bims-istrec Biomed News
on Integrated stress response in cancer
Issue of 2021‒09‒26
six papers selected by
Vincenzo Ciminale’s Lab
Istituto Oncologico Veneto

  1. Cancer Res. 2021 Sep 21.
      The SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex is frequently altered in human cancers. For example, the SWI/SNF component ARID1A is mutated in more than 50% of ovarian clear cell carcinomas (OCCC), for which effective treatments are lacking. Here, we report that ARID1A transcriptionally represses the IRE1α-XBP1 axis of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response, which confers sensitivity to inhibition of the IRE1α-XBP1 pathway in ARID1A-mutant OCCC. ARID1A mutational status correlated with response to inhibition of the IRE1α-XBP1 pathway. In a conditional Arid1aflox/flox/Pik3caH1047R genetic mouse model, Xbp1 knockout significantly improved survival of mice bearing OCCCs. Furthermore, the IRE1α inhibitor B-I09 suppressed the growth of ARID1A-inactivated OCCCs in vivo in orthotopic xenograft, patient-derived xenograft, and the genetic mouse models. Finally, B-I09 synergized with inhibition of HDAC6, a known regulator of the ER stress response, in suppressing the growth of ARID1A-inactivated OCCCs. These studies define the IRE1α-XBP1 axis of the ER stress response as a targetable vulnerability for ARID1A-mutant OCCCs, revealing a promising therapeutic approach for treating ARID1A-mutant ovarian cancers. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings indicate that pharmacological inhibition of the IRE1α-XBP1 pathway alone or in combination with HDAC6 inhibition represents an urgently needed therapeutic strategy for ARID1A-mutant ovarian cancers.
  2. J Oncol. 2021 ;2021 1262291
      Although the incidence of thyroid carcinoma has increased over the past several decades, it has an excellent prognosis and overall 5-year survival, with a stable mortality rate, except in cases with advanced stages or rare malignant tumor types. Biomarkers have emerged as effective targets of molecular therapy against thyroid carcinoma due to their rapid and convenient detection; however, there has been little clinical application. Macrophage stimulating 2 (Mst2) is a proapoptotic protein with implications in carcinogenesis and metastasis. We found that Mst2 overexpression-induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in MDA-T32 thyroid carcinoma cells, accompanied by elevated caspase-12 activity, increased apoptotic rate, and reduced cell viability. In addition, Mst2 overexpression contributed to mitochondrial damage, as evidenced by increased mitochondrial oxidative stress and activated the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. Inhibition of the JNK pathway abolished these effects. These results show Mst2 to be a novel tumor suppressor that induces mitochondrial dysfunction and ER stress via the JNK pathway. Thus, Mst2 could potentially serve as a biomarker for developing targeted therapy against thyroid carcinoma.
  3. Toxicology. 2021 Sep 21. pii: S0300-483X(21)00284-5. [Epub ahead of print] 152962
      Inorganic arsenic is widely present in the environment. Exposure to moderate to high concentrations of arsenic from drinking water or air can cause various cancers and multisystem dysfunction. Glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress sensor of unfolded protein response (UPR) under stress conditions and it enhances cell survival. The aim of this study is to investigate molecular mechanisms of arsenic-induced GRP78 expression in BEAS-2B cells model. We found that GRP78 protein expression was enhanced, while the level of GRP78 mRNA expression did not change under arsenic trioxide (As2O3)-induced ER stress condition in BEAS-2B cells. Cycloheximide, a protein synthesis inhibitor, completely inhibited As2O3-induced GRP78 protein expression. GRP78 mRNA expression was inhibited by actinomycin-D (Act-D). However, GRP78 protein expression was upregulated in the presence of Act-D under As2O3-induced ER stress condition. These data indicated that the upregulation of GRP78 protein under As2O3-induced UPR condition was possibly due to the increased biosynthesis of GRP78 protein. Moreover, both inositol-requiring enzyme 1α (IRE1α) RNase and kinase inhibitor KIRA6 and IRE1α kinase inhibitor APY29 completely inhibited As2O3-induced GRP78 protein expression and phosphorylation of JNK, ERK and p38 MAPK. Activation of apoptotic signaling kinase 1 (ASK1) is a downstream effector of IRE1α kinase. ASK1 inhibitor selonsertib and p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 partially inhibited As2O3-induced GRP78 protein expression, respectively. Our results suggested that As2O3 enhanced GRP78 protein expression in BEAS-2B cells via IRE1α kinase/ASK1/p38 MAPK signaling pathway. To our knowledge, this is the first report on illuminating the related mechanisms of increased GRP78 protein expression in As2O3-induced ER stress condition through a novel IRE1α pathway.
    Keywords:  arsenic trioxide (As(2)O(3)); endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress); glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78); inositol-requiring enzyme 1α (IRE1α); p38 MAPK
  4. Biochimie. 2021 Sep 15. pii: S0300-9084(21)00219-4. [Epub ahead of print]
      Tyrosinase (TYR) is a key enzyme for melanin production. We previously showed that hinokitiol, a naturally occurring seven-membered ring terpenoid, potently inhibits human TYR activity. Interestingly, hinokitiol was recently reported to decrease expression of TYR and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), which is a main transcription factor of the TYR gene, in murine melanoma cells. However, the mechanisms by which hinokitiol decreases the intracellular levels of TYR and MITF have not been fully elucidated. Here, we investigated the underlying mechanisms of the decreases using cultured human melanoma cells. As a result, hinokitiol treatment decreased TYR protein level in a time- and dose-dependent manner in G361 human melanoma cells, while MITF protein level was decreased only at higher concentrations after 3 days treatment. Notably, the mRNA levels of TYR and MITF were slightly increased by hinokitiol treatment. Therefore, we focused on the degradation of TYR and MITF in endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated protein degradation (ERAD) pathway. Importantly, co-treatment of ERAD inhibitor with hinokitiol restored the protein levels of TYR and MITF to approximately 30% and 20% of total those in untreated control cells, respectively. Hinokitiol affected the ER homeostasis as well as degradation of TYR and MITF in two human melanoma cell lines, G361 and HT-144, but the changes of ER-stress markers under the hinokitiol treatment were different in the two human melanoma cell lines. Taken together, these observations indicate that hinokitiol may induce ER stress and trigger the degradation of unfolded newly synthesizing TYR and MITF via the ERAD pathway.
    Keywords:  ER stress; ERAD pathway; Hinokitiol; MITF; Tyrosinase
  5. Cell Rep. 2021 Sep 21. pii: S2211-1247(21)01153-0. [Epub ahead of print]36(12): 109706
      The serine synthesis pathway (SSP) involving metabolic enzymes phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), phosphoserine aminotransferase 1 (PSAT1), and phosphoserine phosphatase (PSPH) drives intracellular serine biosynthesis and is indispensable for cancer cells to grow in serine-limiting environments. However, how SSP is regulated is not well understood. Here, we report that activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) is crucial for transcriptional activation of SSP upon serine deprivation. ATF3 is rapidly induced by serine deprivation via a mechanism dependent on ATF4, which in turn binds to ATF4 and increases the stability of this master regulator of SSP. ATF3 also binds to the enhancers/promoters of PHGDH, PSAT1, and PSPH and recruits p300 to promote expression of these SSP genes. As a result, loss of ATF3 expression impairs serine biosynthesis and the growth of cancer cells in the serine-deprived medium or in mice fed with a serine/glycine-free diet. Interestingly, ATF3 expression positively correlates with PHGDH expression in a subset of TCGA cancer samples.
    Keywords:  ATF3; ATF4; PHGDH; PSAT1; PSPH; p300; serine biosynthesis; serine deprivation; serine metabolism; serine synthesis pathway
  6. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2021 Oct;42(10): 1690-1702
      Ferroptotic cell death is characterized by iron-dependent lipid peroxidation that is initiated by ferrous iron and H2O2 via Fenton reaction, in which the role of activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) remains elusive. Brucine is a weak alkaline indole alkaloid extracted from the seeds of Strychnos nux-vomica, which has shown potent antitumor activity against various tumors, including glioma. In this study, we showed that brucine inhibited glioma cell growth in vitro and in vivo, which was paralleled by nuclear translocation of ATF3, lipid peroxidation, and increases of iron and H2O2. Furthermore, brucine-induced lipid peroxidation was inhibited or exacerbated when intracellular iron was chelated by deferoxamine (500 μM) or improved by ferric ammonium citrate (500 μM). Suppression of lipid peroxidation with lipophilic antioxidants ferrostatin-1 (50 μM) or liproxstatin-1 (30 μM) rescued brucine-induced glioma cell death. Moreover, knockdown of ATF3 prevented brucine-induced accumulation of iron and H2O2 and glioma cell death. We revealed that brucine induced ATF3 upregulation and translocation into nuclei via activation of ER stress. ATF3 promoted brucine-induced H2O2 accumulation via upregulating NOX4 and SOD1 to generate H2O2 on one hand, and downregulating catalase and xCT to prevent H2O2 degradation on the other hand. H2O2 then contributed to brucine-triggered iron increase and transferrin receptor upregulation, as well as lipid peroxidation. This was further verified by treating glioma cells with exogenous H2O2 alone. Moreover, H2O2 reversely exacerbated brucine-induced ER stress. Taken together, ATF3 contributes to brucine-induced glioma cell ferroptosis via increasing H2O2 and iron.
    Keywords:  ATF3; ER stress; NOX4; brucine; ferroptosis; glioma; hydrogen peroxide