Gene Summary

Gene:ATF4; activating transcription factor 4
Summary:This gene encodes a transcription factor that was originally identified as a widely expressed mammalian DNA binding protein that could bind a tax-responsive enhancer element in the LTR of HTLV-1. The encoded protein was also isolated and characterized as the cAMP-response element binding protein 2 (CREB-2). The protein encoded by this gene belongs to a family of DNA-binding proteins that includes the AP-1 family of transcription factors, cAMP-response element binding proteins (CREBs) and CREB-like proteins. These transcription factors share a leucine zipper region that is involved in protein-protein interactions, located C-terminal to a stretch of basic amino acids that functions as a DNA binding domain. Two alternative transcripts encoding the same protein have been described. Two pseudogenes are located on the X chromosome at q28 in a region containing a large inverted duplication. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2011]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:cyclic AMP-dependent transcription factor ATF-4
Source:NCBIAccessed: 13 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (22)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 13 March 2017 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.

  • regulatory factor X transcription factors
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Cell Survival
  • Young Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Tumor Microenvironment
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • RNA Interference
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Zinc Fingers
  • p53 Protein
  • Chromosome 22
  • Unfolded Protein Response
  • Activating Transcription Factor 4
  • HeLa Cells
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress
  • Transcription Factors
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Drug Resistance
  • Apoptosis
  • Transcription Factor CHOP
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Autophagy
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2
  • siRNA
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Breast Cancer
  • Phosphorylation
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Western Blotting
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum
  • Messenger RNA
  • Tumor Burden
Tag cloud generated 13 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (1)

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: ATF4 (cancer-related)

Çelik H, Bulut G, Han J, et al.
Ezrin Inhibition Up-regulates Stress Response Gene Expression.
J Biol Chem. 2016; 291(25):13257-70 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
Ezrin is a member of the ERM (ezrin/radixin/moesin) family of proteins that links cortical cytoskeleton to the plasma membrane. High expression of ezrin correlates with poor prognosis and metastasis in osteosarcoma. In this study, to uncover specific cellular responses evoked by ezrin inhibition that can be used as a specific pharmacodynamic marker(s), we profiled global gene expression in osteosarcoma cells after treatment with small molecule ezrin inhibitors, NSC305787 and NSC668394. We identified and validated several up-regulated integrated stress response genes including PTGS2, ATF3, DDIT3, DDIT4, TRIB3, and ATF4 as novel ezrin-regulated transcripts. Analysis of transcriptional response in skin and peripheral blood mononuclear cells from NSC305787-treated mice compared with a control group revealed that, among those genes, the stress gene DDIT4/REDD1 may be used as a surrogate pharmacodynamic marker of ezrin inhibitor compound activity. In addition, we validated the anti-metastatic effects of NSC305787 in reducing the incidence of lung metastasis in a genetically engineered mouse model of osteosarcoma and evaluated the pharmacokinetics of NSC305787 and NSC668394 in mice. In conclusion, our findings suggest that cytoplasmic ezrin, previously considered a dormant and inactive protein, has important functions in regulating gene expression that may result in down-regulation of stress response genes.

Kim EO, Kang SE, Im CR, et al.
Tanshinone IIA induces TRAIL sensitization of human lung cancer cells through selective ER stress induction.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(5):2205-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a promised anticancer medicine targeting only the tumor, most cancers show resistance to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. For this reason, new therapeutic strategies to overcome the TRAIL resistance are required for more effective tumor treatment. In the present study, potential of tanshinone IIA as a TRAIL sensitizer was evaluated in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. NSCLC cells showed resistance to TRAIL-mediated cell death, but combination treatment of Tanshinone IIA and TRAIL synergistically decreased cell viability and increased apoptosis in TRAIL-resistant NSCLC cells. Tanshinone IIA greatly induced death receptor 5 (DR5), but not death receptor 4 (DR4). Furthermore, DR5 knockdown attenuated the combination treatment of tanshinone IIA with TRAIL-mediated cell death in human NSCLC cells. Tanshinone IIA also increased CHOP and activated the PERK-ATF4 pathway suggesting that tanshinone IIA increased DR5 and CHOP by activating the PERK-ATF4 pathway. Tanshinone IIA also downregulated phosphorylation of STAT3 and expression of survivin. Taken together, these results indicate that tanshinone IIA increases TRAIL-induced cell death via upregulating DR5 and downregulating survivin mediated by, respectively, selective activation of PERK/ATF4 and inhibition of STAT3, suggesting combinatorial intervention of tanshinone IIA and TRAIL as a new therapeutic strategy for human NSCLC.

Wu CF, Seo EJ, Klauck SM, Efferth T
Cryptotanshinone deregulates unfolded protein response and eukaryotic initiation factor signaling in acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells.
Phytomedicine. 2016; 23(2):174-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Unfolded protein responses (UPR) determine cell fate and are recognized as anticancer targets. In a previous research, we reported that cryptotanshinone (CPT) exerted cytotoxic effects toward acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells through mitochondria-mediated apoptosis.
PURPOSE: In the present study, we further investigated the role of UPR in CPT-induced cytotoxicity on acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells by applying tools of pharmacogenomics and bioinformatics.
METHODS: Gene expression profiling was performed by mRNA microarray hybridization. Potential transcription factor binding motifs were identified in the promoter regions of the deregulated genes by Cistrome software. Molecular docking on eIF-4A and PI3K was performed to investigate the inhibitory activity of CPT on translation initiation.
RESULTS: CPT regulated genes related to UPR and eIF2 signaling pathways. The DNA-Damage-Inducible Transcript 3 (DDIT3) gene, which is activated as consequence of UPR malfunction during apoptosis, was induced and validated by in vitro experiments. Transcription factor binding motif analysis of the microarrary-retrieved deregulated genes in the promoter region emphasized the relevance of transcription factors, such as ATF2, ATF4 and XBP1, regulating UPR and cell apoptosis. Molecular docking suggested inhibitory effects of CPT by binding to eIF-4A and PI3K providing evidence for a role of CPT's in the disruption of protein synthesis.
CONCLUSION: CPT triggered UPR and inhibited protein synthesis via eIF-mediated translation initiation, potentially supporting CPT-induced cytotoxic effects toward acute leukemia cells.

Weng S, Zhou L, Deng Q, et al.
Niclosamide induced cell apoptosis via upregulation of ATF3 and activation of PERK in Hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
BMC Gastroenterol. 2016; 16:25 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of most common and aggressive human malignancies in the world, especially, in eastern Asia, and its mortality is very high at any phase. We want to investigate mechanism of niclosamide inducing cell apoptosis in HCC.
METHODS: Two hepatoma cell lines were used to evaluate activity of niclosamide inducing cell apoptosis and study its mechanism. Quantitative real-time PCR and western blotting were used in analysis of genes expression or protein active regulated by niclosamide.
RESULTS: Niclosamide remarkably induced cell apoptosis in hepatoma cells. Furthermore, our study revealed that RNA-dependent protein kinase-like kinase (PERK) is activated and its expression is up-regulated in HCC cells which are exposed to niclosamide. niclosamide also significantly increase activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3), activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-homologous protein (CHOP) expression in HCC cells. It's suggested that the function of niclosamide was abrogated by PERK inhibitor or absent ATF3. Expression of PERK and CHOP is correlated with ATF3 level in the cells.
CONCLUSION: Taken together, our results indicate that ATF3 plays an integral role in ER stress activated and cell apoptosis induced by niclosamide in HCC cells. In this study, the new mechanism of niclosamide as anti-cancer we investigated, too.

Kline CL, Van den Heuvel AP, Allen JE, et al.
ONC201 kills solid tumor cells by triggering an integrated stress response dependent on ATF4 activation by specific eIF2α kinases.
Sci Signal. 2016; 9(415):ra18 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
ONC201 (also called TIC10) is a small molecule that inactivates the cell proliferation- and cell survival-promoting kinases Akt and ERK and induces cell death through the proapoptotic protein TRAIL. ONC201 is currently in early-phase clinical testing for various malignancies. We found through gene expression and protein analyses that ONC201 triggered an increase in TRAIL abundance and cell death through an integrated stress response (ISR) involving the transcription factor ATF4, the transactivator CHOP, and the TRAIL receptor DR5. ATF4 was not activated in ONC201-resistant cancer cells, and in ONC201-sensitive cells, knockdown of ATF4 or CHOP partially abrogated ONC201-induced cytotoxicity and diminished the ONC201-stimulated increase in DR5 abundance. The activation of ATF4 in response to ONC201 required the kinases HRI and PKR, which phosphorylate and activate the translation initiation factor eIF2α. ONC201 rapidly triggered cell cycle arrest, which was associated with decreased abundance of cyclin D1, decreased activity of the kinase complex mTORC1, and dephosphorylation of the retinoblastoma (Rb) protein. The abundance of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) negatively correlated with the extent of apoptosis in response to ONC201. These effects of ONC201 were independent of whether cancer cells had normal or mutant p53. Thus, ONC201 induces cell death through the coordinated induction of TRAIL by an ISR pathway.

Zeng H, Zhang JM, Du Y, et al.
Crosstalk between ATF4 and MTA1/HDAC1 promotes osteosarcoma progression.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(6):7329-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
The stress response gene activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) is involved in metastatic behavior and cellular protection. Here we show that ATF4 is upregulated in osteosarcoma (OS) cell lines and patient clinical samples as compared to matched non-tumor tissue. Overexpression of ATF4 in OS cells promoted cell proliferation, migration and lung metastasis. Furthermore, the expression of ATF4 was markedly reduced in metastasis associated protein (MTA1) or histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) knockdown OS cells, but MTA1 overexpression increased the stability and activity of ATF4 protein via ATF4 deacetylation by HDAC1. ATF4 in turn enhanced the expression of MTA1 and HDAC1 at the transcription level, suggesting a positive feedback loop between ATF4 and MTA1/HDAC1. Clinically, the level of ATF4 was positively correlated with that of MTA1 in OS. Mice injected with ATF4-overexpressing cells exhibited a higher rate of tumor growth, and the average weight of these tumors was ~90% greater than the controls. Taken together, these data establish a direct correlation between ATF4-induced OS progression and MTA1/HDAC1-associated metastasis, and support the potential therapeutic value of targeting ATF4 in the treatment of OS.

Zong ZH, Du ZX, Zhang HY, et al.
Involvement of Nrf2 in proteasome inhibition-mediated induction of ORP150 in thyroid cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(3):3416-26 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
Oxygen-regulated protein 150 (ORP150) is an inducible ER chaperone by numerous cellular insults and sustains cellular viability. We have previously reported that ORP150 is differentially induced in a panel thyroid cancer cells and represents as an unwanted molecular consequence during exposure to proteasome inhibition. However, the molecular basis for induction of ORP150 by proteasome inhibitors in thyroid cancer cells remains unclear. In the current study, we found that -421/-307 and -243/+53 regions at the ORP150 gene were responsible for its transactivation by MG132 in thyroid cancer cells. Nrf2 directly transactivated the ORP150 gene by direct binding with the -421/-307 region. Nrf2 also indirectly activated OPR150 transcription via facilitating recruitment of ATF4 to the -243/+53 region. Collectively, this study highlights the molecular mechanism by which proteasome inhibition stimulates ORP150 expression via Nrf2 in thyroid cancer cells.

Huggins CJ, Mayekar MK, Martin N, et al.
C/EBPγ Is a Critical Regulator of Cellular Stress Response Networks through Heterodimerization with ATF4.
Mol Cell Biol. 2015; 36(5):693-713 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
The integrated stress response (ISR) controls cellular adaptations to nutrient deprivation, redox imbalances, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. ISR genes are upregulated in stressed cells, primarily by the bZIP transcription factor ATF4 through its recruitment to cis-regulatory C/EBP:ATF response elements (CAREs) together with a dimeric partner of uncertain identity. Here, we show that C/EBPγ:ATF4 heterodimers, but not C/EBPβ:ATF4 dimers, are the predominant CARE-binding species in stressed cells. C/EBPγ and ATF4 associate with genomic CAREs in a mutually dependent manner and coregulate many ISR genes. In contrast, the C/EBP family members C/EBPβ and C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) were largely dispensable for induction of stress genes. Cebpg(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) proliferate poorly and exhibit oxidative stress due to reduced glutathione levels and impaired expression of several glutathione biosynthesis pathway genes. Cebpg(-/-) mice (C57BL/6 background) display reduced body size and microphthalmia, similar to ATF4-null animals. In addition, C/EBPγ-deficient newborns die from atelectasis and respiratory failure, which can be mitigated by in utero exposure to the antioxidant, N-acetyl-cysteine. Cebpg(-/-) mice on a mixed strain background showed improved viability but, upon aging, developed significantly fewer malignant solid tumors than WT animals. Our findings identify C/EBPγ as a novel antioxidant regulator and an obligatory ATF4 partner that controls redox homeostasis in normal and cancerous cells.

Yuniati L, van der Meer LT, Tijchon E, et al.
Tumor suppressor BTG1 promotes PRMT1-mediated ATF4 function in response to cellular stress.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(3):3128-43 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
Cancer cells are frequently exposed to physiological stress conditions such as hypoxia and nutrient limitation. Escape from stress-induced apoptosis is one of the mechanisms used by malignant cells to survive unfavorable conditions. B-cell Translocation Gene 1 (BTG1) is a tumor suppressor that is frequently deleted in acute lymphoblastic leukemia and recurrently mutated in diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Moreover, low BTG1 expression levels have been linked to poor outcome in several solid tumors. How loss of BTG1 function contributes to tumor progression is not well understood. Here, using Btg1 knockout mice, we demonstrate that loss of Btg1 provides a survival advantage to primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) under stress conditions. This pro-survival effect involves regulation of Activating Transcription Factor 4 (ATF4), a key mediator of cellular stress responses. We show that BTG1 interacts with ATF4 and positively modulates its activity by recruiting the protein arginine methyl transferase PRMT1 to methylate ATF4 on arginine residue 239. We further extend these findings to B-cell progenitors, by showing that loss of Btg1 expression enhances stress adaptation of mouse bone marrow-derived B cell progenitors. In conclusion, we have identified the BTG1/PRMT1 complex as a new modifier of ATF4 mediated stress responses.

Narita T, Ri M, Masaki A, et al.
Lower expression of activating transcription factors 3 and 4 correlates with shorter progression-free survival in multiple myeloma patients receiving bortezomib plus dexamethasone therapy.
Blood Cancer J. 2015; 5:e373 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
Bortezomib (BTZ), a proteasome inhibitor, is widely used in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM), but a fraction of patients respond poorly to this agent. To identify factors predicting the duration of progression-free survival (PFS) of MM patients on BTZ treatment, the expression of proteasome and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-related genes was quantified in primary samples from patients receiving a combination of BTZ and dexamethasone (BD). Fifty-six MM patients were stratified into a group with PFS<6 months (n=33) and a second group with PFS⩾6 months (n=23). Of the 15 genes analyzed, the expression of activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) and ATF4 was significantly lower in patients with shorter PFS (P=0.0157 and P=0.0085, respectively). Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis showed that these ATFs bind each other and transactivate genes encoding the pro-apoptotic transcription factors, CHOP and Noxa, which promote ER stress-associated apoptosis. When either ATF3 or ATF4 expression was silenced, MM cells partially lost sensitivity to BTZ treatment. This was accompanied by lower levels of Noxa, CHOP and DR5. Thus low basal expression of ATF3 and ATF4 may attenuate BTZ-induced apoptosis. Hence, ATF3 and ATF4 could potentially be used as biomarkers to predict efficacy of BD therapy in patients with MM.

He J, Du L, Bao M, et al.
Oroxin A inhibits breast cancer cell growth by inducing robust endoplasmic reticulum stress and senescence.
Anticancer Drugs. 2016; 27(3):204-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is a major cause of cancer death among women. Although various anticancer drugs have been used in clinics, drugs that are effective against advanced and metastatic breast cancer are still lacking and in great demand. In this study, we found that oroxin A, an active component isolated from the herb Oroxylum indicum (L.) Kurz, effectively inhibited the growth of human breast cancer cells MDA-MB-231 and MCF7 by inducing endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-mediated senescence. Oroxin A caused breast cancer cell cycle arrest at the G2/M stage, and reorganization of microtubules and actin cytoskeleton accompanied by a decrease in cellular mitosis. ER-specific probe ER-Tracker Red and confocal microscope imaging showed that ER-Tracker Red-positive cells increased in an oroxin A dosage-dependent manner. In addition, oroxin A increased cell population with high β-Gal activity and SAHF-positive staining; these data suggest that oroxin A induces breast cancer cell ER stress and senescence. Mechanistic studies showed that oroxin A led to a significant increase in intracellular reactive oxygen species levels, promoted expression of ER stress markers ATF4 and GRP78, and increased the phosphorylation of a key stress-response signaling protein p38, resulting in an ER stress-mediated senescence. Taken together, our data indicate that oroxin A exerts its antibreast cancer effects by inducing ER stress-mediated senescence, activating the key stress p38 signaling pathway, and increasing key ER stress genes ATF4 and GRP78 expression levels.

Klieser E, Illig R, Státtner S, et al.
Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors is Linked to Clinicopathological Parameters and Possible Epigenetic Regulations.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(11):6127-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a highly-conserved cellular defense mechanism in response to perturbations of ER function. The role of ER stress in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNET) still remains unclear.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We analyzed the protein expression pattern of the four key players of ER stress, (chaperone binding imunoglobluin protein (BiP), C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) and caspase 4) as well as histone deacetylases (HDACs) by a tissue microarray (TMA) of 49 human pNET resected between 1997 and 2013 following, extensive clinicopathological characterization.
RESULTS: Immunohistochemical profiling revealed a significant up-regulation of BiP, ATF4, CHOP and caspase 4 in pNET cases compared to normal controls. Correlated to clinicopathological parameters especially BiP expression could be linked to higher grading and proliferation as well as to lower survival probability. Finally, expression of ER stress markers correlated with HDAC expression in situ and pharmalogical inhibition by panobinostat significantly reduced cell viability in vitro.
CONCLUSION: Up-regulation of ER stress in pNET indicates the presence and engagement of ER stress signaling in this tumor entity demonstrating another possible anticancer therapy option in pNET.

DeNicola GM, Chen PH, Mullarky E, et al.
NRF2 regulates serine biosynthesis in non-small cell lung cancer.
Nat Genet. 2015; 47(12):1475-81 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
Tumors have high energetic and anabolic needs for rapid cell growth and proliferation, and the serine biosynthetic pathway was recently identified as an important source of metabolic intermediates for these processes. We integrated metabolic tracing and transcriptional profiling of a large panel of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines to characterize the activity and regulation of the serine/glycine biosynthetic pathway in NSCLC. Here we show that the activity of this pathway is highly heterogeneous and is regulated by NRF2, a transcription factor frequently deregulated in NSCLC. We found that NRF2 controls the expression of the key serine/glycine biosynthesis enzyme genes PHGDH, PSAT1 and SHMT2 via ATF4 to support glutathione and nucleotide production. Moreover, we show that expression of these genes confers poor prognosis in human NSCLC. Thus, a substantial fraction of human NSCLCs activates an NRF2-dependent transcriptional program that regulates serine and glycine metabolism and is linked to clinical aggressiveness.

Palam LR, Gore J, Craven KE, et al.
Integrated stress response is critical for gemcitabine resistance in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Cell Death Dis. 2015; 6:e1913 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is an aggressive cancer with marked chemoresistance and a 5-year survival rate of 7%. The integrated stress response (ISR) is a cytoprotective pathway initiated in response to exposure to various environmental stimuli. We used pancreatic cancer cells (PCCs) that are highly resistant to gemcitabine (Gem) and an orthotopic mouse model to investigate the role of the ISR in Gem chemoresistance. Gem induced eIF2 phosphorylation and downstream transcription factors ATF4 and CHOP in PCCs, and these effects occurred in an eIF2α-S51 phosphorylation-dependent manner as determined using PANC-1 cells, and wild type and S51 mutant mouse embryo fibroblasts. Blocking the ISR pathway in PCCs with the ISR inhibitor ISRIB or siRNA-mediated depletion of ATF4 resulted in enhanced Gem-mediated apoptosis. Polyribosomal profiling revealed that Gem caused repression of global translation and this effect was reversed by ISRIB or by expressing GADD34 to facilitate eIF2 dephosphorylation. Moreover, Gem promoted preferential mRNA translation as determined in a TK-ATF4 5'UTR-Luciferase reporter assay, and this effect was also reversed by ISRIB. RNA-seq analysis revealed that Gem upregulated eIF2 and Nrf2 pathways, and that ISRIB significantly inhibited these pathways. Gem also induced the expression of the antiapoptotic factors Nupr1, BEX2, and Bcl2a1, whereas ISRIB reduced their expression. In an orthotopic tumor model using PANC-1 cells, ISRIB facilitated Gem-mediated increases in PARP cleavage, which occurred in conjunction with decreased tumor size. These findings indicate that Gem chemoresistance is enhanced by activating multiple ISR-dependent pathways, including eIF2, Nrf2, Nupr1, BEX2, and Bcl2A1. It is suggested that targeting the ISR pathway may be an efficient mechanism for enhancing therapeutic responsiveness to Gem in PDAC.

Joo JH, Ueda E, Bortner CD, et al.
Farnesol activates the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis and the ATF4-ATF3-CHOP cascade of ER stress in human T lymphoblastic leukemia Molt4 cells.
Biochem Pharmacol. 2015; 97(3):256-68 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
In this study, we demonstrate that treatment of T lymphoblastic leukemic Molt4 cells with farnesol activates the apoptosome via the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis. This induction was associated with changes in the level of intracellular potassium and calcium, the dissipation of the mitochondrial and plasma membrane potential, release of cytochrome c, activation of several caspases, and PARP cleavage. The induction of apoptosis by farnesol was inhibited by the addition of the pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-fmk and by the exogenous expression of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl2. Analysis of the gene expression profiles by microarray analysis revealed that farnesol increased the expression of several genes related to the unfolded protein response (UPR), including CHOP and CHAC1. This induction was associated with the activation of the PERK-eIF2α-ATF3/4 cascade, but not the XBP-1 branch of the UPR. Although farnesol induced activation of the ERK1/2, p38, and JNK pathways, inhibition of these MAPKs had little effect on farnesol-induced apoptosis or the induction of UPR-related genes. Our data indicate that the induction of apoptosis in leukemic cells by farnesol is mediated through a pathway that involves activation of the apoptosome via the intrinsic pathway and induction of the PERK-eIF2α-ATF3/4 cascade in a manner that is independent of the farnesol-induced activation of MAPKs.

Sakabe I, Hu R, Jin L, et al.
TMEM33: a new stress-inducible endoplasmic reticulum transmembrane protein and modulator of the unfolded protein response signaling.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2015; 153(2):285-97 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress leads to activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) signaling cascade and induction of an apoptotic cell death, autophagy, oncogenesis, metastasis, and/or resistance to cancer therapies. Mechanisms underlying regulation of ER transmembrane proteins PERK, IRE1α, and ATF6α/β, and how the balance of these activities determines outcome of the activated UPR, remain largely unclear. Here, we report a novel molecule transmembrane protein 33 (TMEM33) and its actions in UPR signaling. Immunoblotting and northern blot hybridization assays were used to determine the effects of ER stress on TMEM33 expression levels in various cell lines. Transient transfections, immunofluorescence, subcellular fractionation, immunoprecipitation, and immunoblotting were used to study the subcellular localization of TMEM33, the binding partners of TMEM33, and the expression of downstream effectors of PERK and IRE1α. Our data demonstrate that TMEM33 is a unique ER stress-inducible and ER transmembrane molecule, and a new binding partner of PERK. Exogenous expression of TMEM33 led to increased expression of p-eIF2α and p-IRE1α and their known downstream effectors, ATF4-CHOP and XBP1-S, respectively, in breast cancer cells. TMEM33 overexpression also correlated with increased expression of apoptotic signals including cleaved caspase-7 and cleaved PARP, and an autophagosome protein LC3II, and reduced expression of the autophagy marker p62. TMEM33 is a novel regulator of the PERK-eIE2α-ATF4 and IRE1-XBP1 axes of the UPR signaling. Therefore, TMEM33 may function as a determinant of the ER stress-responsive events in cancer cells.

Raval GU, Bidoia C, Forlani G, et al.
Localization, quantification and interaction with host factors of endogenous HTLV-1 HBZ protein in infected cells and ATL.
Retrovirology. 2015; 12:59 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Human T cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the etiological agent of a severe form of neoplasia designated Adult T cell Leukaemia (ATL). It is widely accepted that the viral transactivator Tax-1 is the major viral product involved in the onset, but not in the maintenance, of neoplastic phenotype, as only 30-40% of ATL cells express Tax-1. It has been recently demonstrated that HBZ (HTLV-1 bZIP factor), a protein encoded by the minus strand of HTLV-1 genome, constantly expressed in infected cells and in ATL tumor cells, is also involved in the pathogenesis of leukaemia. The full role played by HBZ in oncogenesis is not clarified in detail also because of the limited availability of tools to assess quantitative expression, subcellular location and interaction of HBZ with host factors in ATL.
RESULTS: By the use of the first reported monoclonal antibody against HBZ, 4D4-F3, generated in our laboratory it has been possible to carefully assess for the first time the above parameters in HTLV-1 chronically infected cells and, most importantly, in fresh leukemic cells from patients. Endogenous HBZ is expressed in speckle-like structures localized in the nucleus. The calculated number of endogenous HBZ molecules varies between 17.461 and 39.615 molecules per cell, 20- to 50-fold less than the amount expressed in HBZ transfected cells used by most investigators to assess the expression, function and subcellular localization of the viral protein. HBZ interacts in vivo with p300 and JunD and co-localizes only partially, and depending on the amount of expressed HBZ, not only with p300 and JunD but also with CBP and CREB2.
CONCLUSIONS: The possibility to study endogenous HBZ in detail may significantly contribute to a better delineation of the role of HBZ during HTLV-1 infection and cellular transformation.

Wei SX, Wang YT, Chai QX, et al.
Proapoptotic effects of heme oxygenase-1 inhibitor on Kasumi-1 cells via the ATF4/CHOP/Ire-1α pathway.
Genet Mol Res. 2015; 14(2):5994-6002 [PubMed] Related Publications
We evaluated the effects of down-regulated heme oxygenase (HO)-1 expression on the proliferation of the acute myelocytic leukemia Kasumi-1 cell line by using the HO-1 inhibitor zinc protoporphyrin IX (ZnPPIX) in combination with daunorubicin (DNR), and evaluated the mechanism. The proliferation rates of cells treated with 10 mg/mL DNR and 10 mM ZnPPIX individually or in combination for different time periods were detected using the MTT assay. The apoptotic outcomes of the blank control, ZnPPIX, DNR, and ZnPPIX groups in combination with the DNR group were detected by flow cytometry. The expression of HO-1, activating transcription factor 4, CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein homologous protein, and inositol-requiring enzyme-α mRNA and proteins were detected by fluorescent quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blotting, respectively. Combined administration inhibited the cells most potently and time-dependently, decreased the expression of HO-1, and significantly increased the expression of activating transcription factor 4, CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein homologous protein, and inositol-requiring enzyme-α expression levels. The cell apoptotic rates in the blank control, DNR, ZnPPIX, and combined administration groups were 8.32 ± 0.53, 39.16 ± 1.46, 10.46 ± 0.88, and 56.26 ± 2.24%, respectively. Inhibiting HO-1 expression can enhance the damaging effects of DNR on Kasumi-1 cells, providing experimental evidence for the improvement of therapeutic effects on acute myelocytic leukemia in clinical practice.

Lehman SL, Ryeom S, Koumenis C
Signaling through alternative Integrated Stress Response pathways compensates for GCN2 loss in a mouse model of soft tissue sarcoma.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:11781 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
The tumor microenvironment is characterized by deficiencies in oxygen and nutrients, such as glucose and amino acids. Activation of the GCN2 arm of the Integrated Stress Response (ISR) in response to amino acid deprivation is one mechanism by which tumor cells cope with nutrient stress. GCN2 phosphorylates the alpha subunit of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF2, leading to global downregulation of translation to conserve amino acids and initiation of a transcriptional program through ATF4 to promote recovery from nutrient deprivation. Loss of GCN2 results in decreased tumor cell survival in vitro under amino acid deprivation and attenuated tumor growth in xenograft tumor models. However, it is not known what effects GCN2 loss has on the growth of autochthonous tumors that arise in their native microenvironment. Here, we demonstrate in a genetically engineered mouse model of soft tissue sarcoma that loss of GCN2 has no effect on tumor growth or animal survival. The sarcomas displayed compensatory activation of PERK or phospho-eIF2α independent upregulation of ATF4 in order to maintain ISR signaling, indicating that this pathway is critical for tumorigenesis. These results have important implications for the development and testing of small molecule inhibitors of ISR kinases as cancer therapeutics.

Örd T, Örd D, Adler P, et al.
TRIB3 enhances cell viability during glucose deprivation in HEK293-derived cells by upregulating IGFBP2, a novel nutrient deficiency survival factor.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015; 1853(10 Pt A):2492-505 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glucose deprivation occurs in several human diseases, including infarctions and solid tumors, and leads to cell death. In this article, we investigate the role of the pseudokinase Tribbles homolog 3 (TRIB3) in the cellular stress response to glucose starvation using cell lines derived from HEK293, which is highly glycolytic under standard conditions. Our results show that TRIB3 mRNA and protein levels are strongly upregulated in glucose-deprived cells via the induction of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) by the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress sensor kinase PERK. Cell survival in glucose-deficient conditions is enhanced by TRIB3 overexpression and reduced by TRIB3 knockdown. Genome-wide gene expression profiling uncovered approximately 40 glucose deprivation-responsive genes that are affected by TRIB3, including several genes involved in signaling processes and metabolism. Based on transcription factor motif analysis, the majority of TRIB3-downregulated genes are target genes of ATF4, which TRIB3 is known to inhibit. The gene most substantially upregulated by TRIB3 is insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 (IGFBP2). IGFBP2 mRNA and protein levels are downregulated in cells subjected to glucose deprivation, and reduced IGFBP2 expression aggravates cell death during glucose deficiency, while overexpression of IGFBP2 prolongs cell survival. Moreover, IGFBP2 silencing abrogates the pro-survival effect of TRIB3. Since TRIB3 augments IGFBP2 expression in glucose-starved cells, the data indicate that IGFBP2 contributes to the attenuation of cell death by TRIB3. These results implicate TRIB3 and IGFBP2, both of which are known to be overexpressed in several types of cancers, as pro-survival modulators of cell viability in nutrient-deficient microenvironments.

Gu S, Yang XC, Xiang XY, et al.
Sanguinarine-induced apoptosis in lung adenocarcinoma cells is dependent on reactive oxygen species production and endoplasmic reticulum stress.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 34(2):913-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Sanguinarine (SAN), an alkaloid isolated from plants of the Papaveraceae family, is a compound with multiple biological activities. In the present study, we explored the anticancer properties of SAN in lung cancer using the human lung adenocarcinoma cell line SPC-A1. Our results revealed that SAN inhibited SPC-A1 cell growth and induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. We found that SAN triggered reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, while elimination of ROS by N-acetylcysteine (NAC) reversed the growth inhibition and apoptosis induced by SAN. SAN-induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress resulted in the upregulation of many genes and proteins involved in the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway, including glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), p-protein kinase R (PKR)-like ER kinase (PERK), p-eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α), activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein homologous protein (CHOP). Blocking ER stress with tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) markedly reduced SAN-induced inhibition of growth and apoptosis. Furthermore, TUDCA decreased SAN-induced ROS production, and NAC attenuated SAN-induced GRP78 and CHOP expression. Overall, our data indicate that the anticancer effects of SAN in lung cancer cells depend on ROS production and ER stress and that SAN may be a potential agent against lung cancer.

Dey S, Sayers CM, Verginadis II, et al.
ATF4-dependent induction of heme oxygenase 1 prevents anoikis and promotes metastasis.
J Clin Invest. 2015; 125(7):2592-608 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
The integrated stress response (ISR) is a critical mediator of cancer cell survival, and targeting the ISR inhibits tumor progression. Here, we have shown that activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), a master transcriptional effector of the ISR, protects transformed cells against anoikis - a specialized form of apoptosis - following matrix detachment and also contributes to tumor metastatic properties. Upon loss of attachment, ATF4 activated a coordinated program of cytoprotective autophagy and antioxidant responses, including induced expression of the major antioxidant enzyme heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1). HO-1 upregulation was the result of simultaneous activation of ATF4 and the transcription factor NRF2, which converged on the HO1 promoter. Increased levels of HO-1 ameliorated oxidative stress and cell death. ATF4-deficient human fibrosarcoma cells were unable to colonize the lungs in a murine model, and reconstitution of ATF4 or HO-1 expression in ATF4-deficient cells blocked anoikis and rescued tumor lung colonization. HO-1 expression was higher in human primary and metastatic tumors compared with noncancerous tissue. Moreover, HO-1 expression correlated with reduced overall survival of patients with lung adenocarcinoma and glioblastoma. These results establish HO-1 as a mediator of ATF4-dependent anoikis resistance and tumor metastasis and suggest ATF4 and HO-1 as potential targets for therapeutic intervention in solid tumors.

Sharma R, Williams PJ, Gupta A, et al.
A dominant-negative F-box deleted mutant of E3 ubiquitin ligase, β-TrCP1/FWD1, markedly reduces myeloma cell growth and survival in mice.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(25):21589-602 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
Treatment of multiple myeloma with bortezomib can result in severe adverse effects, necessitating the development of targeted inhibitors of the proteasome. We show that stable expression of a dominant-negative F-box deleted (∆F) mutant of the E3 ubiquitin ligase, SCFβ-TrCP/FWD1, in murine 5TGM1 myeloma cells dramatically attenuated their skeletal engraftment and survival when inoculated into immunocompetent C57BL/KaLwRij mice. Similar results were obtained in immunodeficient bg-nu-xid mice, suggesting that the observed effects were independent of host recipient immune status. Bone marrow stroma offered no protection for 5TGM1-∆F cells in cocultures treated with tumor necrosis factor (TNF), indicating a cell-autonomous anti-myeloma effect. Levels of p100, IκBα, Mcl-1, ATF4, total and cleaved caspase-3, and phospho-β-catenin were elevated in 5TGM1-∆F cells whereas cIAP was down-regulated. TNF also activated caspase-3 and downregulated Bcl-2, correlating with the enhanced susceptibility of 5TGM1-∆F cells to apoptosis. Treatment of 5TGM1 tumor-bearing mice with a β-TrCP1/FWD1 inhibitor, pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC), significantly reduced tumor burden in bone. PDTC also increased levels of cleaved Mcl-1 and caspase-3 in U266 human myeloma cells, correlating with our murine data and validating the development of specific β-TrCP inhibitors as an alternative therapy to nonspecific proteasome inhibitors for myeloma patients.

You L, Wang Z, Li H, et al.
The role of STAT3 in autophagy.
Autophagy. 2015; 11(5):729-39 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved process in eukaryotes that eliminates harmful components and maintains cellular homeostasis in response to a series of extracellular insults. However, these insults may trigger the downstream signaling of another prominent stress responsive pathway, the STAT3 signaling pathway, which has been implicated in multiple aspects of the autophagic process. Recent reports further indicate that different subcellular localization patterns of STAT3 affect autophagy in various ways. For example, nuclear STAT3 fine-tunes autophagy via the transcriptional regulation of several autophagy-related genes such as BCL2 family members, BECN1, PIK3C3, CTSB, CTSL, PIK3R1, HIF1A, BNIP3, and microRNAs with targets of autophagy modulators. Cytoplasmic STAT3 constitutively inhibits autophagy by sequestering EIF2AK2 as well as by interacting with other autophagy-related signaling molecules such as FOXO1 and FOXO3. Additionally, the mitochondrial translocation of STAT3 suppresses autophagy induced by oxidative stress and may effectively preserve mitochondria from being degraded by mitophagy. Understanding the role of STAT3 signaling in the regulation of autophagy may provide insight into the classic autophagy model and also into cancer therapy, especially for the emerging targeted therapy, because a series of targeted agents execute antitumor activities via blocking STAT3 signaling, which inevitably affects the autophagy pathway. Here, we review several of the representative studies and the current understanding in this particular field.

Cheng S, Swanson K, Eliaz I, et al.
Pachymic acid inhibits growth and induces apoptosis of pancreatic cancer in vitro and in vivo by targeting ER stress.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(4):e0122270 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
Pachymic acid (PA) is a purified triterpene extracted from medicinal fungus Poria cocos. In this paper, we investigated the anticancer effect of PA on human chemotherapy resistant pancreatic cancer. PA triggered apoptosis in gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer cells PANC-1 and MIA PaCa-2. Comparative gene expression array analysis demonstrated that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress was induced by PA through activation of heat shock response and unfolded protein response related genes. Induced ER stress was confirmed by increasing expression of XBP-1s, ATF4, Hsp70, CHOP and phospho-eIF2α. Moreover, ER stress inhibitor tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) blocked PA induced apoptosis. In addition, 25 mg kg-1 of PA significantly suppressed MIA PaCa-2 tumor growth in vivo without toxicity, which correlated with induction of apoptosis and expression of ER stress related proteins in tumor tissues. Taken together, growth inhibition and induction of apoptosis by PA in gemcitabine-resistant pancreatic cancer cells were associated with ER stress activation both in vitro and in vivo. PA may be potentially exploited for the use in treatment of chemotherapy resistant pancreatic cancer.

Kikuchi S, Suzuki R, Ohguchi H, et al.
Class IIa HDAC inhibition enhances ER stress-mediated cell death in multiple myeloma.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(9):1918-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have been extensively investigated as therapeutic agents in cancer. However, the biological role of class IIa HDACs (HDAC4, 5, 7 and 9) in cancer cells, including multiple myeloma (MM), remains unclear. Recent studies show HDAC4 interacts with activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) and inhibits activation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-associated proapoptotic transcription factor C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP). In this study, we hypothesized that HDAC4 knockdown and/or inhibition could enhance apoptosis in MM cells under ER stress condition by upregulating ATF4, followed by CHOP. HDAC4 knockdown showed modest cell growth inhibition; however, it markedly enhanced cytotoxicity induced by either tunicamycin or carfilzomib (CFZ), associated with upregulating ATF4 and CHOP. For pharmacological inhibition of HDAC4, we employed a novel and selective class IIa HDAC inhibitor TMP269, alone and in combination with CFZ. As with HDAC4 knockdown, TMP269 significantly enhanced cytotoxicity induced by CFZ in MM cell lines, upregulating ATF4 and CHOP and inducing apoptosis. Conversely, enhanced cytotoxicity was abrogated by ATF4 knockdown, confirming that ATF4 has a pivotal role mediating cytotoxicity in this setting. These results provide the rationale for novel treatment strategies combining class IIa HDAC inhibitors with ER stressors, including proteasome inhibitors, to improve patient outcome in MM.

Notte A, Rebucci M, Fransolet M, et al.
Taxol-induced unfolded protein response activation in breast cancer cells exposed to hypoxia: ATF4 activation regulates autophagy and inhibits apoptosis.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2015; 62:1-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Understanding the mechanisms responsible for the resistance against chemotherapy-induced cell death is still of great interest since the number of patients with cancer increases and relapse is commonly observed. Indeed, the development of hypoxic regions as well as UPR (unfolded protein response) activation is known to promote cancer cell adaptive responses to the stressful tumor microenvironment and resistance against anticancer therapies. Therefore, the impact of UPR combined to hypoxia on autophagy and apoptosis activation during taxol exposure was investigated in MDA-MB-231 and T47D breast cancer cells. The results showed that taxol rapidly induced UPR activation and that hypoxia modulated taxol-induced UPR activation differently according to the different UPR pathways (PERK, ATF6, and IRE1α). The putative involvement of these signaling pathways in autophagy or in apoptosis regulation in response to taxol exposure was investigated. However, while no link between the activation of these three ER stress sensors and autophagy or apoptosis regulation could be evidenced, results showed that ATF4 activation, which occurs independently of UPR activation, was involved in taxol-induced autophagy completion. In addition, an ATF4-dependent mechanism leading to cancer cell adaptation and resistance against taxol-induced cell death was evidenced. Finally, our results demonstrate that expression of ATF4, in association with hypoxia-induced genes, can be used as a biomarker of a poor prognosis for human breast cancer patients supporting the conclusion that ATF4 might play an important role in adaptation and resistance of breast cancer cells to chemotherapy in hypoxic tumors.

Gaba RC, Groth JV, Parvinian A, et al.
Gene expression in hepatocellular carcinoma: pilot study of potential transarterial chemoembolization response biomarkers.
J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2015; 26(5):723-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To perform a feasibility study to explore the relationship between hepatocellular carcinoma genetics and transarterial chemoembolization treatment response to identify potential biomarkers associated with enhanced treatment efficacy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this single-institution study, pretreatment hepatocellular carcinoma biopsy specimens for tumors in 19 patients (14 men, five women; mean age, 59 y) treated with chemoembolization between 2007 and 2013 were analyzed for a panel of 60 chemotherapy-sensitivity, hypoxia, mitosis, and inflammatory genes with the QuantiGene Plex 2.0 mRNA detection assay. Demographic, disease, and procedure data and tumor response outcomes were collected. Quantitative mRNA levels were compared based on radiologic response between tumors exhibiting complete response (CR) versus partial response (PR).
RESULTS: The study sample included 19 biopsy specimens from tumors (mean size, 3.0 cm; grade 1, n = 6; grade 2, n = 9; grade 3, n = 4) in patients treated with a mean of two conventional chemoembolization sessions. Thirteen and six tumors exhibited CR and PR, respectively, at a mean of 116 days after treatment. Tumors with CR showed a significant increase in (P < .05) or trend toward (P < .1) greater (range, 1.49-3.50 fold) pretreatment chemotherapy-sensitivity and mitosis (ATF4, BAX, CCNE1, KIF11, NFX1, PPP3CA, SNX1, TOP2A, and TOP2B) gene mRNA expression compared with tumors with PR, in addition to lower CXCL10 levels (0.48-fold), and had significantly (P < .05) higher (1.65-fold) baseline VEGFA levels.
CONCLUSIONS: Genetic signatures may allow prechemoembolization stratification of tumor response probability, and gene analysis may therefore offer an opportunity to personalize locoregional therapy by enhancing treatment modality allocation. Further corroboration of identified markers and exploration of their respective predictive capacity thresholds is necessary.

Jin Y, Wang L, Qu S, et al.
STAMP2 increases oxidative stress and is critical for prostate cancer.
EMBO Mol Med. 2015; 7(3):315-31 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
The six transmembrane protein of prostate 2 (STAMP2) is an androgen-regulated gene whose mRNA expression is increased in prostate cancer (PCa). Here, we show that STAMP2 protein expression is increased in human PCa compared with benign prostate that is also correlated with tumor grade and treatment response. We also show that STAMP2 significantly increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) in PCa cells through its iron reductase activity which also depleted NADPH levels. Knockdown of STAMP2 expression in PCa cells inhibited proliferation, colony formation, and anchorage-independent growth, and significantly increased apoptosis. Furthermore, STAMP2 effects were, at least in part, mediated by activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4), whose expression is regulated by ROS. Consistent with in vitro findings, silencing STAMP2 significantly inhibited PCa xenograft growth in mice. Finally, therapeutic silencing of STAMP2 by systemically administered nanoliposomal siRNA profoundly inhibited tumor growth in two established preclinical PCa models in mice. These data suggest that STAMP2 is required for PCa progression and thus may serve as a novel therapeutic target.

Wang S, Chen XA, Hu J, et al.
ATF4 Gene Network Mediates Cellular Response to the Anticancer PAD Inhibitor YW3-56 in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2015; 14(4):877-88 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/06/2017 Related Publications
We previously reported that a pan-PAD inhibitor, YW3-56, activates p53 target genes to inhibit cancer growth. However, the p53-independent anticancer activity and molecular mechanisms of YW3-56 remain largely elusive. Here, gene expression analyses found that ATF4 target genes involved in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response were activated by YW3-56. Depletion of ATF4 greatly attenuated YW3-56-mediated activation of the mTORC1 regulatory genes SESN2 and DDIT4. Using the ChIP-exo method, high-resolution genomic binding sites of ATF4 and CEBPB responsive to YW3-56 treatment were generated. In human breast cancer cells, YW3-56-mediated cell death features mitochondria depletion and autophagy perturbation. Moreover, YW3-56 treatment effectively inhibits the growth of triple-negative breast cancer xenograft tumors in nude mice. Taken together, we unveiled the anticancer mechanisms and therapeutic potentials of the pan-PAD inhibitor YW3-56.

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