPS and MCM downregulated PP2Ac mRNA and protein. PP2Acα overexpression attenuated JNK, ERK, PKC, and IKK phosphorylation, and impaired LPS/MCM-stimulated cell invasion and MCM-promoted cell growth. LPS and MCM activated the NF-κB pathway in vitro. LPS and MCM induced IKK and IκB phosphorylation, leading to p65/RelA nuclear translocation and transcriptional activation. Overexpression of the dominant negative forms of IKKα attenuated LPS and MCM downregulation of PP2Ac, suggesting inflammatory stimuli repress PP2Ac expression NF-κB pathway-dependently. Luciferase reporter gene assay verified that LPS and MCM downregulated PP2Ac transcription through an NF-κB-dependent pathway. Our study presents a new mechanism in inflammation-driven cancer progression through NF-κB pathway-dependent PP2Ac repression.

Gong SJ, Feng XJ, Song WH, et al.
Upregulation of PP2Ac predicts poor prognosis and contributes to aggressiveness in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2016; 17(2):151-62 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a heterotrimeric protein phosphatase consisting of a 36-kD catalytic C subunit (PP2Ac). This study aimed to explore the prognostic and biological significance of PP2Ac in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). High PP2Ac expression was significantly (P < 0.01) associated with serum hepatitis B surface antigen positivity, serum hepatitis B e antigen positivity, liver cirrhosis, moderate to poor differentiation grade, advanced disease stage, intrahepatic metastasis, and early recurrence in HCC. Multivariate analysis revealed PP2Ac as an independent prognostic factor for overall survival. Enforced expression of hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) and its carboxyl-terminal truncated isoform induced PP2Ac expression in HCC cells. Co-immunoprecipitation assay revealed a direct interaction between PP2Ac and HBx. Small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of PP2Ac significantly inhibited in vitro cell proliferation, colony formation, migration, and invasion and reduced tumor growth in an xenograft mouse model. In contrast, overexpression of PP2Ac promoted HCC cell proliferation, colony formation, and tumorigenesis. Additionally, silencing of PP2Ac impaired the growth-promoting effects on HepG2 HCC cells elicited by overexpression of carboxyl-terminal truncated HBx. Gene expression profiling analysis showed that PP2Ac downregulation modulated the expression of numerous genes involved in cell cycle and apoptosis regulation. Collectively, PP2Ac upregulation has a poor prognostic impact on the overall survival of HCC patients and contributes to the aggressiveness of HCC. PP2Ac may represent a potential therapeutic target for HCC.

Gutiérrez-Monreal MA, Villela L, Baltazar S, et al.
A PER3 polymorphism is associated with better overall survival in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in Mexican population.
Cancer Biomark. 2015; 15(5):699-705 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common subtype of malignant lymphoma. Presently, one of the most important clinical predictors of survival in DLBCL patients is the International Prognostic Index (IPI). Circadian rhythms are the approximate 24 hour biological rhythms with more than 10 genes making up the molecular clock.
OBJECTIVE: Determine if functional single nucleotide polymorphism in circadian genes may contribute to survival status in patients diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
METHODS: Sixteen high-risk non-synonymous polymorphisms in circadian genes (CLOCK, CRY2, CSNK1E, CSNK2A1, NPAS2, PER1, PER2, PER3, PPP2CA, and TIM) were genotyped by screening PCR. Results were visualized by agarose gel electrophoresis and confirmed by two-direction sequencing. Clinical variables were compared between mutated and non-mutated groups. LogRank survival analysis and Kaplan-Meier method were used to calculate the overall survival.
RESULTS: PER3 rs10462020 variant showed significant difference in overall survival between patients containing mutated genotypes and those with non-mutated genotypes (p = 0.047). LDH levels (p = 0.021) and IPI score (p < 0.001) also showed differences in overall survival. No clinical differences were observed in mutated vs. non-mutated patients.
CONCLUSIONS: This work suggests a role of PER3 rs10462020 in predicting a prognosis in DLBCL overall survival of patients.

Shen M, Wu MY, Chen LP, et al.
Cantharidin represses invasion of pancreatic cancer cells through accelerated degradation of MMP2 mRNA.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:11836 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cantharidin is an active constituent of mylabris, a traditional Chinese medicine, and is a potent and selective inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) that plays an important role in cell cycle control, apoptosis, and cell-fate determination. In the present study, we found that cantharidin repressed the invasive ability of pancreatic cancer cells and downregulated matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) expression through multiple pathways, including ERK, JNK, PKC, NF-κB, and β-catenin. Interestingly, transcriptional activity of the MMP2 promoter increased after treatment with PP2A inhibitors, suggesting the involvement of a posttranscriptional mechanism. By using an mRNA stability assay, we found accelerated degradation of MMP2 mRNA after treatment of cantharidin. Microarray analyses revealed that multiple genes involved in the 3' → 5' decay pathway were upregulated, especially genes participating in cytoplasmic deadenylation. The elevation of these genes were further demonstrated to be executed through ERK, JNK, PKC, NF-κB, and β-catenin pathways. Knockdown of PARN, RHAU, and CNOT7, three critical members involved in cytoplasmic deadenylation, attenuated the downregulation of MMP2. Hence, we present the mechanism of repressed invasion by cantharidin and other PP2A inhibitors through increased degradation of MMP2 mRNA by elevated cytoplasmic deadenylation.

Fico A, Alfano D, Valentino A, et al.
c-Myc modulation: a key role in melanoma drug response.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2015; 16(9):1375-86 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Understanding molecular mechanisms involved in melanoma resistance to drugs is a big challenge. Experimental evidences suggested a correlation between mutational status in B-RAF and melanoma cell susceptibility to drugs, such as paclitaxel, doxorubicin and temozolomide, which generate an accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the cells. We investigated the survival phenotype and the protein level of c-myc, a B-RAF target molecule, in melanoma cells, carrying a different mutational status in B-RAF, upon paclitaxel, doxorubicin and H2O2 treatment. For the first time, we reported c-myc modulation is critical for melanoma drug response. It appeared drug-specific and post-transcriptionally driven through PP2A; in correlation, cell pre-treatment with okadaic acid (OA), a specific PP2A inhibitor, as well as PP2A silencing of melanoma cells, was able to increase melanoma cell drug-sensitivity and c-myc protein level. This is relevant for designing efficacious therapeutic strategies in melanoma.

Pallai R, Bhaskar A, Barnett-Bernodat N, et al.
Leucine-rich repeat-containing protein 59 mediates nuclear import of cancerous inhibitor of PP2A in prostate cancer cells.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(8):6383-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Using yeast two-hybrid analysis, we identified several novel protein interactions for the oncoprotein Cancerous Inhibitor of PP2A (CIP2A) and confirmed a subset of these interactions in human cancer cell lines. Analysis of the interaction in prostate carcinoma cells between CIP2A and leucine-rich repeat-containing protein 59 (LRRC59) suggests that CIP2A is translocated into the nucleus at G2/M through its association with LRRC59. Recent work by others has demonstrated that nuclear CIP2A disrupts mitotic checkpoints, which promotes deregulation of the cell cycle and increases cancerous phenotypes. Thus, we provide a novel therapeutic mechanism for inhibiting CIP2A function in cancerous cells via targeting the CIP2A-LRRC59 interaction.

Chun YJ
Knockdown of clusterin expression increases the in vitro sensitivity of human prostate cancer cells to paclitaxel.
J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2014; 77(22-24):1443-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Clusterin/apolipoprotein J is a secreted heterodimeric glycoprotein that is implicated in several pathophysiological processes, including tissue remodeling, reproduction, lipid transport, and apoptosis. Although previous studies demonstrated that clusterin is able to protect against apoptosis, the role of the clusterin in cellular proliferation remains elusive. To determine whether clusterin plays an important role in cellular proliferation, the function of clusterin was examined using a small interfering RNA (siRNA) in PC3 human prostate cancer cells. Transient transfection with clusterin siRNA resulted in significant suppression of clusterin mRNA and protein expression. Clusterin knockdown resulted in a decrease in protein expression of phospho-Akt and an increase in expression of proteins phosphatase type 2AC (PP2AC) and phosphorylation of p38. However, treatment with PP2AC siRNA exerted minimal effects on clusterin expression. Interestingly, clusterin mRNA expression was reduced in paclitaxel-treated cells, and the cytotoxic effect of paclitaxel was more potent when cells were incubated with clusterin siRNA. In addition, co-treatment with paclitaxel and clusterin siRNA significantly enhanced PP2AC levels. Taken together, these results indicate that clusterin plays a crucial role in PC3 cell proliferation and that clusterin depletion may contribute to enhanced sensitivity of PC3 cells to anticancer agents such as paclitaxel.

Li J, Yang XF, Ren XH, et al.
Stable SET knockdown in breast cell carcinoma inhibits cell migration and invasion.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 453(1):7-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is the most malignant tumor for women, however, the mechanisms underlying this devastating disease remain unclear. SET is an endogenous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) and involved in many physiological and pathological processes. SET could promote the occurrence of tumor through inhibiting PP2A. In this study, we explore the role of SET in the migration and invasion of breast cancer cells MDA-MB-231 and ZR-75-30. The stable suppression of SET expression through lentivirus-mediated RNA interference (RNAi) was shown to inhibit the growth, migration and invasion of breast cancer cells. Knockdown of SET increases the activity and expression of PP2Ac and decrease the expression of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9). These data demonstrate that SET may be involved in the pathogenic processes of breast cancer, indicating that SET can serve as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of breast cancer.

Tan X, Chen M
MYLK and MYL9 expression in non-small cell lung cancer identified by bioinformatics analysis of public expression data.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(12):12189-200 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gene expression microarrays are widely used to investigate molecular targets in cancers, including lung cancer. In this study, we analyzed online non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) microarray databases, to screen the key genes and pathways related to NSCLC by bioinformatics analyses. And then, the expression levels of two selected genes in the down-regulated co-pathways, myosin light chain kinase (MYLK) and myosin regulatory light chain 9 (MYL9), were determined in tumor, paired paraneoplastic, and normal lung tissues. First, gene set enrichment analysis and meta-analysis were conducted to identify key genes and pathways that contribute to NSCLC carcinogenesis. Second, using the total RNA and protein extracted from lung cancer tissues (n = 240), adjacent non-cancer tissues (n = 240), and normal lung tissues (n = 300), we examined the MYLK and MYL9 expression levels by quantitative real-time PCR and Western blot. Finally, we explored the correlations between mRNA and protein expressions of these two genes and the clinicopathological parameters of NSCLC. Fifteen up-regulated and nine down-regulated co-pathways were observed. A number of differentially expressed genes (CALM1, THBS1, CSF3, BMP2, IL6ST, MYLK, ROCK2, IL3RA, MYL9, PPP2CA, CSF2RB, CNAQ, GRIA2, IL10RA, IL10RB, IL11RA, LIFR, PLCB4, and RAC3) were identified (P < 0.01) in the down-regulated co-pathways. The expression levels of MYLK and MYL9, which act downstream of the vascular smooth muscle contraction signal pathway and focal adhesion pathway, were significantly lower in cancer tissue than those in the paraneoplastic and normal tissues (P < 0.05). Moreover, the expression levels of these two genes in stages III and IV NSCLC were significantly increased, when compared to stages I and II, and expressions levels in NSCLC with lymphatic metastasis were higher than that without lymphatic metastasis (P < 0.05). Additionally, significant lower expression levels of the two genes were found in smokers than in nonsmokers (P < 0.05). In contrast, gender, differentiated degrees, and pathohistological type appeared to have no impact on these gene expressions (P > 0.05). These findings suggested that low MYLK and MYL9 expressions might be associated with the development of NSCLC. These genes may be also relevant to NSCLC metastasis. Future investigations with large sample sizes needed to verify these findings.

Luo DJ, Feng Q, Wang ZH, et al.
Knockdown of phosphotyrosyl phosphatase activator induces apoptosis via mitochondrial pathway and the attenuation by simultaneous tau hyperphosphorylation.
J Neurochem. 2014; 130(6):816-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
Phosphotyrosyl phosphatase activator (PTPA) is decreased in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and the AD transgenic mouse models. Here, we investigated whether down-regulation of PTPA affects cell viability and the underlying mechanisms. We found that PTPA was located in the integral membrane of mitochondria, and knockdown of PTPA induced cell apoptosis in HEK293 and N2a cell lines. PTPA knockdown decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and induced Bax translocation into the mitochondria with a simultaneous release of Cyt C, activation of caspase-3, cleavage of poly (DNA ribose) polymerase (PARP), and decrease in Bcl-xl and Bcl-2 protein levels. Over-expression of Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) catalytic subunit (PP2AC ) did not rescue the apoptosis induced by PTPA knockdown, and PTPA knockdown did not affect the level of and their phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), indicating that PP2A and MAPKs were not involved in the apoptosis induced by PTPA knockdown. In the cells with over-expression of tau, PTPA knockdown induced PP2A inhibition and tau hyperphosphorylation but did not cause significant cell death. These data suggest that PTPA deficit causes apoptotic cell death through mitochondrial pathway and simultaneous tau hyperphosphorylation attenuates the PTPA-induced cell death. Phosphotyrosyl phosphatase activator (PTPA) is decreased in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and AD transgenic mouse models. Here, we investigated whether down-regulation of PTPA affects cell viability. We found that PTPA located in the integral membrane of mitochondria, and knockdown of PTPA induced cell apoptosis in HEK293 and N2a cell lines by decreasing mitochondrial membrane potential, which leads to translocation of Bax and a simultaneous release of Cyt C. In the cells with tau over-expression, PTPA knockdown inactivated PP2A to phosphorylate tau to avoid cell apoptosis which induced by PTPA knockdown.

Bhardwaj A, Singh S, Srivastava SK, et al.
Restoration of PPP2CA expression reverses epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and suppresses prostate tumour growth and metastasis in an orthotopic mouse model.
Br J Cancer. 2014; 110(8):2000-10 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Emergence of castration-resistance in prostate cancer (PCa) is invariably associated with aggressive and metastatic disease. Previously, we reported promotion of castration-resistance upon downregulation of PPP2CA (encoding catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), α-isoform); however, its role in PCa growth and metastasis remained undetermined.
METHODS: PPP2CA was overexpressed/silenced in PCa cells by stable transfection. Gene expression was examined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, immunoblot and immunofluorescence analyses, and transcriptional activity measured by luciferase-based promoter-reporter assay. Effect on PCa phenotype was studied in vitro and in orthotopic mouse model, and immunohistochemical/histological analyses performed to assess proliferation/apoptosis and confirm metastatic lesions.
RESULTS: An inverse association of PPP2CA expression was observed with epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and aggressive PCa phenotype. PPP2CA restoration resulted in decreased nuclear accumulation and transcriptional activity of β-catenin/NF-κB, and restitution of their activity abrogated PPP2CA-induced EMT reversal and suppression of PCa invasiveness. Akt mediated PPP2CA loss-induced nuclear accumulation of β-catenin/NF-κB through inactivation of Gsk3-β and IκB-α, respectively. Animal studies revealed a suppressive effect of PPP2CA expression on PCa growth and metastasis.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that PPP2CA downregulation serves as a molecular link between gain of castration-resistance and aggressive PCa phenotype, and its restoration could be an effective preventive/therapeutic approach against the advanced disease.

Zwick C, Held G, Auth M, et al.
Over one-third of African-American MGUS and multiple myeloma patients are carriers of hyperphosphorylated paratarg-7, an autosomal dominantly inherited risk factor for MGUS/MM.
Int J Cancer. 2014; 135(4):934-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
As hyperphosphorylated paratarg-7 (pP-7) carrier state was shown to be the first molecularly defined autosomal dominantly inherited risk factor for monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance (MGUS) and multiple myeloma (MM) in a European population, the prevalence of pP-7 carrier state among African-Americans who have a significantly higher incidence of MGUS/MM is of interest. We therefore determined pP-7 carrier state and paraproteins with specificity for P-7 in African-American, European and Japanese patients with MGUS/MM and healthy controls. By isoelectric focusing and ELISA, a paratarg-7-specific paraprotein and the associated pP-7 carrier state was observed in 30/81 (37.0%) African-American, 42/252 (16.7%) European and 7/176 (4.0%) Japanese MGUS/MM patients (p < 0.001). A pP-7 carrier state was found in 11/100 (11.0%) African-American, 8/550 (1.5%) European and 1/278 (0.4%) Japanese healthy controls (p < 0.001), resulting in an odds ratio for MGUS/MM of 4.8 (p < 0.001) among African-American, 13.6 among European (p < 0.001) and 11.5 (p = 0.023) among Japanese carriers of pP-7. We conclude that pP-7 carriers are most prevalent among African-Americans, but a pP-7 carrier state is the strongest molecularly defined single risk factor for MGUS/MM known to date in all three ethnic groups. The high prevalence of pP-7 carriers among African-American patients emphasizes a predominant role of this genetic factor in the pathogenesis of these diseases. The large number of pP7 African-American patients and controls should facilitate the identification of the SNP or mutation underlying the pP-7 carrier state.

Yang R, Yang L, Qiu F, et al.
Functional genetic polymorphisms in PP2A subunit genes confer increased risks of lung cancer in southern and eastern Chinese.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e77285 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Protein phosphatase-2A (PP2A) is one of the major cellular serine-threonine phosphatases and functions as a tumor suppressor that negatively regulates the activity of some oncogenic kinases. Recent studies have reported that PP2A expression was suppressed during lung carcinogenesis, we there hypothesized that the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in PP2A subunit genes may affect PP2A function and thus contribute to lung cancer susceptibility. In a two-stage case-control study with a total of 1559 lung cancer patients and 1679 controls, we genotyped eight putative functional SNPs and one identified functional SNP (i.e., rs11453459) in seven major PP2A subunits (i.e., PPP2R1A, PPP2R1B, PPP2CA, PPP2R2A, PPP2R2B, PPP2R5C, PPP2R5E) in southern and eastern Chinese. We found that rs11453459G (-G/GG) variant genotypes of PPP2R1A and the rs1255722AA variant genotype of PPP2R5E conferred increased risks of lung cancer (rs11453459, -G/GG vs. -: OR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.13-1.51; rs1255722, AA vs.
AG/GG: OR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.07-1.51). After combined the two variants, the number of the adverse genotypes was positively associated with lung cancer risk in a dose-response manner (P trend = 5.63 × 10(-6)). Further functional assay showed that lung cancer tissues carrying rs1255722AA variant genotype had a significantly lower mRNA level of PPP2R5E compared with tissues carrying GG/GA genotypes. However, such effect was not observed for the other SNPs and other combinations. Our findings suggested that the two functional variants in PPP2R1A and PPP2R5E and their combination are associated with lung cancer risk in Chinese, which may be valuable biomarkers to predict risk of lung cancer.

Khanna A, Kauko O, Böckelman C, et al.
Chk1 targeting reactivates PP2A tumor suppressor activity in cancer cells.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(22):6757-69 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Checkpoint kinase Chk1 is constitutively active in many cancer cell types and new generation Chk1 inhibitors show marked antitumor activity as single agents. Here we present a hitherto unrecognized mechanism that contributes to the response of cancer cells to Chk1-targeted therapy. Inhibiting chronic Chk1 activity in cancer cells induced the tumor suppressor activity of protein phosphatase protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), which by dephosphorylating MYC serine 62, inhibited MYC activity and impaired cancer cell survival. Mechanistic investigations revealed that Chk1 inhibition activated PP2A by decreasing the transcription of cancerous inhibitor of PP2A (CIP2A), a chief inhibitor of PP2A activity. Inhibition of cancer cell clonogenicity by Chk1 inhibition could be rescued in vitro either by exogenous expression of CIP2A or by blocking the CIP2A-regulated PP2A complex. Chk1-mediated CIP2A regulation was extended in tumor models dependent on either Chk1 or CIP2A. The clinical relevance of CIP2A as a Chk1 effector protein was validated in several human cancer types, including neuroblastoma, where CIP2A was identified as an NMYC-independent prognostic factor. Because the Chk1-CIP2A-PP2A pathway is driven by DNA-PK activity, functioning regardless of p53 or ATM/ATR status, our results offer explanative power for understanding how Chk1 inhibitors mediate single-agent anticancer efficacy. Furthermore, they define CIP2A-PP2A status in cancer cells as a pharmacodynamic marker for their response to Chk1-targeted therapy.

Kim JA, Kim Y, Kwon BM, Han DC
The natural compound cantharidin induces cancer cell death through inhibition of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and Bcl-2-associated athanogene domain 3 (BAG3) expression by blocking heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) binding to promoters.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(40):28713-26 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) enhances the survival of cancer cells under various stresses. The knock-out of HSF1 impairs cancer formation and progression, suggesting that HSF1 is a promising therapeutic target. To identify inhibitors of HSF1 activity, we performed cell-based screening with a library of marketed and experimental drugs and identified cantharidin as an HSF1 inhibitor. Cantharidin is a potent antitumor agent from traditional Chinese medicine. Cantharidin inhibited heat shock-induced luciferase activity with an IC50 of 4.2 μm. In contrast, cantharidin did not inhibit NF-κB luciferase reporter activity, demonstrating that cantharidin is not a general transcription inhibitor. When the HCT-116 colorectal cancer cells were exposed to heat shock in the presence of cantharidin, the induction of HSF1 downstream target proteins, such as HSP70 and BAG3 (Bcl-2-associated athanogene domain 3), was suppressed. HSP70 and its co-chaperone BAG3 have been reported to protect cells from apoptosis by stabilizing anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins. As expected, treating HCT-116 cancer cells with cantharidin significantly decreased the amounts of BCL-2, BCL-xL, and MCL-1 protein and induced apoptotic cell death. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis showed that cantharidin inhibited the binding of HSF1 to the HSP70 promoter and subsequently blocked HSF1-dependent p-TEFb recruitment. Therefore, the p-TEFb-dependent phosphorylation of the C-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II was blocked, arresting transcription at the elongation step. Protein phosphatase 2A inhibition with PP2CA siRNA or okadaic acid did not block HSF1 activity, suggesting that cantharidin inhibits HSF1 in a protein phosphatase 2A-independent manner. We show for the first time that cantharidin inhibits HSF1 transcriptional activity.

Duong FH, Dill MT, Matter MS, et al.
Protein phosphatase 2A promotes hepatocellular carcinogenesis in the diethylnitrosamine mouse model through inhibition of p53.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(1):114-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Most HCCs develop in cirrhotic livers. Alcoholic liver disease, chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C are the most common underlying liver diseases. Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-specific mechanisms that contribute to HCC are presently unknown. Transgenic expression of HCV proteins in the mouse liver induces an overexpression of the protein phosphatase 2A catalytic subunit (PP2Ac). We have previously reported that HCV-induced PP2Ac overexpression modulates histone methylation and acetylation and inhibits DNA damage repair. In this study, we analyze tumor formation and gene expression using HCV transgenic mice that overexpress PP2Ac and liver tissues from patients with HCC. We demonstrate that PP2Ac overexpression interferes with p53-induced apoptosis. Injection of the carcinogen, diethylnitrosamine, induced significantly more and larger liver tumors in HCV transgenic mice that overexpress PP2Ac compared with control mice. In human liver biopsies from patients with HCC, PP2Ac expression was significantly higher in HCC tissue compared with non-tumorous liver tissue from the same patients. Our findings demonstrate an important role of PP2Ac overexpression in liver carcinogenesis and provide insights into the molecular pathogenesis of HCV-induced HCC.

Cao Z, Zhang R, Li J, et al.
X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) regulation of cyclin D1 protein expression and cancer cell anchorage-independent growth via its E3 ligase-mediated protein phosphatase 2A/c-Jun axis.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(28):20238-47 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) is a well known potent inhibitor of apoptosis; however, it is also involved in other cancer cell biological behavior. In the current study, we discovered that XIAP and its E3 ligase played a crucial role in regulation of cyclin D1 expression in cancer cells. We found that deficiency of XIAP expression resulted in a marked reduction in cyclin D1 expression. Consistently, cell cycle transition and anchorage-independent cell growth were also attenuated in XIAP-deficient cancer cells compared with those of the parental wild-type cells. Subsequent studies demonstrated that E3 ligase activity within the RING domain of XIAP is crucial for its ability to regulate cyclin D1 transcription, cell cycle transition, and anchorage-independent cell growth by up-regulating transactivation of c-Jun/AP-1. Moreover, we found that E3 ligase within RING domain was required for XIAP inhibition of phosphatase PP2A activity by up-regulation of PP2A phosphorylation at Tyr-307 in its catalytic subunit. Such PP2A phosphorylation and inactivation resulted in phosphorylation and activation of its downstream target c-Jun in turn leading to cyclin D1 expression. Collectively, our studies uncovered a novel function of E3 ligase activity of XIAP in the up-regulation of cyclin D1 expression, providing significant insight into the understanding of the biomedical significance of overexpressed XIAP in cancer development, further offering a new molecular basis for utilizing XIAP E3 ligase as a cancer therapeutic target.

Pandey P, Seshacharyulu P, Das S, et al.
Impaired expression of protein phosphatase 2A subunits enhances metastatic potential of human prostate cancer cells through activation of AKT pathway.
Br J Cancer. 2013; 108(12):2590-600 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a dephosphorylating enzyme, loss of which can contribute to prostate cancer (PCa) pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to analyse the transcriptional and translational expression patterns of individual subunits of the PP2A holoenzyme during PCa progression.
METHODS: Immunohistochemistry (IHC), western blot, and real-time PCR was performed on androgen-dependent (AD) and androgen-independent (AI) PCa cells, and benign and malignant prostate tissues for all the three PP2A (scaffold, regulatory, and catalytic) subunits. Mechanistic and functional studies were performed using various biochemical and cellular techniques.
RESULTS: Through immunohistochemical analysis we observed significantly reduced levels of PP2A-A and -B'γ subunits (P<0.001 and P=0.0002) in PCa specimens compared with benign prostate. Contemporarily, there was no significant difference in PP2A-C subunit expression between benign and malignant tissues. Similar to the expression pattern observed in tissues, the endogenous levels of PP2A-A and B'γ subunits were abrogated from the low metastatic to high metastatic and AD to AI cell line models, without any change in the catalytic subunit expression. Furthermore, using in vitro studies we demonstrated that PP2A-Aα scaffold subunit has a role in dampening AKT, β-catenin, and FAK (focal adhesion kinase) signalling.
CONCLUSION: We conclude that loss of expression of scaffold and regulatory subunits of PP2A is responsible for its altered function during PCa pathogenesis.

Xi P, Zhou L, Wang M, et al.
Serine/threonine-protein phosphatase 2A physically interacts with human telomerase reverse transcriptase hTERT and regulates its subcellular distribution.
J Cell Biochem. 2013; 114(2):409-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
Telomerase plays fundamental roles in bypassing cellular aging and promoting cancer progression by maintaining telomere homeostasis and telomere-independent activities. However, the molecular mechanisms by which telomerase provokes aging and cancer are far from being fully understood. In a search for proteins interacting with human telomerase reverse transcriptase hTERT by the yeast two-hybrid screen using hTERT T-motif as bait, we identified PP2A scaffolding subunit PR65 alpha isoform as an hTERT interacting partner. We showed that both PP2A catalytic subunit PP2AC and scaffolding subunit PR65 interacted with hTERT in vivo and in vitro and inhibited telomerase activity. In addition, we found that PP2A prevented the interaction of hTERT with 14-3-3θ signaling protein, an hTERT binding partner that is required for nuclear localization of hTERT. Activation of PP2A by overexpression of PP2AC or PR65 led to cytoplasmic accumulation of hTERT, which was reversed by treatment with PP2A inhibitor okadaic acid. Together, these observations suggest that PP2A regulates hTERT subcellular localization, in addition to its inhibitory effects on telomerase activity.

Jackson JB, Pallas DC
Circumventing cellular control of PP2A by methylation promotes transformation in an Akt-dependent manner.
Neoplasia. 2012; 14(7):585-99 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Heterotrimeric protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) consists of catalytic C (PP2Ac), structural A, and regulatory B-type subunits, and its dysfunction has been linked to cancer. Reversible methylation of PP2Ac by leucine carboxyl methyltransferase 1 (LCMT-1) and protein phosphatase methylesterase 1 (PME-1) differentially regulates B-type subunit binding and thus PP2A function. Polyomavirus middle (PyMT) and small (PyST) tumor antigens and SV40 small tumor antigen (SVST) are oncoproteins that block PP2A function by replacing certain B-type subunits, resulting in cellular transformation. Whereas the B-type subunits replaced by these oncoproteins seem to exhibit a binding preference for methylated PP2Ac, PyMT does not. We hypothesize that circumventing the normal cellular control of PP2A by PP2Ac methylation is a general strategy for ST- and MT-mediated transformation. Two predictions of this hypothesis are (1) that PyST and SVST also bind PP2A in a methylation-insensitive manner and (2) that down-regulation of PP2Ac methylation will activate progrowth and prosurvival signaling and promote transformation. We found that SVST and PyST, like PyMT, indeed form PP2A heterotrimers independently of PP2Ac methylation. In addition, reducing PP2Ac methylation through LCMT-1 knockdown or PME-1 overexpression enhanced transformation by activating the Akt and p70/p85 S6 kinase (S6K) pathways, pathways also activated by MT and ST oncoproteins. These results support the hypothesis that MT and ST oncoproteins circumvent cellular control of PP2A by methylation to promote transformation. They also implicate LCMT-1 as a negative regulator of Akt and p70/p85 S6K. Therefore, disruption of PP2Ac methylation may contribute to cancer, and modulation of this methylation may serve as an anticancer target.

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