In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (3)

Articles by Zhengfan Xu in JoVE

Other articles by Zhengfan Xu on PubMed

Regulation of the Src-PP2A Interaction in Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)-related Apoptosis-inducing Ligand (TRAIL)-induced Apoptosis

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Nov, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24100030

TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) selectively induces apoptosis in transformed and tumor cells but not in normal cells, making it a promising agent for cancer therapy. However, many cancer cells are resistant to TRAIL, and the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Here, we show that the regulation of the PP2A and Src interaction plays a critical role in TRAIL resistance. Specifically, we show that TRAIL treatment activates the tyrosine kinase Src, which subsequently phosphorylates caspase-8 at tyrosine 380, leading to the inhibition of caspase-8 activation. We also show that upon TRAIL treatment, Src, caspase-8, and PP2A/C (a catalytic subunit of the PP2A phosphatase) are redistributed into lipid rafts, a microdomain of the plasma membrane enriched with cholesterol, where PP2A dephosphorylates Src at tyrosine 418 and in turn inhibits caspase-8 phosphorylation. Furthermore, we find that TRAIL treatment causes PP2A/C degradation. These data suggest that the balance between Src-mediated caspase-8 phosphorylation and the inactivation of Src-mediated caspase-8 phosphorylation by PP2A determines the outcome of TRAIL treatment in breast cancer cells. Therefore, this work identifies a novel mechanism by which the interaction between PP2A and Src in the context of caspase-8 activation modulates TRAIL sensitivity in cancer cells.

Functional Analysis of MKP-1 and MKP-2 in Breast Cancer Tamoxifen Sensitivity

Oncotarget. Feb, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24658355

Increased activation of ERK signaling has been reported in breast cancer models of acquired tamoxifen resistance. Here, we examined the expression of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Phosphatases (MKPs) 1 and 2 following tamoxifen treatment and the effects of MKP-1/MKP-2 overexpression on tamoxifen sensitivity. Treatment of MCF7 breast cancer cells with tamoxifen increased MKP-2, but not MKP-1, protein levels. Overexpression of MKP-1 or MKP-2 inhibited estrogen-induced MCF7 cell proliferation compared to vector controls. MCF7-MKP-2 cells displayed significantly increased sensitivity to tamoxifen as compared to vector control or MCF7-MKP-1 cells. MKP-1 or MKP-2 overexpression eliminated ERK1/2 phosphorylation, suggesting that decreases in estrogen-induced proliferation of MKP-1 and MKP-2 overexpressing cells are due to ERK1/2 dephosphorylation. JNK1/2 activation was not detectable in any of these cells. These data suggest that tamoxifen-induced death of these cells is not dependent upon JNK signaling, but rather that ERK is the major MAPK driving their proliferation. MCF7-TAMR cells express higher levels of MKP-2 mRNA and protein than MCF7 cells. MKP-2 and phospho-ERK1/2 proteins are constitutively expressed in MCF7-TAMR cells, and activated JNK1/2 is not detectable. These data suggest that MKP-2 rather than MKP-1 is tamoxifen-regulated and that the elevated expression of MKP-2 in MCF7-TAMR cells potentially functions to restore tamoxifen sensitivity.

The Role of Cullin3-mediated Ubiquitination of the Catalytic Subunit of PP2A in TRAIL Signaling

Cell Cycle (Georgetown, Tex.). 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25551360

Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is the major serine-threonine phosphatase that regulates a number of cell signaling pathways. PP2A activity is controlled partially through protein degradation; however, the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. Here we show that PP2A/C, a catalytic subunit of PP2A, is degraded by the Cullin3 (Cul3) ligase-mediated ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. In response to death receptor signaling by tumor-necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), PP2A/C, caspase-8 and Cul3, a subunit of the cullin family of E3 ligases, are recruited into the death-inducing signaling complex (DISC) where the Cul3 ligase targets PP2A/C for ubiquitination and subsequent degradation. Functionally, knockdown of PP2A/C expression by siRNA or pharmacological inhibition of PP2A activity increases TRAIL-induced apoptosis. In cancer cells that have developed acquired TRAIL resistance, PP2A phosphatase activity is increased, and PP2A/C protein is resistant to TRAIL-induced degradation. Thus, this work identifies a new mechanism by which PP2A/C is regulated by Cul3 ligase-mediated degradation in response to death receptor signaling and suggests that inhibition of PP2A/C degradation may contribute to resistance of cancer cells to death receptor-induced apoptosis.

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