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Overactivation of the MEK/ERK pathway in liver tumor cells confers resistance to TGF-{beta}-induced cell death through impairing up-regulation of the NADPH oxidase NOX4.
Univ Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
Univ Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
Univ Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
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2009 (English)In: Cancer Research, ISSN 0008-5472, E-ISSN 1538-7445, Vol. 69, no 19, p. 7595-7602Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) induces apoptosis in hepatocytes, being considered a liver tumor suppressor. However, many human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells escape from its proapoptotic effects, gaining response to this cytokine in terms of malignancy. We have recently reported that the apoptosis induced by TGF-beta in hepatocytes requires up-regulation of the NADPH oxidase NOX4, which mediates reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. TGF-beta-induced NOX4 expression is inhibited by antiapoptotic signals, such as the phosphatydilinositol-3-phosphate kinase or the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathways. The aim of the present work was to analyze whether resistance to TGF-beta-induced apoptosis in HCC cells is related to the impairment of NOX4 up-regulation due to overactivation of survival signals. Results indicate that inhibition of the MAPK/ERK kinase (MEK)/ERK pathway in HepG2 cells, which are refractory to the proapoptotic effects of TGF-beta, sensitizes them to cell death through a mitochondrial-dependent mechanism, coincident with increased levels of BIM and BMF, decreased levels of BCL-XL and MCL1, and BAX/BAK activation. Regulation of BMF, BCL-XL, and MCL1 occurs at the mRNA level, whereas BIM regulation occurs post-transcriptionally. ROS production and glutathione depletion are only observed in cells treated with TGF-beta and PD98059, which correlates with NOX4 up-regulation. Targeting knockdown of NOX4 impairs ROS increase and all the mitochondrial-dependent apoptotic features by a mechanism that is upstream from the regulation of BIM, BMF, BCL-XL, and MCL1 levels. In conclusion, overactivation of the MEK/ERK pathway in liver tumor cells confers resistance to TGF-beta-induced cell death through impairing NOX4 up-regulation, which is required for an efficient mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 69, no 19, p. 7595-7602
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-339280DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-1482PubMedID: 19773433OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-339280DiVA, id: diva2:1175315
Available from: 2018-01-17 Created: 2018-01-17 Last updated: 2018-02-15Bibliographically approved

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